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LifeLine Animal Project has partnered with a national nonprofit, “Pets for Patriots,” to help U.S. military veterans adopt the pet of their dreams. Not all animals may be available to you or may be more difficult to obtain. Keeping certain types of pets is illegal in some states and cities. Some require special permits or licensing. If you want to keep these types, you will have to check with your local and state authorities to find out what is required. Walking a dog often leads to conversations with other dog owners and this helps owners to stay socially connected and less withdrawn. People who have more social relationships and friendships tend to be mentally healthier.

It’s still the case that cats and dogs are considered property. Technically, in the eyes of the law, they are no different from a couch or a car. But there have been a lot of legal changes that have really blurred that line between animal and person, and between property and person, especially when it comes to cats and dogs. The appeal of cold-blooded creatures may be less obvious than that of warm, fuzzy animals, but certain reptiles make prized pets. Tortoises, such as the plant-eating Russian tortoise, can live more than 50 years. Some snake species also make excellent pets, although constrictors should be avoided.

I have known about the lion example for a long time. In fact, I discussed in the original version of the pet chapter in my book. (The chapter got too long so I had to drop it.) In every case of wild chimpanzee “pet-keeping” things turned out bad for the pet, which was eventually killed. This was also the case with the lion example you sent. The sad part is that the lioness adopted half a dozen baby antelopes, … Read more

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