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ANIMAL SHELTERING

MARCH / APRIL 2010

Articles

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Scoop

As tough economic times continue, pet food banks help people fill their animals’ bowls; the Pets for Life NYC program provides counseling to keep people and pets together; a Colorado shelter is running on sunshine, thanks to a socially conscious teenager; a Yonkers family teams up with Farm Sanctuary to save a lamb; artists pick up their paintbrushes to portray shelter animals and benefit their keepers; big cats help little cats in Texas; and much more.

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Coffee Break

In your space, you told us about the times you’ve come close to losing your cool with a frustrating member of the public, but managed to save a difficult situation by staying calm and polite.

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The Soft Touch

Every shelter has at least a few difficult-to-handle dogs who, while not aggressive, are high-energy and lack proper socialization. Sadly, they often get branded “unadoptable,” and some wind up being euthanized. The good news is that modifying their behavior can lead to better outcomes—and it’s a simpler, shorter process than you might think.

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Scam in a Can?

The canisters soliciting donations to a national animal welfare organization seemed to be in every pizza parlor and tanning salon in South and Central Florida in 2007. But while the organization claimed to be helping animals, it remained a mystery to local shelters and animal welfare groups.

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The “101” Department

A cat adoption space should appeal to both felines and the people who come to see them. If the space is clean, bright, and interesting for cats, it will please potential adopters and lead to more cats finding new families. Learn how shelters are sprucing up their cat rooms with elements that keep cats engaged and help them show their true personalities.

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Q&A

Aristotle claimed that animals do not have much capacity for thought or feeling—but science has come a long way, baby. Jonathan Balcombe and Marc Bekoff—leading scientists in the growing field of animal ethology—have spent decades studying the complex emotional lives of animals, including morality in animal communities and animals’ capacity for pleasure.

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Shelter Medicine

Canine influenza virus, which first grabbed headlines in 2004, is back in the spotlight, thanks in part to the release of the first canine influenza vaccine. How concerned should shelters be? What preventive approaches should they take? Miranda Spindel, the ASPCA’s director of veterinary outreach, helps separate fact from fiction.

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Behavior Department

For a pet who’s used to being the center of attention, the arrival of a newborn child can be an upsetting experience. Pets puzzled by the sudden lack of attention often resort to inappropriate behavior—which sometimes has tragic consequences. But some shelters are showing expectant parents how to adjust their routines beforehand to make their pets baby-ready—and prevent them from being relinquished unnecessarily.

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Off Leash

Shorty Rossi’s Pit Boss, a new reality show on Animal Planet, gives viewers a glimpse of pit bull rescue with a little difference.