Target: Actor Molly Shannon and writer-producer Mike White
Goal: Thank Shannon and White for their efforts on behalf of the safety and wellbeing of domestic animals
Emmy-nominated actor Molly Shannon and writer-producer of School of Rock Mike White recently took part in an ad campaign sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that offers a fresh perspective on domestic animals. In the ad, Molly Shannon plays a woman who misinterprets her dog’s needs and desires as misbehavior and inconveniences. Mike White, playing her dog, invites the audience to re-consider their own pets as people, too.
One of the important statements made by the ad is that pet behaviors that might be written off as ‘annoying,’ such as barking at strangers or presenting their owners with slobbery toys, can be read more correctly as expressions of love, and should be reciprocated accordingly. For example, when a dog barks at a stranger, the dog is protecting its owner. Domestic animals should never be punished for what is actually good behavior, just because humans aren’t careful enough to think about what a given behavior might mean from the animal’s perspective.
The ad also makes an important statement about the humane option of retractable leashes with harnesses for domestic dogs. Traditional leashes and collars restrict dogs’ movement and force them to strain against their owner, whose resistance sends them the message that they are doing something wrong. Retractable leashes extend to allow pets as much freedom as possible. Meanwhile, harnesses are gentler on dogs than simple collars, dispersing the strain of a taut leash onto other parts of the body rather than concentrating it at the neck, which can potentially harm the dog.
The overall message of the ad is that domestic animals are entitled to the same happiness, comfort and respect as a human person, and that pet owners should do their part to show their animals the same love that those animals unconditionally show to them. Send Molly Shannon and Mike White a message of thanks for speaking up for our four-pawed friends by signing the petition below.
Dear Molly Shannon and Mike White,
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of domestic animals. Your participation in the recent PETA “It’s His Walk” ad has brought the safety, well-being and happiness of domestic animals to the public’s attention in a gentle, humorous and touching manner. The importance of treating domesticated animals with respect and love cannot be underestimated, as animal abuse and neglect is all too common even in the comparatively personhood-conscientious era we live in today.
It is heartening to think that ads like this may have the effect of decreasing abuse and neglect of domesticated animals nationwide, and that people who have pets but have come to take their existence for granted may be inspired to more mindfully reciprocate the unconditional love their pets show to them. Please know that your work for this cause is deeply appreciated, and that any further efforts you make on behalf of the animals will not go unnoticed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andy Sternberg via Flickr