Nov 5 2011

Posts of Note: As thinking changes, so does the world

Valerie Hayes
Owney the postal dog.

Owney was a USPS mascot in the late 19th century.

The Southeast Pet Rescue Railroad has this handy guide to making effective use of twitter for animal rescuers and advocates.  Learn how to use twitter to get the word out about adoptions, events, fundraisers, advocacy campaigns and more.  There’s more on social media in general in this older post by Mike Fry.  Getting the word out with social media increases the pace of change exponentially.

A biological anthropologist writes about grief in animals for NPR.  That animals such as cats can experience grief is not news to animal lovers, but for a scientist to write about it in the media is a sign of changing times.  And the more you think about it, the more tragic our broken “sheltering” system looks.

Not exactly breaking news, but the US Post Office has issued commemorative stamps of Owney the postal dog.  The story of Owney illustrates how attitudes towards dogs have and have not changed over the past 100+ years.

The Christian Science Monitor profiled Ryan Clinton in its People Making a Difference feature.  This terrific piece is further evidence that the No Kill movement is arriving at its tipping point.  There’s a lot to love about this article.  I particularly liked how Dr. Ellen Jefferson talked about how participating in the No Kill movement changed her thinking about how to prevent shelter deaths.  In a short piece the article manages to show what happens when you act on a simple principle:

“Everyone needs an advocate,” he says of his animal welfare work, in a modest and lawyerly way. “And this was a solvable problem.”

This post from the New York Times makes me think of how the plight of shelter animals has long been an orphaned issue, an embarrassment to be defensive about, in animal welfare.  I’d like to juxtapose it with this classic by Ed Duvin.  Are elements of the attitudes described in the Times article part of why groups like PeTA are anti-pet (or part of their internal self-justification process)?

And there’s this exciting news from Florida.

And a court ruling in Texas allows for ‘sentimental damages’ in the case of a dog wrongfully killed by a “shelter”.

Classic Posts

Not new, but worth reading (or re-reading):

“The Butterfly Effect” is a wonderful story of an amazing encounter between a Washington Post reporter and a Red Admiral.  There is more to the universe than we know.


Ryan Clinton holds a rescued dog, photo from the Christian Science Monitor.

All pets would grin like this if they lived in No Kill communities. Photo from the Christian Science Monitor.


UPDATE:  It turns out that Owney, despite  being dead for over 100 years, has a very active twitter feed.

This is the first in a weekly series in which I will highlight blog posts, articles and such in keeping with the theme of this blog.