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Media Influence on Public Perception of Exotic Cat Ownership

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What makes something news? The fact that you take good care of your pets isn't newsworthy. Neither is your recent trip to the supermarket; If something is normal, it isn't news. Only aberrations capture our attention enough to warrant screen time. Why is murder reported on the six-o-clock news? Because it's unusual; it's a shocking deviation from routine events. But when we are repeatedly exposed to the abnormal, it begins to seem normal. If we see murder on the news every night, we begin to view it as a common occurrence. This naturally leads to fear of falling victim ourselves, thus we start buying guns and installing security systems. As Gavin de Becker writes, "We're hard-wired to entertain every thought of danger that's put in front of us."

How do you hold the attention of a nation that just watched a war fought on live television? You start looking for tiger attacks.

Before rushing to judgment on exotic cat owners based on a few negative headlines, we might be wise to realize that we only get to read about the horror stories.... News stories about responsible people and happy animals don't sell.

When judging any group, whether it is a nation, race, religion, profession, or demographic, we must look at the primary values and behavior of that group. When we base our opinions on the well-publicized negative incidents involving only certain members of that group, we risk reaching incorrect conclusions.

Just because certain individuals have betrayed the core values of that group does not mean that the whole group should be frowned upon. Unfortunately this happens far too frequently. We live in a world of 30-second news bites and a continuous bombardment of information. We are kept "informed" of a dizzying array of issues; so many; in fact that it would be impossible for us to truly research all of the issues we are confronted with. We make thousands of snap judgments, based on news broadcasts, (fictional) scenes in movies, comments made by strangers in a restaurant or friends at work, what happened to the first cousin of a friend of your dad's, that magazine at the dentist's office, and other equally reliable sources of information.

Years ago, the viewing public was treated to a videotaped broadcast of a group of Los Angeles police officers severely beating Rodney King. What this isolated group of officers did provoked a backlash against the entire law enforcement community, as people reacted by condemning the entire police profession. If people would have simply looked at the core values of the law enforcement profession, they would have realized that the majority of police officers would risk their own lives to protect them from the sort of violence portrayed on that tape. Of course there are some thugs, some thieves, and some murderers in that group. With the large number of officers in this country how could there not be? The broadcast led many people to distrust the police officer next door, judging an entire group consisting of hundreds of thousands of people by one single incident.

We also need to take a hard look at the accuracy of the information we are basing our judgments on. Let's turn to Rodney King again. The incident was caught on videotape and you watched it with your own eyes. Can't ask for more reliable information than that, can you? Well, did you know that the tape you saw was edited? That shots showing King fighting the officers and of the officers' frantic commands to King to stop fighting were cut from the tape?

Today, that infamous video is shown in police training classes for two reasons; to show bad police work, and to point out the damage that can be done when someone only wants to show part of the story.

On April 29, 2003 Environmental News Service reported that nine tiger and two leopard cubs were rescued from a private home where carcasses of some 30 tigers and 58 cubs were found. This lead to the arrests of the operators of the California nonprofit organization Tiger Rescue. The article quotes Michael Markarian, President of The Fund for Animals: "The plight of these babies demonstrates why people who care about animals must boycott the exotic pet industry as well as commercial animal displays that often pass themselves off as sanctuaries." He also states: "Congress can save young tigers and leopards from this cruel fate by passing the Exotic Pets Bill."

Click here to read the article.

Heart-wrenching, isn't it? What this article and others like it failed to mention is that California is one of the most heavily regulated states in the country. Private ownership of all exotic pets is banned. Sanctuaries must comply with an extensive permit process. Far from proving the need for legislation, this sad incident highlights the utter failure of ban laws to prevent cruelty.

The Tiger Rescue sanctuary operators allegedly failed to acquire required permits and violated animal cruelty laws. If laws are the answer, why did this happen? If atrocities like this can occur in a state so heavily regulated that one cannot legally own even a ferret, what is the justification for barring responsible exotic pet ownership? The Fund for Animals' use of this incident to tug at people's emotions and mislead them into supporting destructive legislation is despicable manipulation. We need to enforce our animal cruelty laws, not ban loving and law-abiding citizens from owning animals.

This article is written and copyrighted by Jessi Clark-White. Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety only; you may not display edited versions.

For more information on the responsible ownership of wild and exotic cats, visit my website http://www.exoticcatz.com


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Wed. July / 28 / 2021

LaMont Remembered For Dedication, Service To Pets - Riverbank News
LaMont Remembered For Dedication, Service To Pets  Riverbank News

Pets of the week: Harley and Nash - The Advocate-Messenger - Danville Advocate
Pets of the week: Harley and Nash - The Advocate-Messenger  Danville Advocate

Lemonade is there for you and your pets when you really need it - CNN
Lemonade is there for you and your pets when you really need it  CNN

As pandemic eases, once-loved pets being dumped at shelter in 'disheartening' numbers - Montgomery Advertiser
As pandemic eases, once-loved pets being dumped at shelter in 'disheartening' numbers  Montgomery Advertiser

Roanoke pet owners get help finding new home for pets - WSET
Roanoke pet owners get help finding new home for pets  WSET

Veterinarians face high demand to treat pets amid adoption boom, staff shortages - Washington Times
Veterinarians face high demand to treat pets amid adoption boom, staff shortages  Washington Times

Marysville to ban chickens, long list of livestock as pets - The Times Herald
Marysville to ban chickens, long list of livestock as pets  The Times Herald

Pet Loss Prevention Month - Tips to Keep Pets With Their Families - bctv.org
Pet Loss Prevention Month - Tips to Keep Pets With Their Families  bctv.org

MSPCA-Angell had another successful round of 110 pet adoptions last weekend, more pets available - MassLive.com
MSPCA-Angell had another successful round of 110 pet adoptions last weekend, more pets available  MassLive.com

Tax collector raises $6000 for seniors and their pets through CARES - Suncoast News
Tax collector raises $6000 for seniors and their pets through CARES  Suncoast News

Pets for adoption | Pets - Arizona Daily Star
Pets for adoption | Pets  Arizona Daily Star

Pets And Pet Owners Face Separation Anxiety As Workers Return To The Office - NPR
Pets And Pet Owners Face Separation Anxiety As Workers Return To The Office  NPR

Extreme heat in Columbia until Friday; take precautions for yourself, pets - Columbia Daily Tribune
Extreme heat in Columbia until Friday; take precautions for yourself, pets  Columbia Daily Tribune

Veterinarians gives tips to protect pets in hot summer temperatures - WVNS-TV
Veterinarians gives tips to protect pets in hot summer temperatures  WVNS-TV

Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels offers grooming, vet care for clients' pets through new grant - Concentrate
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels offers grooming, vet care for clients' pets through new grant  Concentrate

Dog owner arrested after leaving pets in hot vehicle as she shopped - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Dog owner arrested after leaving pets in hot vehicle as she shopped  Las Vegas Review-Journal

July is pet fire safety month - KGO-TV
July is pet fire safety month  KGO-TV

Mountain State Pet Crematory now open | News | wvnews.com - WV News
Mountain State Pet Crematory now open | News | wvnews.com  WV News

Midwest Pets prepares children for school - Clinton Herald
Midwest Pets prepares children for school  Clinton Herald

Shelters and breeders expect demand in pets to keep rising - Greater Milwaukee Today
Shelters and breeders expect demand in pets to keep rising  Greater Milwaukee Today

'First Coast No More Homeless Pets' helps more than pets, it helps the community (FCL July 27, 2021) - FirstCoastNews.com WTLV-WJXX
'First Coast No More Homeless Pets' helps more than pets, it helps the community (FCL July 27, 2021)  FirstCoastNews.com WTLV-WJXX

Here are some tips to pet-proof your home - KSAT San Antonio
Here are some tips to pet-proof your home  KSAT San Antonio

Pets and the pandemic: One year after shutdowns, local shelters have filled up again - nwitimes.com
Pets and the pandemic: One year after shutdowns, local shelters have filled up again  nwitimes.com

Local rescues near capacity move up Mega Pet Adoption Event at Berglund Center - WSLS 10
Local rescues near capacity move up Mega Pet Adoption Event at Berglund Center  WSLS 10

Chestnut Hill's Petapalooza includes doggy pools, adoptable pets, yappy hour - PhillyVoice.com
Chestnut Hill's Petapalooza includes doggy pools, adoptable pets, yappy hour  PhillyVoice.com

PetMed Express, inc (PETS) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript - Motley Fool
PetMed Express, inc (PETS) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript  Motley Fool

Hot Dog: Keep pets cool during heat wave - Rapid City Journal
Hot Dog: Keep pets cool during heat wave  Rapid City Journal

NYC animal shelter sees big influx of surrendered pets and strays - FOX 5 NY
NYC animal shelter sees big influx of surrendered pets and strays  FOX 5 NY

'It's Been Really Hard:' Growing Demand For Pet Care During Pandemic Overwhelms Staff At Coral Springs Animal Hospital - TAPinto.net
'It's Been Really Hard:' Growing Demand For Pet Care During Pandemic Overwhelms Staff At Coral Springs Animal Hospital  TAPinto.net

City pound 'close' to capacity, as New Yorkers return pandemic pets - Fox News
City pound 'close' to capacity, as New Yorkers return pandemic pets  Fox News

Veterinary clinic waiting room etiquette for pets and their owners - KUTV 2News
Veterinary clinic waiting room etiquette for pets and their owners  KUTV 2News

Tulsa Nonprofit Lends A Hand To Pet Owners As They Turn Their Life Around: 'There Is Hope' - News On 6
Tulsa Nonprofit Lends A Hand To Pet Owners As They Turn Their Life Around: 'There Is Hope'  News On 6

WATCH NOW: Family and pets evacuated safely after fire in a garage of 26th Street home - Kenosha News
WATCH NOW: Family and pets evacuated safely after fire in a garage of 26th Street home  Kenosha News

Think you may have to surrender your pet? Here's how to get help - Montgomery Advertiser
Think you may have to surrender your pet? Here's how to get help  Montgomery Advertiser

New Illinois law to protect pets and animals - WSIL TV
New Illinois law to protect pets and animals  WSIL TV

Family pets receive blessing from Lompoc pastor on Sunday - Santa Maria Times
Family pets receive blessing from Lompoc pastor on Sunday  Santa Maria Times

Hand pets bring smiles and insight during county fair exposition at Pratt library - Pratt Tribune
Hand pets bring smiles and insight during county fair exposition at Pratt library  Pratt Tribune

Points for pets: Keeping an eye on cataracts in dogs - WV News
Points for pets: Keeping an eye on cataracts in dogs  WV News

Faux pets help Holocaust survivors stave off loneliness - Forward
Faux pets help Holocaust survivors stave off loneliness  Forward

Heat Safety: Protecting our children and pets - WOWT
Heat Safety: Protecting our children and pets  WOWT

Petco is taking up to 50% off pet products at the Ruff & Mews Sales Event - CNN
Petco is taking up to 50% off pet products at the Ruff & Mews Sales Event  CNN

Pet Supplies Plus hosts adoption event for pets in need of home - WBOY.com
Pet Supplies Plus hosts adoption event for pets in need of home  WBOY.com

People with COVID Often Infect Their Pets - Scientific American
People with COVID Often Infect Their Pets  Scientific American

Pickleball projects benefit pets in West Feliciana - The Advocate
Pickleball projects benefit pets in West Feliciana  The Advocate

Ky. veterinarian gives tips on keeping your pets safe and healthy during summer heat - WKYT
Ky. veterinarian gives tips on keeping your pets safe and healthy during summer heat  WKYT

Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Samantha, Tabitha & Chester - Northport, NY Patch
Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Samantha, Tabitha & Chester  Northport, NY Patch

Local animal shelter provides tips on pet safety in heat - KTIV
Local animal shelter provides tips on pet safety in heat  KTIV

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage and Liability? - Business Insider
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage and Liability?  Business Insider

Palos Area Pets Up For Adoption: Dogs, Cats, More - Palos, IL Patch
Palos Area Pets Up For Adoption: Dogs, Cats, More  Palos, IL Patch

The Worst Pet I've Ever Had - The Nib
The Worst Pet I've Ever Had  The Nib

Can Apple’s AirTags Find Lost Pets? - The New York Times
Can Apple’s AirTags Find Lost Pets?  The New York Times

Menifee Man Charged With Killing Ex-Wifes Pets Gets Hearing Date - Patch.com
Menifee Man Charged With Killing Ex-Wifes Pets Gets Hearing Date  Patch.com

Mapleton police reminding residents to clean up after pets, keep dogs on a leash - KEYC
Mapleton police reminding residents to clean up after pets, keep dogs on a leash  KEYC

Born Free USA Welcomes Rhesus Macaque Formerly Kept as a Pet to Its South Texas Primate Sanctuary - Huntsville Item
Born Free USA Welcomes Rhesus Macaque Formerly Kept as a Pet to Its South Texas Primate Sanctuary  Huntsville Item

This Hotel Group Just Launched an Awesome New Program for Pet Owners - Travel+Leisure
This Hotel Group Just Launched an Awesome New Program for Pet Owners  Travel+Leisure

Specieswatch: the truth about the pet shop mealworms - The Guardian
Specieswatch: the truth about the pet shop mealworms  The Guardian

New IL law prohibits owning a pet if convicted of 2 more animal abuse offenses - WREX-TV
New IL law prohibits owning a pet if convicted of 2 more animal abuse offenses  WREX-TV

New Ill. law prohibits owning a pet if convicted of 2 or more animal abuse offenses - week.com
New Ill. law prohibits owning a pet if convicted of 2 or more animal abuse offenses  week.com

El Paso Animal Services pays registered rescuers to pull shelter pets - cbs4local.com
El Paso Animal Services pays registered rescuers to pull shelter pets  cbs4local.com

Cat app might be able to decipher how your pet is feeling - USA TODAY
Cat app might be able to decipher how your pet is feeling  USA TODAY

Amazing benefits to seniors having pets | Lifestyles | wvnews.com - WV News
Amazing benefits to seniors having pets | Lifestyles | wvnews.com  WV News

Predicted pandemic pet crisis seems to have sidestepped Bay Area - The Mercury News
Predicted pandemic pet crisis seems to have sidestepped Bay Area  The Mercury News

Petland Presents: Emergency kits for your pets - KGAN TV
Petland Presents: Emergency kits for your pets  KGAN TV

Is pet obesity driving pet food growth in Mexico? - PetfoodIndustry.com
Is pet obesity driving pet food growth in Mexico?  PetfoodIndustry.com

North America Pet Grooming Services Market Report 2021-2027 - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance
North America Pet Grooming Services Market Report 2021-2027 - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Yahoo Finance

When a No-Pet Policy Isn’t Really a No-Pet Policy - The New York Times
When a No-Pet Policy Isn’t Really a No-Pet Policy  The New York Times

Get Ready For The Fireworks. How To Keep Your Pets Safe And Happy This 4th Of July - NPR
Get Ready For The Fireworks. How To Keep Your Pets Safe And Happy This 4th Of July  NPR

The Newest TikTok Stars Are Exotic Pets, But Experts Say That's A Problem - NPR
The Newest TikTok Stars Are Exotic Pets, But Experts Say That's A Problem  NPR

The hidden history behind our pets' most revolting habits - BBC News
The hidden history behind our pets' most revolting habits  BBC News

Pets can catch Covid from owners, study suggests - BBC News
Pets can catch Covid from owners, study suggests  BBC News

How can you help pets when there are fireworks, thunder or gun fire? - The Daily Journal
How can you help pets when there are fireworks, thunder or gun fire?  The Daily Journal

10 Large Cat Breeds that Make Great Pets - PureWow
10 Large Cat Breeds that Make Great Pets  PureWow

How to protect your pets during severe weather - WWLP.com
How to protect your pets during severe weather  WWLP.com

Does your pet need help adjusting to being home alone? Try these 3 tips. - NewsChannel5.com
Does your pet need help adjusting to being home alone? Try these 3 tips.  NewsChannel5.com

People dumped their pets into lakes, officials say. Now football-size goldfish are taking over. - The Washington Post
People dumped their pets into lakes, officials say. Now football-size goldfish are taking over.  The Washington Post

Some Workers Are Choosing Their Pets Over Their Jobs as Offices Reopen, But Will Animal-Friendly Workplaces Catch On? - TIME
Some Workers Are Choosing Their Pets Over Their Jobs as Offices Reopen, But Will Animal-Friendly Workplaces Catch On?  TIME

LMAS joins BISSELL Pet Foundation Summer 2021 “Empty the Shelters” National Event July 9-11 - LouisvilleKy.gov
LMAS joins BISSELL Pet Foundation Summer 2021 “Empty the Shelters” National Event July 9-11  LouisvilleKy.gov

Here's Why Cats Make Great Pets, According to Science - southernliving.com
Here's Why Cats Make Great Pets, According to Science  southernliving.com

Pets and parked cars don't mix in summer; here are the signs that an animal is in heat distress - NOLA.com
Pets and parked cars don't mix in summer; here are the signs that an animal is in heat distress  NOLA.com

Pet Releaf debuts professional product line with Sentesa - DVM 360
Pet Releaf debuts professional product line with Sentesa  DVM 360

Pet Owners Warned Of Toxins In Water | News, Sports, Jobs - Jamestown Post Journal
Pet Owners Warned Of Toxins In Water | News, Sports, Jobs  Jamestown Post Journal

Researchers Say Human COVID Infections Can Be Passed on to Pets — Especially Cats - PEOPLE
Researchers Say Human COVID Infections Can Be Passed on to Pets — Especially Cats  PEOPLE

N.J. pets in need: July 19, 2021 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: July 19, 2021  nj.com

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

Shade, Water Crucial For Pets During Heat Emergency; Report A Pet In Danger - CBS Philly
Shade, Water Crucial For Pets During Heat Emergency; Report A Pet In Danger  CBS Philly

SPCA Pets of the Week: Zippy and Mila - NorthcentralPa.com
SPCA Pets of the Week: Zippy and Mila  NorthcentralPa.com

Pets on 2: Pet Helpers – Alex - WCBD News 2
Pets on 2: Pet Helpers – Alex  WCBD News 2

Op-Ed: Who returns pandemic pets? My pet has rescued me for years - Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed: Who returns pandemic pets? My pet has rescued me for years  Los Angeles Times

Player Pets: Celly, the Wild's team dog for the 2021-22 season - BlueJackets.com
Player Pets: Celly, the Wild's team dog for the 2021-22 season  BlueJackets.com

For the Love of Pets: Fire safety and preparation - The Mercury News
For the Love of Pets: Fire safety and preparation  The Mercury News

Boise ID's Pets Best Insurance booms during pandemic - boisedev.com
Boise ID's Pets Best Insurance booms during pandemic  boisedev.com

Missing pets fill animal shelter after Fourth of July weekend - NewsChannel5.com
Missing pets fill animal shelter after Fourth of July weekend  NewsChannel5.com

Meet our pets of the week: Parakeets, a horse and a beagle mix - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Parakeets, a horse and a beagle mix  STLtoday.com

Staunton pet store welcomes “pets and pals” during soft opening - WHSV
Staunton pet store welcomes “pets and pals” during soft opening  WHSV

Pet of the Week: Becky - The Mercury News
Pet of the Week: Becky  The Mercury News

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Mia - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Mia - 47abc  WMDT

‘Pandemic Pets’ Fill California Shelters as State Reopens and People Return to Work - Times of San Diego
‘Pandemic Pets’ Fill California Shelters as State Reopens and People Return to Work  Times of San Diego

How Much Is Pet Insurance? - Rolling Stone
How Much Is Pet Insurance?  Rolling Stone

Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com  Clarksville Now

Data: Most popular pet breeds in America - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Data: Most popular pet breeds in America  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

 

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