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The 19th Guardian City

July 10th, 2012 by Webmaster

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On both June 19th and July 10th, 2012, Richmond, CA made history. Richmond is the first city ever to not only change their own animal related ordinances to completely replace “owner” with “guardian” everywhere the term appears in relation to an animal companion, but to additionally recommend that the county of which they are a part, Contra Costa County, adopt the change as well. We applaud the Richmond City Council for voting unanimously on the final reading of the ordinance change for the progressive and positive impact this will have on residents of all species living with a person entrusted with their care. IDA’s Guardian Campaign Director, Anita Carswell, who lives in Richmond, initiated the effort by meeting with Counci lmember Jeff Ritterman earlier this year. 

Richmond joins 18 other cities in officially recognizing the value of the term “animal guardian.” California cities that have made the change in the over ten years since the campaign began include Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Albany, Sebastopol, and San Jose as well as the two counties of Marin County and Santa Clara County. Other cities include St. Louis, Missouri; Woodstock, New York; Bloomington, Indiana; Boulder, Colorado; Sherwood, Arkansas; Parma, Ohio. The state of Rhode Island also became a guardian community over ten years ago.

“In Defense of Animals acknowledges the dedication and hard work of Council member Jeff Ritterman, who introduced and championed the bill,” said Anita Carswell, IDA’s Guardian Campaign Director and a Richmond resident. Carswell added: “Thank you, Richmond, for recognizing the important role language plays in creating a more compassionate, peaceful and just society for animals and their guardians.”

To read a wonderfully written article summarizing the history and struggle of this Richmond victory, please read Robert Roger’s article that appeared in the Oakland Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times.