Defending the Freedom to Own Pets

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The Future of Dogs in an Animal Rights America

by Walt Hutchens

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What to do #8: Get tough and hang in there

If you haven't actually met serious ARs before, expect the hair to stand up on the back of your neck. These are creepy, unhappy people, often marching to a drummer more different than most of us can imagine. If you need a refresher course in what you're fighting, re-read Voices from the Dark Side at the NAIA site.

Their drummer has different rules. Expect to be abused, lied to and lied about. If you take the lead, expect email attacks in the form of worms and virsus and worse; if you write to the newspapers, expect responding letters to accuse you of chaining your dogs in the sun with no water; if a public meeting is planned expect anonymous calls to security saying you're inciting violence;if you breed, expect to be called a puppy mill, 'just in it for the money' and don't be surprised if your local Animal Control Officer gets a false tip about your "shoddy" animal care.

Defending our rights isn't a game for wimps.

Some, often much, of your battle plan will go badly.

Keep the herd moving west, keep showing up for work, keep loading and firing.

Never give up and do not get discouraged. Ask for pep talks if you need them.

Do take enough time off that you don't burn out.

If you're a leader, encourage others to become leaders too, and cheer their successes. You can never have too many effective leaders.

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