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Labor Day for Animals? Why Not?

Labor Day for Animals? Why Not?
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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.

Mini horses like this fellow can become seeing eye pets.

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.

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Photo credit: all photos from Thinkstock

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130 comments

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3:05PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Absolutely!

1:02PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

ALL animals deserve the best care we can give them!

11:21AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

8:30AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

I can't believe that 19 per cent voted no re animals having a day of rest like the rest of us on Labor Day. I wouldn't want to be their companion animals. But more, I am concerned about the poor horses who pull carriages in hot and cold. That should be stopped. And in some countries the poor donkeys are forced to carry heavy loads without rest and probably sufficient water. Then there is poor Tony the Tiger in a Louisiana truck stop. His owner refuses to let him out of his prison. I think I could go on and on. And of course our poor farm animals in the CAFOs from hell. They never get even one day respite to enjoy the sun or fresh air. Why, because too many of us have a meat lust. I have been vegan since '83. Thank you God.

5:54AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Everyday is a day of rest for all my pets :)

5:06AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Thank you.

3:53AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Animals should never work for humans. It's never their choice. It's merely another instance of humans treating non-humans as property, as resources and commodities. They aren't born to serve us and shouldn't be treated as if they were. Even if they're well taken care of, it's still a violation in the same way that child labor is a violation of children's rights. Humans have problems, let humans fix them without putting innocent sentient creatures in situations that they wouldn't choose to be in if given the freedom to choose.

3:35AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Herders also protect the animals in their care, I'm not certain that a Llamas fulfill that role (but I may be biased).

2:16AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Forwarded to those who need to see this story and will be interested, Thanks for posting

1:16AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

All animals whether working or not deserve recognition.

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