Amherst, NH (April 8, 2019) – On April 6th, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update ran a sketch which, perhaps inadvertently, deeply offended the millions of us who consider our pets as family members.
I’m Mark C. Robinson, inventor of the adjustable pet wheelchairs and founder of Walkin’ Pets. In late March, a customer brought their beloved pet and family member, named Granite Heart, to us for a wheelchair. A few hours later, in a touching moment, Granite Heart was able to walk again.
Although most of the pets we give mobility to are dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, and more, Granite Heart is a chicken. SNL’s comment of “Just eat the chicken” was as horrifying to Granite Heart’s family as “Eat your dog” would have been to others. How horrified were so many of us by the stories of countries abusing and eating dogs?
This is a battle I’ve personally fought for years. When I first invented the pet wheelchair, I frequently heard about a disabled dog “Why not just put the poor thing to sleep.” Since then, we’ve put almost 100,000 pets in wheelchairs, so many of them going on to live quality lives. I’ve spent the last 20 years proving that elderly, injured, and handicapped pets are family and deserve to live happy, healthy lives. The attitude expressed by Colin Jost is exactly what I’ve been fighting against for so long.
I realize that SNL is “humor” and almost every joke insults somebody. But as we chuckle along with the audience, let’s be aware of the truth behind the comedy and that some little girl was told to go ahead and eat her best friend.
A Message from Granite Heart’s Family
Our pets are family and we would do anything for them. I personally found it sad that not more people would do the same. Pets come in all forms and our heart should expand for all the needs that we see if our means and creativity can respond. Our daughter’s reaction when she saw Granite Heart on SNL (Alora is 10) was one of sorrow.
In fact her exact words were “We would never do that!”.
It is so important that we raise the consciousness about the insensitivity of humor as a tool to diminish the value of life. Pets come in all forms and all lives matter…large, small, feathered, furred and scaled.
-Sarah (Granite Heart’s Mom)
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