What Pets Can Teach Us – Inclusivity

Inclusivity is about providing equal access to opportunities for all people regardless of their age, gender, or race, and Offleash’d is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive space where ideas are shared, and relationships can be formed on the foundation of respect.

So, what can pets teach us about inclusivity? Well, for starters, pets don’t judge. They are not weighed down by biases or social constructs. They offer unconditional love without expectations, though like all creatures, they need mutual love and respect to thrive. There are pets for every personality, from the happy-go-lucky pups to the sassy, introverted felines. There are hypoallergenic pets and specially trained support animals for those with disabilities.

However, access to these animals can be limited depending on several factors. A study done in 2017 by Psychology Today found that there are significant differences in pet ownership between racial groups, where white people were about three times more likely to own a dog and nearly five times more likely to own a cat compared to non-whites. With “the average Black and Hispanic or Latino households [earning] about half as much as the average White household and [owning] only about 15 to 20 percent as much net wealth”, according to an article posted by the Federal Reserve in 2021, it can be inferred that socioeconomic factors such as homeownership and income brackets can play a large role in who has access to adoption centers and who can financially support a pet.

Luckily, there are organizations that can help owners who struggle to afford care or treatment for their animals such as The Bowwow Buddies Foundation, a nonprofit that helps provide medical care to homeless dogs and families who cannot afford medical care for their dogs. Bowwow Buddies even provides grants to shelters and rescue groups to provide medical care for the animals awaiting adoption. With the help of these organizations, so many more people will be able to experience the joy of pet ownership.

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