I wouldn't get too excited about this myself. Practically speaking it will probably do nothing. I'd be interested to see what has happened in jurisdictions, like Rhode Island, that have this type of legislation. I seriously doubt anyone's been charged with manslaughter after their goldfish died and they neglected to pay the $10,000 for gill transplant surgery. Just because the term "guardian" is being used does not necessarily mean that animals, from goldfish to cattle, will instantly go from being the property of their keepers to gaining equal status with human children. If that were the truth of it I cannot see it being passed into legislation unopposed. There is way too much money at steak for it to sneak in the back door. Not just the pet industry but the farming and meat production industries generate so much money that they have significant political pull, much more than PETA or any of those other packs of morons. If that weren't so we'd all be eating tofu instead of steaks. Some of the panic in a couple of the posts here makes it sound as though cats, dogs, whales and cattle will all be voting in the next election. That whole elephant/donkey thing in American politics will take on new meaning when the parties actually run a donkey and an elephant in the next presidential election (might as well I figure, the guy there now is a real jackass!lol!). Relax folks, don't let Alec Baldwin and Charlize Theron scare you, they just don't have anything better to do with their time than whine about animals in a country that, even though it's the richest in the world, cannot even provide health care to all of it's human citizens, let alone it's animals. Which reminds me that I'm happy to live in Canada too, where things are just slightly less silly.
I feel a little light headed... maybe you should drive...