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ANIMAL SHELTERING

MARCH / APRIL 2011

Articles

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Scoop

A pregnant animal control officer helps save 13 pets from an apartment building blaze; two North Carolina churches partner with animal advocates to provide veterinary care to a community; staff from the Humane Society of Missouri look back at their work sheltering hundreds of pit bulls from a huge dogfighting raid; an animal welfare group helps the homeless in Portland, Ore., care for their pets; and much more.

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Coffee Break

What’s the longest distance someone has traveled to adopt or reclaim an animal from your agency/organization? Have you sent pets long distances to meet their future guardians? Did a microchip lead to a longdistance reunion? Did someone spot their dream kitty on your website? In your space, you tell us about some incredible journeys.

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Culture Clash— or a Class in Culture?

Lorraine Chittock and her two dogs have traveled through Africa and Latin America, witnessing the complex (and, to many Westerners, confusing) relationships that people in developing countries have with their pets. It takes a keen eye to see that what looks like indifference may not be— and that other cultures love their animals, too, but have different ways of showing it.

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Someone to Watch Over Me

As wounded soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan, military and veterans’ hospitals around the country are increasingly using a variety of canine-assisted therapies to heal their scars. Thanks to the persistent, loving presence of dogs, many service members are able find a kind of peace— and some shelter dogs also find homes and companionship.

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The “101” Department

A basic intake exam should be done on every animal who comes into your shelter. Ten minutes per animal can prevent confusion, disease outbreaks, and even lawsuits. With a little practice, you can make this essential part of an animal’s stay into an efficient routine.

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Q&A

Veterinarian Sara Pizano faced daunting challenges when she took over as head of Miami-Dade Animal Services in 2005: no pain medications, no management of the shelter population, overcrowding, and a very high infectious disease and mortality rate. Within five years, she and her staff had turned it around, winning major awards from the Florida Animal Control Association. How did she do it?

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Humane Law Forum

Ellen DeGeneres sparked a major brouhaha in 2007 when she gave away her adopted pup Iggy to her hairdresser. Despite a televised, tear-filled plea by the comedian, Iggy was taken back, returned to the rescue group, and adopted out again. Does a shelter have the right to reclaim an adopted animal if the adopter violates the adoption agreement by giving the animal away? It helps to know the basics of contract law.

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Behavior Department

Some cats don’t adjust well to shelters, stressed out by the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. For these kitties, one cat behavior specialist advocates “behavioral CPR,” using interactive play sessions to bring back cats who sit frozen in their cage or litter box, unresponsive to visitors.

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Off Leash

Lunch breaks aren’t just for humans at one Wisconsin shelter.