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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 Fri. May / 14 / 2021

Rabid Fox Confirmed in Lancaster County; Two Pets Exposed - SCDHEC
Rabid Fox Confirmed in Lancaster County; Two Pets Exposed  SCDHEC

Checking in on pet returns on the Coast - WXXV News 25
Checking in on pet returns on the Coast  WXXV News 25

Managing Pets With Tech: Crowdfunding PetCode - Forbes
Managing Pets With Tech: Crowdfunding PetCode  Forbes

The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually - Journal Times
The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually  Journal Times

Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom - Tampa Bay Times
Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom  Tampa Bay Times

Over 65 Percent of Pet Owners Would Dump a Partner Their Cat or Dog Didn't Like, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 65 Percent of Pet Owners Would Dump a Partner Their Cat or Dog Didn't Like, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

More people begin surrendering pets they adopted during the pandemic - KTLA
More people begin surrendering pets they adopted during the pandemic  KTLA

In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash - The New York Times
In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash  The New York Times

From the dog's paw: Disaster preparedness for your pets - Fairfaxtimes.com
From the dog's paw: Disaster preparedness for your pets  Fairfaxtimes.com

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Andy Ammo - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Andy Ammo - 47abc  WMDT

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

PETS: Sara the snuggler needs a new home in Alexandria - ALXnow
PETS: Sara the snuggler needs a new home in Alexandria  ALXnow

Pet shelters offer tips for new pet owners as they head back to work - 41 NBC News
Pet shelters offer tips for new pet owners as they head back to work  41 NBC News

Pets of the week - Davis Enterprise
Pets of the week  Davis Enterprise

People are returning pets adopted during pandemic, Maricopa County animal control says - 12news.com KPNX
People are returning pets adopted during pandemic, Maricopa County animal control says  12news.com KPNX

Record Returns for Pets Adopted During Pandemic - WebMD
Record Returns for Pets Adopted During Pandemic  WebMD

Bay Area shelters react to pandemic pet returns - KRON4
Bay Area shelters react to pandemic pet returns  KRON4

Pets of the week for May 15, 2021 | Community | wyomingnews.com - Wyoming Tribune
Pets of the week for May 15, 2021 | Community | wyomingnews.com  Wyoming Tribune

Don't buy pets, adopt from shelter | News, Sports, Jobs - Marietta Times
Don't buy pets, adopt from shelter | News, Sports, Jobs  Marietta Times

Mission Viejo: Guinea Pigs Make Great First Pets For Children - Patch.com
Mission Viejo: Guinea Pigs Make Great First Pets For Children  Patch.com

Pet Talk with Dr. Zachary Schulze of North Bentwood Veterinary Hospital and Boarding - ConchoValleyHomepage.com
Pet Talk with Dr. Zachary Schulze of North Bentwood Veterinary Hospital and Boarding  ConchoValleyHomepage.com

Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work  WKRC TV Cincinnati

Clinical trials offered to help pets with epilepsy or spinal cord injuries - wcia.com
Clinical trials offered to help pets with epilepsy or spinal cord injuries  wcia.com

Separation anxiety possible for pets as owners return to work - SILive.com
Separation anxiety possible for pets as owners return to work  SILive.com

Current Rankings in Vote 4 The Best Pets Edition as of May 13 - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Current Rankings in Vote 4 The Best Pets Edition as of May 13  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don't want to leave them - Union Democrat
They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don't want to leave them  Union Democrat

Clinton Pets Newly Up For Adoption - Clinton, CT Patch
Clinton Pets Newly Up For Adoption  Clinton, CT Patch

Got pets? This best-selling mop/vacuum combo ‘does not leave ANY hair behind’—and it’s on sale - Yahoo Sports
Got pets? This best-selling mop/vacuum combo ‘does not leave ANY hair behind’—and it’s on sale  Yahoo Sports

As poverty bites, Lebanese give up their pets - Deccan Herald
As poverty bites, Lebanese give up their pets  Deccan Herald

People let their pets decide who they date, new survey suggests - Fox News
People let their pets decide who they date, new survey suggests  Fox News

Lockdown pet boom creates busy work days for veterinarians - WBRZ
Lockdown pet boom creates busy work days for veterinarians  WBRZ

These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students - POPSUGAR
These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students  POPSUGAR

Meet our pets of the week: Two cats and a pony - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two cats and a pony  STLtoday.com

General Mills beefs up pet foods division with $1.2 bln Tyson unit purchase - Reuters
General Mills beefs up pet foods division with $1.2 bln Tyson unit purchase  Reuters

Protecting your kids, pets from summertime nuisances - KWCH
Protecting your kids, pets from summertime nuisances  KWCH

Pandemic Pets Not Being Returned at Aggieland Humane Society - WTAW
Pandemic Pets Not Being Returned at Aggieland Humane Society  WTAW

Need help with pet food during the pandemic? Valley animal advocates can assist you - Mahoning Matters
Need help with pet food during the pandemic? Valley animal advocates can assist you  Mahoning Matters

Help find a home for these adorable, adoptable pets: May 15-16 - silive.com
Help find a home for these adorable, adoptable pets: May 15-16  silive.com

Pet surrenders spike as end of eviction moratoriums loom, Austin shelters say - Austin American-Statesman
Pet surrenders spike as end of eviction moratoriums loom, Austin shelters say  Austin American-Statesman

India Pet Food Market Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, FY2026 - Yahoo Finance
India Pet Food Market Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, FY2026  Yahoo Finance

Veterinarians are 'working beyond capacity' due to a surge in pet adoptions during COVID-19 - WAPT Jackson
Veterinarians are 'working beyond capacity' due to a surge in pet adoptions during COVID-19  WAPT Jackson

'Excruciatingly sad': Shelters bracing for 'selfish' return of pandemic pets - New York Post
'Excruciatingly sad': Shelters bracing for 'selfish' return of pandemic pets  New York Post

Pet of the week: Sunny days are in the forecast - The Providence Journal
Pet of the week: Sunny days are in the forecast  The Providence Journal

Pet of the week: Big Max - Torrington Register Citizen
Pet of the week: Big Max  Torrington Register Citizen

Pet of the week: Larry - Middletown Press
Pet of the week: Larry  Middletown Press

PFAS found at high levels in pets near Chemours plant - NC Health News - North Carolina Health News
PFAS found at high levels in pets near Chemours plant - NC Health News  North Carolina Health News

COVID-19 pet adoption boom has many veterinarians overwhelmed - Chicago Tribune
COVID-19 pet adoption boom has many veterinarians overwhelmed  Chicago Tribune

Animal shelters see slight uptick in rehoming of pets - WBAY
Animal shelters see slight uptick in rehoming of pets  WBAY

Pet Safety & Protection Act will Halt USDA Licensed Class B Dealers Selling Stolen Dogs - GlobeNewswire
Pet Safety & Protection Act will Halt USDA Licensed Class B Dealers Selling Stolen Dogs  GlobeNewswire

Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door - TechHive
Wayzn Smart Pet Door review: Now Fido can open your sliding door  TechHive

Utah pet owners reminded to keep animals safe from perils of rising temperatures - Gephardt Daily
Utah pet owners reminded to keep animals safe from perils of rising temperatures  Gephardt Daily

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers - New York Post
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned in record numbers  New York Post

Amazon Reviewers Love This Ottoman That Secretly Doubles as a Hideaway for Cats - PEOPLE.com
Amazon Reviewers Love This Ottoman That Secretly Doubles as a Hideaway for Cats  PEOPLE.com

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report  FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Pets of the week: Bocaccio and Chilipepper - KION
Pets of the week: Bocaccio and Chilipepper  KION

College Station officials consider pet sale amendment | Govt. and Politics | theeagle.com - Bryan-College Station Eagle
College Station officials consider pet sale amendment | Govt. and Politics | theeagle.com  Bryan-College Station Eagle

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

Sacramento SPCA Pets of the Week - Meet Gerty and Patrick! - Good Day Sacramento
Sacramento SPCA Pets of the Week - Meet Gerty and Patrick!  Good Day Sacramento

Omnichannel pet food presence fuels new sales - PetfoodIndustry.com
Omnichannel pet food presence fuels new sales  PetfoodIndustry.com

Check out these available pets from the Gulf Coast Humane Society - Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Check out these available pets from the Gulf Coast Humane Society  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

KardiaChain Launches My DeFi Pet, a Decentralized Creature Collecting Game - Yahoo Finance
KardiaChain Launches My DeFi Pet, a Decentralized Creature Collecting Game  Yahoo Finance

Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues - WRGB
Pets meant to bring companionship during pandemic are being brought back to animal rescues  WRGB

Celebrity Pets You Might Not Know That Will Calm Your Anxiety - Pajiba Entertainment News
Celebrity Pets You Might Not Know That Will Calm Your Anxiety  Pajiba Entertainment News

FWC helping pet owners tag tegus, green iguanas to prepare for new rules - Destin Log
FWC helping pet owners tag tegus, green iguanas to prepare for new rules  Destin Log

Four Seasons Plumbing celebrates National Pet Month - PRNewswire - PRNewswire
Four Seasons Plumbing celebrates National Pet Month - PRNewswire  PRNewswire

Pandemic Pets and Pet Companionship: Seven Benefits/Considerations for Care Coordination and Estate Planning - JD Supra
Pandemic Pets and Pet Companionship: Seven Benefits/Considerations for Care Coordination and Estate Planning  JD Supra

Experts share how to protect pets during peak tick season - WABI
Experts share how to protect pets during peak tick season  WABI

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/12/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/12/21)  ABC15 Arizona

Meet the CNYSPCA Pet of the Week: Bruce the German shepherd - syracuse.com
Meet the CNYSPCA Pet of the Week: Bruce the German shepherd  syracuse.com

This portable pet refrigerator not only stores their food, but serves it to them as well! - Yanko Design
This portable pet refrigerator not only stores their food, but serves it to them as well!  Yanko Design

At Arizona Pet Project's resource center in south Phoenix, the focus is on humans and pets - The Arizona Republic
At Arizona Pet Project's resource center in south Phoenix, the focus is on humans and pets  The Arizona Republic

Store pets can be a pull for some Downtown businesses - News-Press Now
Store pets can be a pull for some Downtown businesses  News-Press Now

CBS Sports Reporter AJ Ross Pushing For Bill Requiring Pet Groomers Be Licensed Following Dog's Death - CBS New York
CBS Sports Reporter AJ Ross Pushing For Bill Requiring Pet Groomers Be Licensed Following Dog's Death  CBS New York

LOCAL LINKS: Splash Self Serve Pet Spa - Local News 8 - LocalNews8.com
LOCAL LINKS: Splash Self Serve Pet Spa - Local News 8  LocalNews8.com

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Bee Cave council OKs new 'pet resort' with vet clinic, kennel - Austin American-Statesman
Bee Cave council OKs new 'pet resort' with vet clinic, kennel  Austin American-Statesman

Exotic pets are in the spotlight at expo in Chesapeake - 13newsnow.com WVEC
Exotic pets are in the spotlight at expo in Chesapeake  13newsnow.com WVEC

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Even Professional Car Detailers Swear by This $15 Pet Hair Removal Tool - PEOPLE.com
Even Professional Car Detailers Swear by This $15 Pet Hair Removal Tool  PEOPLE.com

After pandemic pet boom, CT vets see heavy workload - CTPost
After pandemic pet boom, CT vets see heavy workload  CTPost

Dog Adoption Fees Are Being Covered By This Pet Wellness Startup - Green Matters
Dog Adoption Fees Are Being Covered By This Pet Wellness Startup  Green Matters

Pet Care Center of Apopka offers pet safety tips for the summer and boarding while you're away | - Apopka Chief
Pet Care Center of Apopka offers pet safety tips for the summer and boarding while you're away |  Apopka Chief

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events - 69News WFMZ-TV
Shelter pets find new forever homes thanks to recent adoption events  69News WFMZ-TV

Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets - Bryan-College Station Eagle
Pet Talk: What to know about owning exotic pets  Bryan-College Station Eagle

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

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street - KELOLAND.com
Paws Abilities, a locally-owned pet store, now open on 41st Street  KELOLAND.com

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

Tampa Bay area pets hoping to be adopted - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hoping to be adopted  Tampa Bay Times

Vegan couple banned from owning pets after feeding their severely malnourished puppies a meat-free diet - Yahoo! Voices
Vegan couple banned from owning pets after feeding their severely malnourished puppies a meat-free diet  Yahoo! Voices

Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it - Spectrum News 1
Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it  Spectrum News 1

The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms - Vogue
The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms  Vogue

Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Vote 4 the Best: Pets - Voting  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog - PEOPLE
10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog  PEOPLE

Pet Cats Fall For Optical Illusions Too - NPR
Pet Cats Fall For Optical Illusions Too  NPR

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

 

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