Pets are family.  Animal services=family services.  Or at least, that’s the way it should be.  But all too often, it seems that there is simply a one-size-fits-all approach for authorities dealing with animal situations in people’s homes.  If the residents are breeding pets for sale, they are labeled a puppy mill.  If they have a large number of pets, they are called hoarders.  And it so often plays out the same way:  the animals are seized and sent to pet killing facilities while the people are charged as criminals.

When it comes to human families, social services appears to take a more nuanced approach.  They recognize that even when the home environment is lacking, the parents still have both legal rights to, and deep emotional bonds with, their children.  Breaking up a family by removing kids from the home and placing them into a shabby state foster system is viewed…

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