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L.A.'s Animal Services Boss Takes on the Pope, Disses his Call to Raise Children, Not Just Pets

Brenda Barnette said she's disappointed the pontiff says caring only for dogs and cats means marriages come to old age in solitude and bitterness.

Pope Francis I. Patch file photo.
Pope Francis I. Patch file photo.

Los Angeles Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette expressed her disappointment with Pope Francis' message to married couples to raise children and not just cats and dogs.

Pope Francis made the comments this week at the Vatican when speaking to a group of 15 couples that had been married between 25 and 60 years. He urged couples to not spend time raising pets when they could be raising children, saying loving dogs and cats means marriages come to old age in solitude and with the bitterness of loneliness.

Barnette said she begged to differ with the pope, but said she does not believe the comments will have too much of an impact on adoptions.

"I'm disappointed that the pope does not recognize individual differences and the right for each couple to choose," Barnette told Video News West. "Some people are great human parents and some are not. Some do both superbly."

Barnette said this is not a one-size-fits-all world, but "it may be the last straw for a new group of people who become 'recovering Catholics."'

Barnette said she believes people can learn unconditional love and acceptance from pets.

"I would encourage people to consider having both and I think the world will be better off," Barnette said.

Families would not be complete without pets, which are often companion animals, Barnette said.

"We believe every companion animal deserves to have a family of his or her own and they go great with kids," Barnette said.

Barnette encouraged people to support both their house of worship, whatever it may be, and their local animal shelter.

"I think God created us all," Barnette said.

--City News Service


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE POPE'S REMARKS? AND BARNETTE'S? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS

Eagle Rockian June 06, 2014 at 05:41 PM
Pet people are so tedious.
JMarsh June 07, 2014 at 10:52 AM
I feel Brenda's response is a good one.
nonoise June 07, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Doesn't the pope know the world is already over populated? He should never had put down raising pets. That was very insensitive.
Periel Stanfield June 11, 2014 at 08:39 PM
The world is seriously over-populated. Having more kids just adds to the problem. Adopt those that have already been born. Same goes for pets.
Nadja Adolf July 02, 2014 at 12:05 AM
Considering how much food that could be use for people is wasted on pets, the Pope does have a point, and not just on his mitre.

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