Spay/neuter is one of the bedrocks of the no-kill movement. Every year it saves millions of unwanted dogs and cats from being born. But veterinarians are always looking for better ways of preventing unwanted pregnancies. And in this guest post, Prof. Hal Herzog looks at new research that challenges conventional wisdom that desexing dogs is also good for their health.
He says that while “no one wants to go back to the days when 24 million unwanted cats and dogs got the blue needle each year … it’s a classic conflict between what is best for the individual versus what is best for society.” He also offers a possible solution.
Is it moral to rip the “arms” off a living creature? Psychologist Dr. Hal Herzog takes a boat trip in the Florida Everglades and comes away with moral and ethical questions about our relationship to crabs.
Thoughts for St. Francis Day. On Capitol Hill in 2007, Christopher Shays – who was then co-Chair of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus – spoke of the need for the faith-based community to play its part in the work of animal protection. These are his remarks.
Inside Manhattan’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the pews fill quickly, and the air thickens with anticipation. As people await the Blessing of the Animals service, the hush is broken by music, whispered conversations and the occasional bark. Here and there, someone leans over to murmur a few words to the dog by his side, or to the cat or rabbit in a carrier at her feet. Soon, the clergy begin to offer communion to the faithful. Songs and prayers follow. Finally, the cathedral’s massive front doors swing open.
A group of Brazilian researchers wondered if the presence of a pet in the home of a child with epilepsy might reduce their risk of dying from SUDEP. They found that of the 1,092 children in the study, not a single child living with a companion animal had died.
If dogs and cats can go to Heaven, why not chimpanzees, horses, birds, or even mosquitoes and worms? We decided to study what people think about whether all dogs—or for that matter, their fleas—go to Heaven.
Teddy Bear is so focused on his leaves he is oblivious of other dogs, people, garbage or cars. Often, he chases the leaves to the point of exhaustion or until I pick him up and carry him off. He is The Leaf Chaser.
It wasn’t even close. Far and away, the biggest winner of the Super Bowl advertising blitz was the Bud Light commercial. The spot features Weego the rescue dog who, when called (“Here, Weego!”), fetches beer on command. Sure, the dog is cute and plucky and eager to please. But the real feel-good (dare I say intoxicating?) moments come at the very beginning and very end of the ad.
In 2005, Veterinary Economics reported that 40% of U.S. dogs are overweight. And according to a report from the National Academies’ National Research Council, 25% of pets in Western societies are obese. Our advice? Keep your dog moving.
People often refer to their pets as members of the family. As such, the pets are subject to many of the joys and tribulations of the household. Children and pets go through their own stages of development as do their parents and guardians. They bond and grow together, but not always harmoniously. We often hear of custody battles going on for years over who is responsible for the care of the child and under what conditions.
A recent article on food taboos got me thinking about how living with pets affects our beliefs about eating meat. The article by James Serpell, one of the most insightful and creative minds in anthrozoology, offers a new perspective on why we eat some animals but not others.
Although holidays often buzz with fun and commotion, they can be scary, or even downright dangerous, for cats. However, a host can make a Thanksgiving Day celebration safe for cats relatively easily with a few simple precautions.
And so Murray, the skinny senior with the goopy eyes and severed ear, came to be ours. He seemed most comfortable those first days exploring the Tech team’s quarters, often spotted nestled in the tangle of wire and cable under DogTimer Sui’s desk.
Living with chickens has made me realize how tuneful and talkative these fascinating birds are. The language of chickens is an essential part of their personalities and of their highly developed social life.
Music is found in every human culture. But we humans are not the only animals to enjoy a melodic hook. In the spring, I wake up every morning to the songs of birds outside my bedroom window. Mammals also sing.
As I write this, we have just reached seven billion humans on the planet. And in the future there will be even more mouths to feed. We’re at a pivotal moment in world history, and there’s no doubt that the Earth can no longer sustain the increase in human population and our over-consuming and destructive ways.
Wild elephants are used to walking 5 to 15 miles per day. Females, particularly, are social creatures. They live naturally in groups, thrive in the company of others of their species, communally raise their calves, even mourn their dead.