Homeless Animals. Christa Colvin CRE 101 Section29484 3 December 2011. Introduction .
Homeless Animals Christa Colvin CRE 101 Section29484 3 December 2011
Introduction • My service learning project that I have been doing this semester is why there are so many homeless animals and the reasons why people give up their animals. The theory that I have on why there are so many homeless animals is based off of a couple of reasons; people can’t afford to keep their pets, pets are not spayed or neutered, and people can’t take their pets behavioral problems. Throughout this semester I have studied different types of media including: cartoons, photographs, ads, surveys, speeches, and stories. By studying these different types of media and the concepts in the class I am know able to analyze them correctly.
Personal Story • I have worked at PetSmart for over a year and I have always thought it was wonderful when a person would adopt one of the cats or kittens. I had talked to the lady who is owns the adoption agency who’s lets us house the cats and she is extremely motivated about adopting out the cats. I always thought it was such a wonderful thing what she was doing. She would not only go to the pound and save cats there but she would also take cats that people could no longer keep and she would also go out and find stray cats as well. This woman has her own adoption agency where she keeps other cats and takes care of them. All the cats that are up for adoption are spayed/neutered or it is included in the adoption fee. This woman is in her 70’s and she does ALL of this mainly by herself! It is just amazing to me that she is so passionate about this and does not have a lot of help. Knowing all that this woman has done is what made me want to make my service project about homeless animals.
Cartoons about Homeless Animals In this cartoon a woman is looking at cats that are up for adoption in a shelter. The one cat she is looking at has a stop sign above the kennel, drawing attention to him. This cartoon has made me realize that the only reason why this lady decided to stop and look at this certain cat is because there was a sign on the kennel that said stop and if there wouldn’t have been a sign then she most likely would have walked on passed him. One reason why this particular cat may want to get adopted is because he could be euthanized soon. In some of the research I have done about animals being euthanized I found that “approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats)” (Pet Statistics). I found this very shocking just because I did not realize that this is how many animals enter shelters each year and how many of them are euthanized. I also found that are only “about 5,000 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent” (Pet Statistics). When I read these statistics it made since why so many animals are euthanized simply because there is more homeless animals then there are shelters. The research that I found on Johnny Hawkins, the cartoon artist, that he has been drawing cartoons since 1986. Johnny makes cartoon calendars every year including a Dog Cartoon-A-Day and Cat Cartoon-A-Day. I could not find any information on whether or not he had any pets or how he felt about homeless animals (Cartoon Resource).
Cartoons about Homeless Animals The cartoon that I have found regarding my issue is of a dog and cat that are standing on grass both holding signs. The sign that the dog is holding says “homeless” and the sign that the cat is holding says “Help.” The sign that the dog is holding is also colored in green so it will stand out more. I think this cartoon is a great way to get the point across to people. The amount of homeless animals in the United States is a big problem. “According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips” (Pet Statistics). There is not enough room in the shelters for all the homeless animals. “Five out of ten dogs in shelters and seven out of ten cats in shelters are destroyed simply because there is no one to adopt them” (Pet Statistics). There are also more homeless animals then there are shelters. “Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats)…there are about 5,000 community animal shelters nationwide” (Pet Statistics). I didn’t realize how many homeless animals there were compared to animal shelters until I started researching this issue. I think it is very sad that there are so many strays out in the world and not enough animal shelters to take them in.
Ads about Homeless Animals This ad show a picture of a boxer who looks frightened and a shadowy figure holding their fist in the air, the caption says in a violent family everyone could be a victim. This ad was promoted by the Humane Society of the United States and is promoting “Safe Havens for pets” (The Other, 2009). The ad describes the safe havens as “temporary shelter options for pets” (The Other, 2009). I think this is a great idea that the Humane Society has come up with and it makes absolute since. If a family was broken up over the abuse or a spouse and children left it would raise questions about what would happen to their pet. Would the abuser keep the pet? What about the ones who are leaving? Are they going to take the pet with them? Is the pet going to get put out on the street? A Safe Haven would be a great place to take a pet if a family could no longer keep them; the pet would be in good hands.
Background on Survey My service learning project is working with the East Valley Bunny Rescue. I go and take of the cats that are up for adoption at PetSmart. I hope that after this service learning project I will understand why so many pets get abandoned and put into shelters. I work for this same PetSmart and I didn’t realize how big of a problem this really was until I started working there. Every weekend to different adoption agencies come to PetSmart, one is Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue and the other is East Valley Bunny Rescue. I thought these four questions were the main reasons why a person would abandoned their pet. I only asked four people because there aren’t a lot of people who actually work for this agency. I hope to find a reason as to why people abandoned their pet/s.
Survey Questions • The survey questions are based on a 1- 4 scale, 4 being the highest and 1 being the lowest • The question is: • Which is the cause of animals being abandoned? • 1. The animal has behavioral problems • 2. The animal is not spayed or neutered • 3. The family could no longer afford the animal • 4. The animal is a victim of abuse
Survey Results • 4 People chose question number 1 as the main reason why animals are abandoned. • 2 People chose question number 2 as the second reason why animals are abandoned and the other 2 people chose question number 3 as the second reason why animals are abandoned. • 3 People chose question number 3 as the third reason why animals are abandoned and the 1 other person chose question number 4 as the third reason why animals are abandoned. • 3 People chose question number 4 as the fourth reason why animals are abandoned and 1 person chose question number 3 as the fourth reason why animals are abandoned.
Analysis of Survey The results are pretty clear; everyone agrees that the main reason why animals are abandoned is because of their behavioral problems. I can understand why this reason is the number one cause; no pet owner wants a pet that misbehaves. When a pet misbehaves it can be very frustrating thing to have to deal with and it can also be costly depending on it the pet is destroying your house. Probably the best way to solve this problem is to get pet training or a book describing how to work out your pet’s problem out. The other problems have quite simple solutions get your pet spayed or neutered and don’t get a pet if you know you can’t afford one. Animals that are abused should be reported to the police or an animal agency if you know of anyone who is abusing an animal.
Disclaimer about Photo • The photo in the next slide is graphic
Photograph This picture shows a mother cat looking at her kittens that have been killed. It appears that have been stabbed or something to that effect. This photo breaks my heart. I don’t know how anyone could be so cruel to kittens and how they could just leave them there like that. It is truly horrible what some people do to animals. It makes me wonder that if a person could do this to an animal then what else do they go and do. Do they go home and abuse their wife and children as well. Questions like that come to my mind when I see animals that have been abused.
Story about Homeless Animals Lucy The honeymoon was definitely over. Although Larry and I had been married less than a year, we were headed for disaster. My expectations of marriage were high, probably too high. My parents’ relationship had been happy, loving, and full of laughter and mutual respect. Larry didn’t come to the marriage with the same kind of dreams, and he felt pressured by my needs. Our home was not a happy one, with tensions, resentment and hurt feelings seething just below the surface. We just couldn’t communicate. During this rocky time, I had the idea to get a dog. Larry and I talked about it, and he said a dog would be fine, as long as it wasn’t a “yappy little thing.” He had grown up with German shepherds and liked them. I called the local pound and asked if they had a German shepherd who needed a home. It just so happened that they had a white German shepherd mix, so I went right over to see the dog. At the pound, I made my way to the white dog’s cage. She was part shepherd all right, but the other part must have been Mexican jumping bean. She moved like she had springs on the bottoms of her four paws, continuously jumping five feet in the air and barking enthusiastically, just the way a kid waves his arms and yells, “Pick me! Pick me! Me! Me! Me!” when captains are choosing their teams. I took her out of the run and she tore around the room, stopping only to jump up on me and try to lick my face as she streaked by. I was impressed by her vibrant personality.
Story about Homeless Animals… I brought Larry to see her a few hours later, and he liked her well enough for us to walk out with her. She strained on her leash, obviously eager to leave the pound behind. We named her Lucy, and she and I became best friends. I loved getting up in the early morning and walking her when the streets were quiet. A long walk in the park every afternoon became another wonderful part of our daily routine. She liked to be wherever I was, watching me or snoozing in the sun as I went about my housework and gardening. I took her in the car when I went into town to do errands, and she sat in the back seat, her nose stuck out of the window to sniff the wind. I found her company entertaining and comforting. Larry seemed to like her, too. As the weeks went by, I felt happier and more settled. I have to admit that I talked to Lucy when we were alone together during the day. I even made up silly songs and sang them to her when we were out driving. She seemed to like the sound of my voice, and she wagged her tail and always looked right at me when I told her things. I relished my position at the center of her universe. One evening, I was showing Larry a silly game that Lucy and I played, I would stand in front of Lucy and poke her with my right hand a few times, then when she was expecting a poke from the right, I’d poke her from the left. Then a poke from the top, and then from the bottom. She seemed to love trying to figure out where my hand would come from next. We were playing this game when Larry came up behind me and started playing, too. I leaned back into the warm bulk of Larry’s chest, and his arms closed around me. We stood like that for a moment, before I turned around and held him tight. We hadn’t done that for a long time.
Story about Homeless Animals… Things began to fall into place after that. All that canine companionship had enabled me to stop demanding love and attention from Larry, and as I felt happier, I was able to be more loving and certainly more fun to be around. Our wounds began to heal, and our marriage blossomed. We’ve been married for over ten years now. When people ask me the secret of our happy partnership, I always tell them, “It’s simple. If you want dog-like devotion…get a dog!”
Analysis of the Story ofLucy I truly love this adoption story!! I find this story heartwarming because it shows how an adopted dog can help a family grow closer. At the beginning of the story the writer expresses how “the honeymoon was definitely over” and they “were headed for a disaster” (Canfield, 1999, p.38). I think it is very interesting that the couple decided to get a dog rather than go to couple’s counseling or trying other ways to get closer. As the story progress the writer describes her first encounter with the dog that she is looking at and describes her as a “she was part shepherd all right, but the other part must have been Mexican jumping bean” (Canfield, 1999, p. 38). I found it interesting that the writer only describes the one encounter with Lucy and only looking at her and no other dogs. Once the writer and her husband adopted Lucy the writer describes about how her and Lucy “became best friends” (Canfield, 1999, p. 39). As the story progresses the writer describes one day where she is showing her husband, Larry, a game she plays with Lucy and then her husband begins to do the same thing to her until he raps her in this arms (Canfield, 1999, p. 40). After the writer describes this scene she talks about how their “marriage blossomed” and how things became so much better after Lucy was adopted (Canfield, 1999, p. 40).
Background on the Speech I Chose Conscious Choices Last month Oprah and her correspondent Lisa Ling looked into how the animals we eat are treated on farms. In the state of California one of the propositions (proposition 2) is making the animal confinements larger so the animals will be more comfortable. In this investigation Oprah and Lisa have several different farmers, the president of the Humane Society of the United States, and other associations discuss why or why not this proposition would be a good or bad idea for the state. Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States, is “the original sponsor of Proposition 2” (Ling). Wayne’s reasoning behind this proposition is that if these animals are going to be raised for food then they should at least get the decency to be able to turn around and move. I completely agree with Wayne about this but this is where a problem comes in and shows the other side. Ryan Armstrong, who is an egg farmer in California, strongly disagrees with this proposition because “it will make the eggs produced…too expensive for most consumers” (Ling). In Ryan’s argument all farmers would have to rebuild or find ways of making more room for chickens or other farms animals which would be very costly for them making the prices rise for the product. Ryan continues to discuss that if the prices rise then creating the “possibility of importing” (Ling). Lisa and Oprah then began comparing farmers that produced their animals in the smaller confined areas to farmers who produce their animals in open-range areas. The finding that Lisa found were that most small family organic farmers had they did not have to spend a great amount of money to produce their products as the farmers who produced their products in the smaller areas. One of the smaller organic farms is owned by Ivan Martin. Ivan has “990 chickens…roam freely” on his property and on the day the Lisa visited his farm the amount of eggs produced was 900” (Ling). The other farm that Lisa visited that did not have free-roaming had “87,000 chickens…six to a cage” (Ling). I thought that this comparison was not an efficient one to put into this argument. The one farm has 87,000 chickens and the other one has 990 chickens, of course the farm with 87,000 chickens is going to produced more eggs that is a given. As this investigation keeps progressing the pig and veal farmers (organic and nonorganic) both describe their situations. Both type of farmers say that yes they do believe that their animals are “content and comfortable” (Ling).
Analysis of Speech In all, I think this investigation that Oprah and Lisa did was fascinating. It definitely included the farmers and associations that this proposition would effect. I completely agree with the organizations that want to make the farms give animals more room to move around in but I also believe the farmers when they say the animals are doing fine and seem happy in their enclosures. Discussing the positive and negative aspects with all these different people really opened up my mind to how it would feel to be one of those farmers making the costly changes but knowing that if the small organic farms have made those changes then maybe they could too. I thought it was interesting how these changes would affect the consumer. It makes complete since that if the rebuilding of farms take place then the price for those products will indeed increase or the possibility of importing these products from a different country. Knowing this, I think the consumer would most likely go against the proposition since no one would want to pay for higher prices or pay for imported products. That was the main bias I could see while reading and watching this investigation, other than that I felt like the evidence for both sides was shown equally.
Conclusion In all the media that I have studied and analyzed the information does in fact support my conclusion about why animals end up in animals shelters. By studying surveys, to looking at pictures, to reading speeches, to analyzing cartoons, and reviewing statistics, all of these support my theory that animals go to shelters because their owners can no longer afford to keep them, animals are not spayed/neutered, and the owner cannot handle the animal’s behavioral problem.
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