Ohio City Adopts the Term “Guardian”


This week, City Council members in Parma, Ohio voted unanimously to change the city’s animal related ordinances to recognize pets as part of the family by adopting the term “guardian” instead of “owner.” Parma is the first city in the state to adopt this language, and one of 18 cities to make such a change.

The move was spurred by efforts from high school student Brandon Yanak, who stated, “As more people begin to think and act as ’guardians’ of their animal companions, I expect to see higher levels of animal care and appreciation, thus helping to end many animal-related problems such as people breeding animals and keeping too many in inadequate conditions on their property in Parma.”

In Defense of Animals (IDA), who started the Guardian Campaign in 1999, is applauding this move and thanking both Yanak and Councilwoman Mary Galinas for their efforts in accomplishing this change.

“Thank you, Parma, for recognizing the important role language plays in creating a more compassionate, peaceful and just society for animals and their guardians,” said Anita Carswell, IDA’s Guardian Campaign Director.

To learn more, visit the Guardian Campaign.

Photo Credit: TheGiantVermin via Flickr


Melinda K.
Past Member 6 years ago

very interesting, and subtleties like this do impact attitudes

Molly R.
Molly R6 years ago

Wow, Barbara. Who gave you the right to claim that humans are more important than animals?? It's people with attitudes like yours who are the PROBLEM in this world!!!

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Why not? Pets are family members, someone's 'baby.' Guardian brings the concept of responsibility, and frankly, some owners avoid accountability when owning pets.

Alicia N.
Alicia N6 years ago

Great! many thanks for this news

M Andrew Whiteman

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated" - Mohandas Gandhi

I have greater respect for dogs than for most people. I agree with Barbara about dressing animals. Many people have children and don't socialize them or provide parental supervision allowing them to run wild. These children are a burden on taxpayers due to school taxes and/or welfare. People should stop breeding like animals.

Barbara Cindric
Barbara Cindric6 years ago

I have no objection to animals. I would help one if I saw that it was in need,but sometimes the animal lovers go to far. This is a dog,or cat and not a part of the family per say. Dogs have families (they run in packs,they have puppies) and the last time I checked humans weren't part of their packs or their litter. It's a dog (cat,rabbit,hamster etc... ) not a human. It sickens me when I see the GUARDIANS dressing up the animals for halloween,christmas etc. There are millions of children who do not have decent clothes to wear or enough food to eat. If U don't know what to do with your money then at least give a donation that will help a child instead of throwing it away on dressing up an animal who could give a damn whether thay have a halloween costume. Grow up!!!

M Andrew Whiteman

@Ellen G., You cat sound like a service cat since she recognizes that you need the mask. My last dog you alert 6 hours before I needed an ambulance, if my medication level was low, or if I was dehydrated. Red Dogg alerts to anything off schedule our out of place. If you ever travel an a motel argues about pets, you can point out he/she is a service cat!

Ellen G.
Ellen G6 years ago

I am of the belief that the animal does pick you. I never considered my cat as something I owned, she is my furry baby. LOL I always say this is her apartment and I am fortunate to have her allow me to live here with her. She and I both know who the boss is and it isn't me! She is very well behaved. I make jewelry and can leave beads out all night that I am working with and when I get up in the morning not a single bead will be out of place. I wear a c-pap mask when I sleep and if I fall asleep before I put it on she will bat my nose until I wake up and put it on. She is a very special girl and I love her very much.

Courtney Bliss
Courtney Bliss6 years ago

This makes me even more proud to be an Ohioan!

Yvette T.
Past Member 6 years ago

Yes, we all are family..all in creation is related, sustained by and made of the same current.