Dogs, Solidarity, and Protests

What do dogs have to do with racism and police brutality, anyway?

Dogs do not willingly participate in systematic oppression. Racism is a human construct and ending race-based police brutality is not the dogs’ battle, it is ours. Both the military and police have historically weaponized dogs against BIPoC, which may complicate how dogs are perceived by people participating in protests. Not only are people physically and psychologically harmed by the weaponization of dogs, but the dogs used by the military and police are put at great risk for physical and psychological harm themselves not only with the work they are forced to do but through the inhumane training they often endure. To learn more, please read:

Don’t take your dog to protests and demonstrations.

Do not bring your dogs to protests and demonstrations. Police in riot gear, chaos, broken glass, smoke, fire, tear gas, mounted police, sirens, weaponized items, rubber bullets, flash grenades, and other hazards that can be found at demonstrations are dangerous and terrifying for dogs. Protests entail large crowds, loud noises, megaphones, and sometimes mounted horses that may frighten dogs. Dogs that are frightened or terrified are more likely to run away, get lost, get trampled on, or bite. Leaving your dog home protects their welfare. If you are unsure of the subtle signs of fear in dogs, please read:

Have a companion animal emergency plan if you participate in protests.

In the event that you get injured or arrested, it is important to make sure the companion animals you wisely left at home have care in your absence. Make sure you have a friend, family member, or pet sitter you can call as your emergency contact care provider for your animals. Provide them with enough food, walks, chews, medication, and enrichment puzzles to last for at least three days. Make sure your leash, harness, and other supplies are easy to find. Provide your companion animal’s emergency contact with money to buy emergency supplies, their veterinarian’s contact information and address, and the number and address of your preferred emergency clinic. Make sure your dog is wearing identification in the event that they get lost in your absence. Here are some ideas for preparing freezable meal enrichment for your dog in the event of your unexpected absence:

My dog is really important to me. How can we show solidarity together?

One Tail at a Time PDX is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to improve the lives of companion animals by providing  humane,
individualized care and a chance to know the comforts of a loving home through advocacy, education, and support of those in need.
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