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​ ​WHERE THERE’S A WILL: NO-KILL

By: Alexander Carver - Abraham Lincoln University

“No good comes from killing healthy animals, period,” said Lisa Edmondson, a long-time volunteer at Los Angeles Animal Services.

In her years as an animal rights activist, Lisa has seen great progress in Los Angeles, a city she believes is leading the way across the country to make “kill-shelters” a thing of the past. During my interview with the passionate seventy-something activist, who houses eight rescued “bunnies” in her one-bedroom apartment, “three pairs and two singles” as she described them, she spoke of the horrors of the previous decades…

“Before most of the L.A. shelters adopted a ‘no-kill’ policy, they operated under a ‘sell-by date’. That meant that the shelter had a short window of time to find a home for a pet before it was euthanized. I remember hearing about a woman from New York, who fell in love with a dog at one of our shelters. The woman was prepared to adopt the little guy on the spot -- she had her checkbook out and everything... Well, they wouldn’t let her have him until she got her California driver’s license. And you know what it’s like down there at those DMV’s, by the time she had all the paper work done, the dog had already been put down. The woman was heartbroken and when we all heard about it we were outraged. Well, that type of thing doesn’t happen around here anymore. We’ve all made sure of that.”

I told Lisa that the argument in favor of “kill” shelters, or “open admission” shelters, as they preferred to be called (so as not to be demonized, while “no-kill” shelters are deified) is that there simply aren’t enough volunteers or funding for “no-kill” organizations to help each animal find a home. Eventually animals who are unfit to be adopted, due to health conditions or aggressive behavior, are released onto the streets, where they will likely die a far more painful death of disease or hunger. I also voiced my concern that the adopters needed to be screened too, just like the animals, for their mental health or suitability to adopt a pet.

“No, it’s true,” Lisa said. “You can’t just give a pet away to anyone who walks in the door. An eighty-five-year-old man can’t adopt a Pitbull, because, you know, the dog will take him for a walk.”

Having spoken to Lisa, and consulted the heart on the matter, I decided I better consult the head as well…

I spoke to Daniel Jung, a law professor at Abraham Lincoln University, about legislation he thought could help curb the overpopulation issue at rescue shelters. He said he believes that creating a nationwide foster-care system, where pets can be housed temporarily until a suitable long-term family is located, would greatly benefit the system.

“Many adopters take a pet home and then have ‘buyer’s remorse’ and bring the animal back to the shelter after only a few weeks,” Professor Jung said. “It’s a little-known problem, but a big one. With a cyclic system, a family could care for the pet for a couple weeks, but not have the burden of providing it with a permanent home. You could have 200 proven and trustworthy families in a foster-care rotation. I know some animal rights people may protest -- only wanting permanent homes for the pets -- but that’s not always feasible.”

Like Professor Jung, others are also thinking outside-the-box. The “no-kill” community in Los Angeles is gathering momentum for legal action that would force landlords to allow pets in every apartment. Statistics show that 23 percent of dog owners and 19 percent of cat owners cite apartment restrictions for the reason they turn over their pets. And in an AAGLA (Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles) survey of 300 landlords, they found that 42 percent don't allow pets at all. A reversal of these restrictions would significantly lower the number of animals that end up in shelters.

According to the Humane Society of America: 150 animal shelters operate in the United States, taking in some six to eight million abandoned dogs and cats every year. Of those animals three to four million, or about half, are euthanized. In Los Angeles, however, that number has dropped by over 50 percent in the past 5 years. Grinning with pride, Lisa told me that because of the California law stating that all new pets must be spayed or neutered, the over-population of domestic animals has decreased rapidly. She also credited the success of Maddie’s Fund, a rescue organization providing research, education, innovation, and most importantly 300 million dollars to date in funding to find healthy homes for those eight million cats and dogs in rescue organizations every year.

“Yeah, Maggie’s Fund is wonderful,” Lisa said. “If you give them thirty bucks, they’ll pay the rest for the operation to get your animal fixed. A couple years ago, after I got too old to compete, I left the shelter and took all the bunnies there with me. Maggie’s helped me get all of them fixed. You see, we all have to do our part to save these animals.”

Yes, we do. Unfortunately, not all of us have a heart as big as Lisa’s.

Visit the Abraham Lincoln University Website


THE ADVANTAGES OF ADOPTING A PET

By: Stanley Popovich

There are many advantages to adopting a dog or cat. Adopting a pet can be a great way to reduce our every day stresses and anxieties. In addition, there are many other reasons why adopting a dog or cat can be important in your life.

For instance, pets can help us to relax and help us to focus on the good things in our lives. This can be very helpful when we are overwhelmed by the stresses and anxieties of our lives. Playing with our pets can help reduce our fears and anxieties in any situation.

Pets can get our minds off of our problems. A person could do an activity with their pet or other animals that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Spending time with animals will get your mind off of the problem and give you the energy to do other things. Most importantly, playing with animals will give you the self-confidence that you can cope and that you can get through a stressful day.

Spending time with a pet can reduce loneliness and can be a great source of companionship. A pet can help us to feel better. Also many people talk to their pets and this can help us to get their problems out in the open. Animals can be of good company to all of us and can prevent the fear of being alone during our troubles.

Pets are 100 percent faithful and will be by your side through the good and bad times. Everybody deals with anxieties, stresses and other life problems, and it is during those times when you need someone by your side to talk to. Your pet will never leave you regardless how bad your problems may be.

By adopting a pet, you will be saving a life; a life of an animal that could very well become your best friend. A pet will love you unconditionally during his or her lifetime. Don’t let a few obstacles prevent you from gaining a faithful companion in your life. Adopting a pet can be beneficial to your health and be one of the best things that you can do in your life.

HOW OUR PETS CAN REDUCE OUR STRESSES AND ANXIETIES
By: Stanley Popovich

Animals and our pets can be a great way to reduce our every day stresses and anxieties. It is not easy to deal with our fears and anxieties, however, spending time with animals can makes us feel better. Here is a list of ways of how our pets can help us to better cope with our fears, anxieties, and stresses and why its good to own a pet.

Spending time with your pets can be a great source of companionship. Whether you have a pet or go to your local shelter, spending time with an animal or pet can help us to feel better. Also many people talk to their pets and this can help us to get their problems out in the open. Animals can be of good company to all of us and can prevent the fear of being alone during our troubles.

Helping animals and other people through community service can be a great way to overcome our anxieties. There are many animals out there who could benefit from your time and talents. Doing something that will help your pet or other animals can give you a source of pride and accomplishment and also can lead to possible friendships with others.

Sitting around and accomplishing nothing will not make things any better whether its dealing with the fear of being alone or something else. Animals can help us to be active and to focus our energies on working with them instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen. This will prevent us from worrying about our current situation.

One of the ways to manage stress is to challenge your negative thinking with positive thoughts. Animals can help us to relax and help us to focus on the good things in our lives. This will help us to focus positively on any situation. Playing with animals can help reduce our fears and anxieties in any situation. Animals can get our minds off of our problems. A person could do an activity with their pet or other animals that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Spending time with animals will get your mind off of the problem and give you the energy to do other things. Most importantly, playing with animals will give you the self-confidence that you can cope and that you can get through the day.

Remember that there are many ways that animals can reduce the stresses of our every day life, however, they are not a substitute of getting professional help. If your fears and anxieties become overwhelming, then you will need to talk to a counselor. The next time you feel stressed, spend some time with your pet or other animals and you will be better able to cope with your worries.

 

MANAGING YOUR STRESSES AND YOUR PETS
By: Stanley Popovich

Everybody deals with stress and anxiety, however some people sometimes take it out on their pets. Instead of taking your problems and frustrations out on your pets or other animals, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their stress, anxieties, and fears.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with anxiety, the first thing you can do is to break the task into a series of smaller steps. For example, changing careers can be a stressful situation. In order to help manage this task, try to divide this goal into a series of smaller steps and do each of these tasks one at a time. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success. This is a lot more effective then taking your frustrations out on your pet.

Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at once. Instead of taking it out on your dog or cat, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This mental timeout can help you refocus on your current situation. In dealing with your anxieties, a person should learn to take it one day at a time.

Instead of focusing on exaggerated assumptions that may or may not happen, focus on the present and take it one day at a time.

Sometimes, it helps to be able to talk to someone about our stressful situations. Talking to a trusted friend, counselor, or clergyman can not only make us feel better, but they might be able to give you additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. This is a lot more effective than yelling at your dog or cat.

It is not easy to deal with our stressful problems, however taking our frustrations out on your pets or other people will not make the problem go away. When things are not going right, try to remember to treat your pet in the way you would want to be treated.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods". For additional information go to http://www.managingfear.com/








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