There are many places online that you can go now to search for animal laws, but my favorite site is this one. Michigan State University's Animal Legal and Historical Center's site allows you to search for laws at the federal, state, and local level.
I said I'd post some photos of cows in Indian animal shelters so here are two from a "sanctuary" I visited in India. These are all downer cows that are being kept alive with fluids and other medications. The second photo below is especially disturbing. It's a calf that is on an IV fluid drip, covered in flies, lying out in the sun. So does keeping a calf in this condition constitute animal cruelty? In India, the answer is no -- or at least not in this particular community where this sanctuary is lauded as one of the forerunners in promoting animal welfare. In a country where cows are considered sacred, I'd say this is a pretty poor way to show respect for the species. If an animal is suffering to this degree, it is our duty as compassionate medical professionals to stop its misery. Or at least, that's my take on it. Obviously, as the medical professionals at this particular sanctuary demonstrate, there are others who would disagree.
UF Forensics Course. The question this time was a bit more creative:Here's the next in the series of articles I've been writing for the
Ascione (1993) has defined animal cruelty as: "Socially unacceptable,” non-accidental behavior that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, distress and/or death to an animal." Cultures often have widely varying concepts of what constitutes “socially acceptable” behavior vis-à-vis animal welfare. Dogfighters believe their animals are doing what makes them happiest. Some Asian cultures eat dog meat. Hindus worship cows and most Americans eat hamburgers. A veterinarian’s docking a dog’s ears is an accepted cosmetic surgery practice in the US but illegal in the UK. Starting from Ascione’s definition of animal cruelty, write a 2-3 page paper describing a contentious cross-cultural animal welfare issue and whether it constitutes cruelty in a legal sense.
So, I of course, chose to write about Hindus worshiping cows since I've been curious about this for some time. I'll have to pull up one of my photos from my other computer and post it at a different time.
For those of you who are behind on the Shelter Medicine Times (All the News that Fit to Sniff), check out the December issue here. This is the UC-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program's newsletter that comes out quarterly (or thereabout) and is full of fun, useful articles on animal sheltering related topics. You can read my contribution to this past newsletter on page 9 (a review of my favorite thing of the quarter...some super cool concrete pet couches!).
Forensics course I've been taking and thought I'd post some of them here. This one is an overview of some of the writings from philosophers who first touched on animal cruelty. There has been a shift from an anthropocentric viewpoint to one that recognizes the importance of animals as individuals, deserving of our legal protection.I have been writing essays for a
I have to say, it's not the most exciting writing...but thought I'd post anyways. The next assignment (stay tuned...to be posted soon) is much more interesting.
The question was as follows: This week’s readings cover more than 200 years of thinking about animal cruelty and human violence from several different philosophical and religious perspectives. Compare and contrast the reasons given for concern about cruelty to animals and the importance of fostering a humane ethic prior to 1950 with those today. How do the different authors view the dangers of allowing cruelty to continue? Where do they think the ability to show kindness or cruelty comes from? What suggestions do they make for changes in education, child-rearing or law that will help reduce the potential for violence? Your response should be 500- 750 words.
We know small dogs are different. But when we do shelter statistics, we often treat them the same as big dogs. Yet, they're not the same. If you have a shelter where you house small dogs differently (and you often should), your statistics should reflect this difference.
Let's look at the following example from a shelter I'm working with:
Page one shows the required housing for adult small dogs. Page two, large dogs. As you can see, a cage is defined differently for a small dog and large dog. Large dogs (not Chihuahuas in this case) are given an entire double-sided guillotine run. Small dogs are paired together (if they came that way) and are given one side of a run. Based on the numbers, by dividing out small dogs and large dogs in statistical analysis, we can better estimate the number of cages necessary for handling the required stray holding capacity for this shelter. Then, based on the number of cages, we can better determine the number of staff hours needed to clean these kennels. Note, I break out adult dogs because puppies are a whole other story that I'll talk about some other time.
So this isn't quite shelter medicine related, but I got this incredible photo of this lion at the zoo the other day. Just a few feet away from me and it reminded me of a beautiful orange tabby cat I had seen at the shelter earlier in the day. Clear eyes, no nasal discharge, calmly lying down. No sign of stress URI. That's what I like to see...it's hard enough to see them in captivity, but at least he doesn't seem to show the physical signs of stress (or at least not feline URI as I so commonly see in shelter cats).