An Animal refers to a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli. During the events of Blade Runner and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, animals become rare and sparks the creation of Animoids.
History and Background
Several years after the fallout resulting from "World War Terminus" decimated much of Earth. In the aftermath, the United Nations encourages people to emigrate to Off-world colonies to preserve the human race from the effects of the radioactive dust. One incentive is that each emigrating family will receive a custom-built android/replicant servant.
Those who remained on Earth, suffered from radiation poisoning that caused significant illness and gene damage. The harmful effects of the radiation also affects animals on earth as well.
Effects on Social Status and Wealth
All animals are endangered. Owning and caring for an animal is considered a civic virtue and a status symbol, depending on the rarity of the species. Animals are bought and sold according to the price of the latest Sidney's Catalog, extinct animals are listed at the price of the last example sold. Some people who cannot afford an animal choose to buy an artificial, robotic animal to maintain social standing.
Existence of Animals
While many animals are either endangered or extinct, there are still a few animals remaining on Earth. Local animals such as pigeons still fly around earth and are often capture by those who could raise them for harvest and produce more birds for selling.