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Animal love or animal friendship is the feeling of affection people have towards animals. For most people, love for an animal is a part of the affection they have for their pet, an emotion of bonding or companionship which can border on affection, fondness, or love. For others it takes on deeper or even compulsive forms, surrounding themselves with often stray animals out of compassion and becoming somewhat isolated from society.
At an extreme, a compulsive behavior to care for animals can cause problems or even result in unintended animal abuse, as such people are not always capable of taking care of all the animals properly and neighbours often complain about the noise and smell.
The love for animals stems from many causes. For many people, bonding to a pet or animal is a natural and valued process - children often do this very deeply, as do many adults who consider themselves animal lovers. For some people, strong ethical stances are also a part of their love for animals - for example, in connection with or related to conservationism, environmentalism, and/or veganism/vegetarianism. One can love animals out of a general respect for nature and the environment, or become a vegetarian or conservationist out of one's love for animals. 
Separate terms for various animals:
- hippophilia/hippophile: Attraction/attracted to horses
- ophiophilia: Love of snakes
- ornithophilia: Love of birds
- ailurophilia: Love of felines
The Greek word zoophilia means "animal love" when literally translated, and in Greek it originally has the notion of animal friendship. In modern day colloquial English however, the word zoophilia is nearly always used to describe a sexual attraction towards animals.
- Animal welfare
- Animal marriage
- Affectional bond
- Emotion in animals
- Animal loss
- Rainbow Bridge (pets)
- Opinion article on the need for animal love
- MarryYourPet.com: a site for unofficial "marriages" between people and pets (includes love stories, and other aspects)
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