Mild weather can seem deceptively safe, but it is not. In less than 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise more than 30 degrees higher than the temperature outside. This is true even if car windows are cracked open or the car is parked in the shade. Dogs can't cool themselves down as easily as we can, and once they overheat, they can suffer serious organ damage and die.
The ASPCA's Cruelty Intervention Advocacy is a holistic intervention approach that takes into account how the societal challenges that pet owners often face -- including poverty, housing restrictions, lack of transportation, and limited resources -- profoundly affect the animals under their care. I'd like to share why this uncommon approach is so necessary to keep animals alive.
While Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island have their own vital full-service municipal shelters, Queens and the Bronx only have inadequate "animal receiving centers." These centers do not provide shelter, medical, or adoption services for homeless animals. Instead, dogs and cats brought to these centers are transported to already overtaxed shelters in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
As many as 25 percent of domestic violence survivors have reported returning to an abusive partner out of concern for their pet. And that fear is often justified: Abusers intentionally target pets to exert control over their intimate partners. This point bears repeating: Victims ready to escape from abuse are instead risking their lives to protect beloved family pets.
Could you imagine having to give up your pet because you couldn't afford to spay or neuter it? Sadly, in underserved communities in and around the greater L.A. area, the biggest obstacles to spaying and neutering pets -- which is critical to preventing animal homelessness, suffering, and unnecessary euthanasia -- come down primarily to issues of economics and geography.
Created and hosted by journalist and animal advocate Jill Rappaport, Best in Shelter With Jill Rappaport documents her year-long search for remarkable shelter dog contestants, focusing on hard-to-adopt animals such as pit pulls, older animals, and animals with disabilities. While the program ultimately declares "winners," all the selected animals find loving homes.
This week, The New York Times published a comprehensive investigation into deplorable animal treatment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC). It's appalling that such activities -- conducted with the goal of helping a private-sector industry turn a higher profit -- are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
Animal welfare advocates and shelters are uniting to defy the idea that we can't do more to significantly reduce the need for euthanasia. The truth is we can do better, inspire more, and increase the number of lives we save year in and year out. We must, given the millions of lives still at stake, and so many people who care.