While our historic milestone provides plenty of reasons to take pause and commemorate our past, the urgency of our cause demands that we continue to look ahead. To that end, the ASPCA is at the forefront of three relatively new areas of animal welfare concentration where the potential for saving lives is nearly limitless.
After I got married and had two kids of my own, I vowed that I would give them the pet experience I never had. We adopted a dog -- an irresistible floppy-eared basset hound named Darwin -- soon followed by cats, each lovable in its own disdainful way.
While some reasonable estimates exist, the true number of U.S. animals sheltered at a national level has never actually been counted, much less shared. This lack of clarity severely impedes our ability to best serve our country's homeless animals.
One of the most telling discoveries from the study was that people with incomes below $50,000 were significantly more likely than their wealthier counterparts to re-home animals due to cost and housing issues. They were also more likely to re-home all pets in the household at once.
Beyond their incredible ability to let things go, dogs seem to have a way of understanding us. They see how we stress over the small stuff, but they never do.
I think we've started to make a fetish out of Fido. Throwing him birthday parties, dressing him up for the holidays, organizing doggy weddings. Do you have any idea how many dogs have their own Twitter accounts? Lots.
Bill and Smoky with Smoky's newborn pup, 1944. Photo courtesy of William Wynne. Bill and Smoky's makeshift tent in the combat
As adults, we lean on supportive friends, a spouse, and sometimes siblings to provide support and reassurance. Based on their results, study author Sigal Zilcha-Mano and his colleagues believe pets can serve the same function.
If you're a dog lover, your four-legged friend is your ultimate companion. But when you're feeling overwhelmed, you barely have time to exercise yourself, let alone make sure Fido gets enough exercise, too.
A high-quality pet treat will not contain grains or unnecessary fillers, rendered animal by products, added sugar (sometimes hidden in ingredients like molasses and honey), chemicals, artificial preservatives, or ingredients known to be highly allergenic to pets.