Pets can really become like family to people.  

DE Marco carried her puppy to work every day and left meals and parties early to rush home to her.  

She missing her 20th high school reunion because Gracie was unwell and no hotels could accommodate a dog.  

When de Marco told me he would pay to bring Gracie on every plane travel, “people were like, It's just a dog, put her in the boarding facility,” he said.   

However, many Americans are uncomfortable treating pets as family. In the same Pew survey, most respondents  

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including many pet owners—said the country currently places too much attention on pet well-being.   

Like Marco, many people think "it's just an animal," which influences laws and attitudes.  

Renters often have pet limitations, work benefits rarely include pet insurance, and animal bereavement leave is sometimes joked about.  

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