It wasn’t that long ago that the majority of dogs rescued from dogfighting operations were killed without any kind of behavior evaluation. It was widely accepted that they were too dangerous for a second chance. That changed with the rescue of the dogs from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. The plea to evaluate the dogs was heard, and since that time, they have served as an example of how every animal should be treated as an individual.
We have made great strides when it comes to treating every animal as an individual, but we are still lagging when it comes to applying that same objectivity to people. Our inherent biases can sometimes play out in ways we may not even realize - from racism to classism, ageism, sexism, and ableism. These subconscious isms restrict our effectiveness in saving animals.
So it begs the question. If we treat all animals as individuals, shouldn’t we do the same for people?