In this First-Year Seminar, we will take a comparative approach to explore intersections of pets in society and the media. For thousands of years in human history, animals have held many roles across cultures around the world: served as companions, healers, connections between the physical world and afterlife, used as symbols to communicate values and beliefs, and connected humans to the environment around them. As contemporary pop culture icons, the social integration of animals as pets has evolved to social media influencers, mascots, emotional animals, animation, etc. We will examine the complexities of pet ownership, pet care, and societal responsibilities.