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Re-classify domestic animals from "property" to "sentient beings" in the United States.

This petition had 1,206 supporters

After several prominent and severe domestic animal murders in Western Washington, citizens in this state and across the nation are asking for a change to re-classify domestic animals from "property" to "sentient beings." Generally, in law, a sentient being is one with the faculty of sensation and the power to perceive, reason and think. This follows a horrible murder of a family cat in Centralia, WA by an 11-year-old girl, who only received probation. Let us not forget about the rape and murder of the pit bull Diamond in Thurston County, WA, who was an emotional support animal for a young child. And, along with countless other incidents, let us also not forget about the neglect, abuse, starvation and murder of the dog Wolfy in Bucoda, WA. And these are only 3 cases out of unfortunately thousands in the state of Washington alone.  All of the people accused of the crimes against these animals don't see how they are wrong in doing what they allegedly have done.  They don't see animals, such as these creatures, as an entity that has the capacity to perceive, reason and think -- much like an attacker sees their human victim. Studies show that there is a link between animal cruelty and violent crimes on humans. Studies have also shown that domestic animals such as dogs and cats (and most non-human animals) have thoughts and emotions. What person with a small dog or cat in the home hasn't stepped out of the room, only to hear their pet barking/whining/meowing because they are leaving without them. Other countries around the world have already re-classified domestic animals from "property" to "sentient beings", giving these beloved family companions the same legally protective rights as children.  These animals that we hold dear to us and our families are not on the same level as cell phones, computers, and other replaceable property. They are one of a kind and leave a mark in our hearts, minds and souls forever. It is time for the United States re-classify legally what domestic animals are to us, giving a stronger penalty to people who commit unspeakable crimes against animals that we consider part of our families as well as creating a solution to halting the possible growth of future crimes against human beings.

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