Trigueros del Valle, Spain, recently granted special rights to cats and dogs as "non-human neighbors."
The pet-friendly town of about 300 people passed a declaration that will “dignify the lives of dogs and cats, animals which have shared with man thousands and thousands of years and have been a great help to him,” reports The Telegraph.
The town will care for cats and dogs that are abandoned, and scold owners who don't treat their pets humanely.
Mercedes Cano, an animal rights activist who promoted the decree, told Cope radio:
"It seems to me a very important, historic declaration, like, for example, the day that children’s rights were enshrined for the first time.
"Trigueros del Valle is a place where people love animals, they have lots of dogs and cats, People coexist with them and often work with them.
"We’re not saying you have to love cats and dogs, but you have to respect them. If you respect them, then you’ll respect the other (human) neighbors as well."
The declaration also bans “any action that causes the mutilation or death of a non-human resident," notes The Independent.
Rescate 1, an animal rights group, said, "Today, we are closer as species and we are now more human thanks to the sensitivity and intelligence shown by the people of Trigueros del Valle. This is a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike."