And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Gen 1:28)
God has tasked us with caring for His children and His creatures. We are to make sound decisions with regard to both. We know that our children are our responsibility. That's a given. We bring them into this world without opinion, teach them through our example and love them like there is no tomorrow. There are those who do not "love" their children in a manner that is acceptable to God (or man for that matter). There are children abused and murdered everyday by the people entrusted with their care. They will be judged accordingly.
God's creatures, the birds, the fish, the beasts, the dogs and cats, the hampsters and gerbils, the little white mice...the ones we have "tamed" and turned into housepets, are also ours to care for. We live in a society that exploits, mistreats and abuses that which we are also commanded to care for. We (as a people) have caused the extinction of certain animals due to greed, selfishness, and carelessness. We have scientifically re-bred species to produce "uber-pets" and out of laziness have caused hundred of thousands to cats and dogs to be euthanized each year. We have created a "profit" margin for many to exploit in the buying and selling of "pure-bred" animals.
When you sit and look at both children and pets, they want only to be loved and cared for in a manner that reflects joy and pride. They don't need to be (nor do they want to be) told they are bad or useless. They do not ask to be condenmed for mistakes they make (or the accidents they have). They are completely at the mercy of God (and our fallable human hands).
Take the time to instill values and morals in your children. Take the time also to love and care for God's creatures. It's not an "either or" situation - we are commanded to do both. Be willing to listen to the voice of God with an open heart and mind. He will guide you in the decisions you make regarding both. Pray for the courage and strength to give them the best that there is (not necessarily material), they deserve the best for they, too, were created by God. We are to be responsible parents and pet owners, not baby factories and critter hoarders. Care for both as God has commanded. Make their world a better place because you are a part of it. Do not take for granted that they are "yours". He will bless them, He will bless you!
"Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no voice, they have no choice..." (music and lyrics by Jr Botkin and Barry De Vorzon).