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
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