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For pets’ sake, save yourself!: motivating emergency and disaster preparedness through relations of animal guardianship
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Kirrilly Thompson
Animal ownership and animal attachment have been considered risk factors for surviving emergencies and disasters. However, there is reason to believe that pet guardianship and animal attachment could be reconfigured from risk factor to protective factor. This is because animal guardianship provides access to a number of social networks and communication channels that can be used to disseminate information. However, information alone is insufficient to drive action. This paper refines the ‘pet as protective factor’ proposal by detailing three inter-related influences that might be compelling in the transformation of intention to action. These are motivation (relevant and irrelevant), risk perception (likelihood and consequence of risk), and duty (as a form of responsibility to specific others, or a form of moral obligation). The actions of a guardian will not only affect an animal’s emergency and natural disaster survivability, but their ability to continue in the co-dependent relationship of guardianship in which they are invested. A consideration of these influences reveals an additional dimension to the ‘pet as protective factor’ proposal. While it could be used to motivate people to save their pets ‘for pets’ sake’ (and hopefully save themselves in the process), it could also convince people to save themselves for their pet’s sake, and hopefully save their pets in the process.