IT hardly needs stating that most pets are regarded by owners not merely as companions but as part of their families.
The bonds between human and animal can be deep, indeed.
So it is especially cruel that vulnerable people are routinely forced to give up their pets when they move into care homes or supported accommodation.
We welcome a proposal from Scottish Labour that, unless an animal is found to be causing a nuisance, the default position should be that it remains with its owner. Naturally, with care services under immense financial pressure, some will see this issue as less than a priority. But pets can help combat loneliness, depression, and anxiety in humans. Why we don’t, now, insist that animals remain with their owners as they move into new surroundings is a mystery. A jobsworth approach that says it’s not appropriate to have animals in care homes or supported accommodation is long past its sell- by date. It’s a piece of bureaucratic cruelty that makes little sense. As a society, we do all we can to keep families together. That effort should be extended to pets.