That headline alone is enough for some people to send me to prison, I know, I know. But let’s get real folks.

As much as it’s trendy to anthropomorphize animals and consider them part of the family, they’re not human. When your child is too sick to recover you don’t take them to a doctor and have them put down. You’re not making them go to the bathroom in the yard. You’re not letting them walk down the street naked on a chain.

When your dog turns 5, you’re not enrolling it in public school. When they’re older you’re not having the sex talk with them. When they’re a teenager you’re not teaching your dog to drive and worried about them doing drugs.

Here’s a story of why you really shouldn’t risk your life for an animal.

Stop pretending your dog (or other pet) is the same as a child. It’s an insult to the incredible pressure and responsibility parents feel. Yes, you can love your animal. You can worship the ground it walks (on all fours) on. But there’s still a difference, a huge one, between a pet and a kid.

So my heart sank when I heard about a woman who tried to rescue her dogs that had fallen into an icy lake in Hopewell Township. She went after them. She successfully got them out but then ended up submerging herself.

She struggled. Someone called police. By the time officers arrived at 12:26 p.m. Thursday she was barely keeping her head above water and still flailing trying to get out.

What’s called a throw rope, 75 feet long, was tossed. Firefighters arrived. Thank God she was pulled to shore and saved. But she had hypothermia and needed to be taken to a hospital for treatment.

She came close to dying.

Other stories like this don’t have happy endings.

Stop pretending your dog (or other pet) is the same as a child.

I recall long ago when I worked in Detroit a sad story about a couple walking along the Detroit River with their dog. The dog went into the water and struggled. It wasn’t known if the man went in first and got in trouble trying to save the dog then the woman went in trying to save the man or vice versa. They both drowned.

Here’s a story of why you really shouldn’t risk your life for an animal. Another couple that was parents had their 7-month-old out in a stroller and their dogs with them. The dogs got into the river and soon were in trouble. Both parents ended up going in to save the dog and both are dead. The orphaned baby was found near the river still in the stroller waiting for parents that would never come back.

So call me cold all you want. It’s up to you if you’re going to run inside a burning building or fall through ice of a frozen lake to save a pet. I just imagine there are humans who love you and need you far more.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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