Do you have plans for Labor Day? Consider including the contributions of working animals, as well. Animals work, too; don’t they deserve to be included in Labor Day to honor their contribution to society?
Typical Working Animals and their Jobs
Today we have assistance animals to help the handicapped function more independently. Dogs and even capuchin monkeys and birds have been trained to open doors, retrieve items, turn lights on and off and even microwave food for people with such severe disabilities as quadriplegia.
A pair of rats were approved by the council in Hesperia, California to serve as service animals for a woman with epilepsy. The rats sit on her shoulders and help in controlling her seizures.
Herding dogs have been around as long as humans have been keeping sheep. Did you know llamas also herd sheep?
Seeing Eye animals include not only dogs, but miniature horses (now included in the ADA), who are trained to lead the blind through terrain. Dogs and other animals have been trained to assist the deaf. Many animals serve as seeing eye companions for fellow animals, like donkeys Recca and CoStar.
And what about military dogs who fight alongside our brave soldiers? War horses like Sgt. Reckless helped Americans in the Korean War. A pit bull called Stubby was honored with medals for his courageous fighting alongside soldiers in World War I. He awoke the men during a gas attack, saving the division and caught an enemy spy by biting him and keeping him on the ground until relief arrived. Stubby was awarded the rank of Sergeant.
Police dogs help with crowd control, sniffing out drugs and explosive materials. They are also trained to find survivors and cadavers from disaster sights. Care2 Blogger Sharon Seltzer writes about “The Heroic Dogs of 9/11,” citing “The rescue and recovery effort at the World Trade Center was the ‘largest deployment of search dogs in U.S. history,’ according to FEMA.”
Working Animals With Fewer Rights
Other working animals are not as well-cared for, like carriage horses and production animals. Many large cosmopolitan cities consider carriage horses a quaint tourist attraction. The pain and suffering those horses endure day in and day out is abominable. Inhaling fumes from working nose-to-tailpipe in ferocious city traffic is a health risk for even the strongest carriage horse. Danger from noisy and sudden movement can frighten horses to the point of running into oncoming traffic, not to mention the injuries automobiles and trucks cause when colliding with a horse.
Photo credit: all photos from Thinkstock
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