Imagine being responsible for the life or death of 55,000 dogs and cats every year. As the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department, the desperate need of these animals weighed on my mind every day. I was determined to end pet homelessness and the practice of killing and disposing of our society’s surplus companion animals.
In the quest to achieve No-Kill (which I define as applying the same criteria a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply to deciding a shelter animal’s fate), we must learn to overcome the many widespread myths regarding shelter animals.
The New York Times recently ran a piece by Jessica Pierce asking the provocative question “Is your pet lonely and bored?” Today there are as many pets in the United States as there are people; and in most homes pets are family — and not just dogs and cats, but rabbits, rats, bearded dragons and snakes.
According to many veterinarians and psychologists this phenomenon is evidence of a deepening “human-animal bond.” Scientists studying animal cognition and emotion are continually peeling back the mysteries of animal minds, revealing an incredible and often surprising richness in the thoughts and feelings of other creatures. Continue reading “Is your pet suffering? by Ed Boks”
Nearly 85 million households in the U.S. that own pets want to live where their beloved companions can enjoy long, healthy lives without breaking the bank. The American Pet Products Association projects that in 2018, pet ownership will cost Americans over $72 billion.
There are many questions our children and grandchildren ask concerning the mysteries of our universe. Such as, why is the sky blue? Why do birds sing? And why do cats purr?
While we may often fail to provide satisfying answers to these difficult questions, we instinctively know that so long as the sky is blue, and birds sing, and cats purr – all is right with the world.
One of the things we love most about our cats is the feeling of contentment we share when they climb onto our lap and begin to purr. When cats purr we feel calmer and more peaceful – even if we don’t hear the purring, we can feel the soft reassuring vibration.
How often do you get to say, “I saved a life today?” When you volunteer with the your local animal shelter that assertion can be a daily affirmation. That is especially true when you volunteer as a foster caregiver. Every animal fostered back to health or to an adoptable status is a life saved. The ability of a local animal shelter to care for all the animals rescued depends on reliable foster volunteers willing and able to help. The more foster volunteers, the more lives saved.
Foster volunteers are typically caring people who do everything from bottle-feeding orphaned neonate babies around the clock to socializing little ones to ensure they are able to interact with both humans and animals to caring for an older animal recovery from an injury or surgery. Foster volunteers provide care, safety and love. Continue reading “Did you save a life today? by Ed Boks”
I’ve always been a dog person, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned that cats have idiosyncrasies no self-respecting dog would ever engage in. For instance, why do cats insist on waking you up before the alarm goes off?
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not nocturnal. “Nocturnal” refers to animals that are awake at night and sleep during the day. However, cats sleep at night, as we do – just not as long. Cats are “crepuscular,” which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. This is because their ancestors’ natural prey was most active at these times. Although cats have good night vision, they can’t see without light, so they do sleep at night.
Pet ownership comes with many proven physical, mental and emotional health benefits – from enhancing social skills to decreasing the risk of heart attack.
Consider a University of Wisconsin-Madison study which found that a pet in the home can lower a child’s likelihood of developing allergies by as much as 33 percent. This research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, shows that when children are exposed at an early age to animals they tend to develop stronger lifelong immunities. Continue reading “Pets provide health, emotional benefits for owners by Ed Boks”
There are many questions our children (and grandchildren) ask concerning the mysteries of our universe. Such as: Why is the sky blue? Why do birds sing? And why do cats purr? While we may often fail to provide satisfying answers to these difficult questions, we instinctively know that so long as the sky is blue, and birds sing and cats purr, all is right with the world.
One of the things we love most about our cats is the feeling of contentment we share when they climb onto our lap and purr. When cats purr we feel calmer and more peaceful – even if we don’t hear the purring, we can feel the soft reassuring vibration.