If you wish to help animals, this should not pertain only to the animals you can harbor in your home. June, as the beginning of summer, is often known as kitten season as cats are known to give birth to a large number of kittens than shelters are able to give away. Hence, many communities ask pet owners to adopt a cat in the month of June which is also known as Adopt a Cat Month. At such a time the animal protection organizations like the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals increase their appeal to the public who can donate funds to spay and neuter animals in order to control animal population.
Some animal advocates are asking a change of perspective in such a time. They ask animal charities and donations to be sent across to help other animals. They are referring to farm animals like pigs, chicken and others who are raised on farms for the food industry. Effective animal treatment should not only be restricted to ones that are kept as domestic pets but those that are bred to be used for human consumption.
This change of focus needs to come by for not only companion animals but for the animals that provide us food. The focus on companion animals makes sense as there are millions of shelter cats and dogs who get euthanized every year as the shelters are unable to accommodate them. However, besides helping to make the conditions of these animals better, the focus has to be on the state of farm animals and to bring about standards and conditions that ensure that they are reared in good conditions. Most people are appalled as to how farm animals are kept but the reality is that the focus is less on how they are bred and what conditions are provided to them during their lifespan.
Did you hear about the story in Wisconsin where the police had to step up patrol at a local humane society after they started getting threats over euthanizing a dog? Yeah, pretty crazy stuff.
The dog in question was named Jim and was a handsome fellow. His eyes were expressive and he was well behaved and gentle behind the camera. After being adopted out, though, he started showing signs of aggression. There were several incidents where he bit, so he was soon labeled as a vicious dog and brought back to the shelter. He was quickly adopted again where he hurt someone so bad they had to have stitches.
Of course the question on everyone’s mind is should Jim have been adopted out in the first place? What about a second time? Well, the answer is that he likely shouldn’t have been the first time, but the second time, probably not. That is a whole other can of worms, though, that we aren’t going to get in to today. What we do know for sure, though, is that the shelter had to make the responsible choice to put Jim down, a choice that caused them to receive threats.
Now I’m sure everyone knows that nobody (other than possibly PETA) wants to put an animal down. In fact, that very humane society takes pride in its rate of live releases, and it really wanted the same thing for Jim. Once you have done everything you can for a dog that has, on many occasions, bit to where it is required to get medical attention, you have to put the safety of the public and any future adopters first. It is always heartbreaking to put down a dog that is healthy otherwise, but there are so many other animals out there who can be adopted out safely and responsibly who would love to have a forever home too.
But now, instead of accepting the fact that even shelters have to make the hard decisions at times, instead of discussing the non-biting animals available, there are lunatics that threatened to burn down an animal shelter. This is crazy, folks, whether there is any real danger of the shelter being burned down or not.
I know of no animal lover that would be surprised by this following statement: AAT (or Animal Assisted Therapy) can lend itself to being a big contributor with a lot of positive results when treating problems in children that deal with emotional, social, physical, or cognitive issues. This has been proven time and time again. Even teachers use animals in the classroom to help children with the skills they need in life.
Adults have been documented on numerous occasions with a reduction in pain severity as well as anxiety through the use of animal assisted therapy. There is also a massive amount of evidence that supports animal visitations and their benefits for children that are suffering with mental or physical trauma. There is still a long ways to go when it comes to collecting the evidence of this and measuring the results.
So far, though, we have seen great results with children who are hospitalized becoming more and more independent, having less fear of their treatment or experience, a reduction in pain, and having much better appetites than those not receiving the AAT. There have been many autistic children that have shown a huge improvement with the presence of a therapy dog also.
Therapy dogs, like most all working animals, seem to love the work they do, so it’s a win win situation! They are very happy when they are around their people and love the petting, the fawning, and all of the attention. Yes, I know, such a hard “job” for them to work at! It is certainly an arrangement that is mutually beneficial!
Animal assisted therapy is one of the finest examples of the human and animal bond that we have. This is a quickly growing field of study that we are certain will continue to yield many more benefits as it is explored even further.