Animals As Gifts
The holidays are a popular time for welcoming a new furry friend into your family. There may not be a greater gift for homeless animals than to open your heart and home to them. As they do year-round, animal shelters have thousands of wonderful companions available for adoption. If you’re thinking about giving your children a bunny or chick as a “special” Easter present, here are some things to think about first:
For generations of Americans, the first week of May has always been associated with kindness. Indeed, from May 3-9 millions of people around the country young and old will join American Humane Association to celebrate our “Be Kind to Animals Week®,” the oldest commemorative week in U.S. history.
What makes this year so special is that we will be celebrating 100 years as the most successful humane education effort ever undertaken. Continue reading
Prairie Dogs near my home in Denver (Stapleton area), Colorado
SOMEONE RECENTLY ASKED ME what types of animals are included in American Humane Association’s mission. I replied that all animals in our world deserve humane treatment and are important to American Humane Association. While we often work on behalf of our pets (dogs, cats), horses, farm animals and animal actors used in movies, American Humane Association also advocates for the wildlife amongst us.
For example, I have been working during the past year to save the lives of prairie dogs in my neighborhood. Over 100 native birds and animals depend upon the rich ecosystem that prairie dogs create, like ocean fish depend on coral reefs. Prairie dog colonies have been referred to as “the coral reefs of the sea of grass”. Like giant earthworms, prairie dogs move soil beneath the ground, allowing for aeration and nutrient cycling.
Although the number of prairie dogs in the U.S. has declined to over 95 percent in recent decades, urban developers continue to poison the animals to make way for commercial and residential buildings. In my community, the animals were also poisoned to make way for a 25 acre park.
As we look to the animals in on planet for clues about our own existence, such as those clues for preventing and treating disease, we must first save animals from extinction. I am now working with regional and national experts to develop innovative park plans that are safe for our children and our pets (i.e., no dangerous poisons) and allow the wildlife amongst us to also survive. Join us in our efforts!
Humane Scholar Jenna Dale
Mississippi State University
Development of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Database
FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS (FIP) is a highly fatal disease in cats that has no known cure. Diagnostic tests can predict if a cat has been exposed to coronavirus, but not if the cat has been exposed to the specific viral strain causing the deadly disease. With the support of the American Humane Association, Humane Scholar Jenna Dale designed a survey-based database to track nationwide incidences of FIP, hoping to better understand the risk factors for acquiring the infection and why some cats are susceptible and others are resistant.
A 15-question survey was emailed to 500 veterinary clinics and organizations across the U.S. and data are now being analyzed to determine percentage of domestic cats with disease who were previously vaccinated for FIP, outdoor vs. indoor cats acquiring disease, age at time of disease onset, regional difference, seasonal trends, etc. A comprehensive database that might provide clues for future research is greatly needed.
Humane Scholar Jenna Dale designed a survey-based database to track nationwide incidences of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), hoping to better understand the risk factors for acquiring the infection and why some cats are susceptible and others are resistant.
Please consider sponsoring a student in the 2013 class. A grant of $6,000 funds one Humane Scholar, fully underwriting a stipend to the student and the cost of implementation and management of the program. With American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, veterinary students are supported in their academic undertakings and given every opportunity to advance in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare, without incurring additional debt to participate in those opportunities.
For more information on supporting American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, please contact René Gornall at 202.677.4224 or email@example.com.
Click “expand” to view Jenna’s report
or CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF.
Announcing the 2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholars
WHILE ANIMALS HAVE LONG BEEN USED IN RESEARCH, too little research is conducted on behalf of animals. Of the research that is conducted, few studies focus on the health, welfare, and well-being of animals, and the results are not reaching those who care for them. Animals today face multiple threats, including cancer, genetic disorders, pet food recalls, and environmental toxins, and the research needed to address these issues is sorely lacking. Indeed, this research may also hold translational benefits for human populations as well. Additionally, the National Research Council has warned that too few veterinary scientists are trained in scientific research on animal welfare.
That is why in 2011 American Humane Association launched its Humane Scholar program (formerly Veterinary Student Scientist program). Students who participate in this program are more likely to develop careers in animal welfare science, and will be among the next generation of leaders to transform how animals are cared for in the United States and beyond.
2012 American Humane Association Humane Scholar Chelsea Anderson's study, funded by a grant from AHA, was designed to assess anthrax in the buffer villages surrounding Ujung Kulon National Park.
The 2012 Humane Scholar program featured 13 students representing 11 veterinary schools. This year’s globetrotting group studied a number of diverse species including dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, goats, chimpanzees, and the critically-endangered Javan rhinoceros, and they did their research in such far-flung corners of the Earth as Indonesia, Zambia, and Grenada.
Over the next 13 days we are going to unveil the students’ research to you, so you can read about their exciting discoveries and conclusions. We’ll include a brief summary paragraph of their research and will link to the full report. Prospective students for the summer 2013 edition of the program should check www.americanhumane.org soon for the full application.
Please consider sponsoring a student in the 2013 class. A grant of $6,000 funds one Humane Scholar, fully underwriting a stipend to the student and the cost of implementation and management of the program. With American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, veterinary students are supported in their academic undertakings and given every opportunity to advance in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal welfare, without incurring additional debt to participate in those opportunities. For more information on supporting American Humane Association’s Humane Scholar program, please contact René Gornall at 202.677.4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ The 2012 Scholars ~
The Red Star team has deployed to Teterboro, NJ and began distributing the Whiskas and Pedigree yesterday morning at 9 a.m. from the Bergen County Shelter and Adoption Center, with the assistance of the Bergen County Department of Health Services. It was a great day with representatives from local shelters and rescues, as well as families in the area. There are people in need all over the community and we are all working together as a team to make sure every animal gets help.
Two representatives of the Friends of the Clifton Animal Shelter organization stopped by to pick up food. They had a large supply of donations (towels, blankets, hard carriers, cleaning supplies, etc.) in their storage that they have been trying to get down to the Atlantic City area and since more Red Star team members are heading to Atlantic City we were glad to help them out. The Red Star team loaded up their cars with 100 bags of dry Pedigree, 50 cans of wet, 10 packets of wet Whiskas and 40 boxes of dry for the Clifton Animal Shelter, and then two of our Red Star volunteers drove to their shelter to load up our trucks with supplies to be taken to Atlantic City later today with the team. They were beyond thrilled that Red Star was there helping and that they will be able to help out those in need in Atlantic City. They have been sheltering animals for those who lost power, and when the nearby Pasaic Animal Shelter lost power, they housed all of their animals. In addition, they mentioned that they are so thankful for these supplies because now they can use the money they are saving on food to buy much-needed medical supplies.
It’s been a great week helping families and their pets and today more help will be coming to Atlantic City! We will continue to bring families and their pets happily back together.
A special thanks to you – our friends and supporters! We couldn’t do this work without your ongoing loyalty and support of our mission.