Archive for the ‘Humane Education’ Category

my summer project…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Life with dogs on Sunday, 9 June 2013 at 05:37

i work in the schools, so i am off for the summer and, as all of you who work in the schools know, we probably get even more excited about this time than the kids do!  my plan was to have a nice quiet summer, but someone else had other plans for me.  first, i want to share the following article:

Do Animals Reincarnate?

I Kuthumi greet you once more. I come in request to answer the question “Do animals have multiple lives as humans do?”

This is an interesting question and will be of interest to many. First I must tell you that all animals contain a consciousness.
Some species contain a more developed consciousness than others. Yet all behavior patterns stem from DNA and consciousness. Man has often thought of the elemental, plant, mineral and animal kingdoms as lower than himself. Yet all are part of creation and all contain consciousness.

All forms of life in God’s eyes are precious.

The answer to the question asked is yes, they do. The most familiar example I can give you is the dog, often known as your faithful companion. The soul of a dog evolves with each life time of experience. As the dog evolves in each lifetime, it usually forms a close bond with a human being, often more than one. As the dog cannot speak your language, it will communicate through energy and facial expressions.

Please remember I use the dog as a example. You often feel a dogs energy. One who is evolved will provide a peaceful energy as you rub your hand through it’s fur. Older people often receive great healing on an energetic level from an animal, they feel calm, peaceful in an evolved animal’s presence. Those who are unwell will often heal more quickly with the intermittent presence of a dog.

The dog has a very faithful nature to those whom it considers it’s family. Many times the dog will energetically take negative energy from your energy field. Of course if there is a lot of negative energy the dog can and will become ill, and sometimes even cross due to the great amount of negative energy it has “taken” from you. Many animals work on an energetic level, particularly the domestic dog and cat.

Those animals who remain in their native state, what you would term wild animals, do evolve, yet at a slower rate. Their consciousness is not as developed, so their focus is on survival and caring for their young.

Now the subject of incarnation. Let me continue with the example of the dog.

The more evolved the consciousness of the animal, the more they are able to communicate their feelings.

By this I mean of course the feelings of the emotional body. Feelings of love, grief, happiness, questioning – “why, why are you going away,” for example. Also feelings of great sadness. All of this the dog is able to communicate to you through your physical eyes and your own intuitive field of energy. So when a close relationship between a dog and a human is close, a bond is formed. This is similar to what you would experience with another human. You refer to these as “soul mates.” So you can have a dog, cat or horse as a soul mate also. Remember please that this occurs only in a close relationship with an animal of evolved consciousness.

Further, just as humans decide prior to incarnation to play a part in each others lives in the coming incarnation, so can animals with a human. The animal may not look the same as in it’s previous life. The fur may be a different color for example. It may be a different breed of dog. Yet they meet and the bond between dog and human is strengthened. Both are aware of a strong feeling of “knowing” the other. This is on the soul level, which is consciously felt as a “knowing.” Both have chosen this.

This is a higher level of consciousness for the dog. The dog incarnates through choice. At this level the life path is also known before incarnating. Life situations and circumstances will place the dog and human together at the correct time in both lives. The soul growth and purpose will flow as it is meant to.

Any karma owed is also experienced and we would hope, healed. So you see there are similar soul growth experiences for both human and dog.

Often an animal will reincarnate in one humans lifetime. You may recognize previous behavior patterns of a dog you thought had left you (died).

Yet the dog remembers on all planes, just as humans remember when they cross over. Just as you carry a soul imprint, including certain character traits, so does a dog. A cat is also capable of this. I tell you as I watch this one, Lynette, conducting a reading, I see pet animals coming forward to acknowledge the person along with loved ones crossed over. When they cross they all reside on the same plane you see.

Perhaps this is a timely reminder for mankind to respect all life forms. All play a part in the consciousness evolution of man and the planet. As you prepare to enter a year of Unity, of stepping forward in respect of one another, I ask you remember the many kingdoms who also share the planet- the elemental, plant, mineral and animal. I ask you develop a new awareness for these. It is not all about you – the human. No it is not. You must now begin to awaken your consciousness to sharing – with all. For all is part of God’s great creation.


Retrieved from: http://www.kuthumischool.com/en/teachings/volume8/animals.php

and now this:


 just in case you didn’t know ‘the story’ and why i KNOW i am keeping jude so soon, here it is (my apologies now, because i have a feeling this is going to be a long post).  baloo was my soul dog.  i have never felt a connection like i had with baloo.  i was doing rescue one day and all of a sudden i looked up and saw this little, all black, fuzzy puppy being brought through the parking lot to adoptions.  i cannot explain the exact feeling except to say part of my heart literally jumped out and landed in this baby.  he had not even gotten out of the parking lot (he was in his foster daddy’s arms).  i immediately went to see him and there was absolutely NO question he was coming home with me.  i have never felt a ‘pull’ like that…we were already connected.  i had always adopted adults because they can be more difficult to place, but i can’t explain it, i HAD TO have this pup. i already had my maggie and sadie, so i didn’t ‘need’ another dog.  the girls were bonded to each other so closely (in fact, maggie passed from brain cancer at 18 and sadie passed 3 weeks later…i always knew that would happen…sadie was 17 but in perfect health, she missed her sister.  i was comforted knowing they were together and they had lived wonderful lives).  for two 50-ish pound dogs, 17 and 18 is a very long life.  and it was a great one.

 anyway, i took home this puppy and it was love at first sight.  he was my rock and helped me through so many things.  some ‘quirks’ about baloo: he had this incredibly long tongue and it was usually out of his mouth; it was spotted, but only on one side; he was kind of a ‘loner’ and preferred me over other dogs; he loved chasing balls and would do so until he was literally lying on the ground so tired but still wanted to chase the ball.  when we went to the dog park, while maggie and sadie happily played with their friends, baloo would either chase the ball or be by my side; he became my running partner and we eventually worked up to 7 miles (it happened very slowly adding on a bit of distance at a time); as i said, he was my rock and always there to ‘lend an ear’ and knew exactly when i needed him. describing all his wonderful characteristics and amazing personality and abject outpouring of love that emanated from him  would take forever, but suffice to say, he was my heart and soul.   he could speak to me through his eyes and i always knew what he was saying.

 we spent 13 amazing years together.  when he lost use of his left side and was starting to refuse food or water, i knew it was near.  he had taken to sleeping downstairs because of his arthritis, but once i saw he was unable to use his side, i brought him up to the bedroom.  he kept trying to roll over on his ‘good’ side and try to go downstairs.  so, i placed him in the blue baby pool the puppies are now in so he would be safe.  baloo hated going to the vet when he got older and would shake and shake (this is a dog who was never scared of anything), so i promised him i would not take him if he was at all conscious because i could not make those his last moments.  i took off from work to be able to spend however long with him.  i also have to say that baloo was incredibly stubborn.  so, i knew when he absolutely refused food and i was giving him iv’s and water through a syringe i knew that he was telling me something.  i spent the next 72+ hours by his side at all times.  we talked, i held him, we sang songs.  this all started on a thursday evening.  by Sunday morning, he was even refusing to let me use the syringe.  i put my head to his head and asked him to please, somehow let me know.  this whole time he had been completely conscious, reacting to noises, my voice, etc., and i could not take him to the vet like that.  he would know. i told him that he had been the very best dog in the world and if he was ready, please let me know what to do as i could not and would not take him to the vet when he knew where he was.  as we were lying there on sunday, i looked into his eyes and told him i loved him but that mommy would be fine and he shouldn’t worry.  i swear that he had been looking directly in my eyes until i told him that.  all of a sudden, his eyes became glazed over and he would not respond to me or to any neural stimulation.  i placed the pool into the back of the car (suv) and held him on the trip, trying to get even a pupil reaction to tell me he was still conscious.  he did not respond and i could tell from his breathing that it was his time.  my vet came to the truck and he was already pretty much gone.  this is a dog that needed a baby needle to get at his veins and, even then, it took many, many tries and the vet got it on the first try (even more difficult to do when they are dehydrated…it was as if baloo was ‘letting’ this happen).

 during his last day, i promised him that, if he ever wanted to come back to me, i would somehow, somewhere find a black, flat coat, chow mix who was pregnant and the next thing to happen in that pool would be life and not death.  i told him to wait and come back then if he wanted.  at the time, i had NO IDEA where i would find a black, flattie/chow mama (or have the time off to be able to take care of a new mom and pups).  they are not exactly the most common mix.  then, the morning of my FIRST day off work for the summer, i saw a photo of martha.  seeing her on my very first morning off, i believe, was baloo’s doing.  i HAD TO have her!!!  i have fostered over 100 dogs and never had ‘that’ feeling, I do it because they need me, not that I need them.   i am pretty stoic and not prone to crying, but i immediately felt this fervor that she was going to be with me by hell or high water and i was crying the whole time in a panic that I would not be able to get her.  i knew aau was beyond full but i was willing to take her and however many puppies on as my own and figure it all out later.  a wonderful lady called dinema  can attest to the fact that i was a bit ‘insane’ about getting martha asap, as she was her contact at the shelter and i was in such a frenzy to get her i called dinema (likely waking her up) and was amazed she could tell what i was saying through my tears.  i also sent Martha through aau approvals BEGGING them to consider her, but also knowing that, no matter what, she would be with me and i would work out the details later.  next thing i know, i got an email almost immediately from Lisa (co-founder of angels among us pet rescue (aau) and unabashed golden and flattie lover).  all it said was “yes, we will take her.  meant to be.”  so, lisa got the next crying call thanking her for this knowing we were full and low on money.

 i truly believe (and, while some might think i am just putting coincidences together, i CHOOSE to believe-as a buddhist and as my soul dog’s mom) baloo made this happen.  i wasn’t prepared when i picked martha up from the vet.  i knew she looked like baloo and even had the spots on the same side of her tongue, but i was not prepared for the fact that she looked EXACTLY like baloo, even down to this ‘crease’ he had under his eyes that i haven’t seen in any dog but him.  she is baloo’s EXACT lookalike.   martha had her puppies and this one little guy would always inch his way over when i was around. not to mention, his tongue was always out like it was too big to fit in his mouth!  i felt a pull towards this tiny little man.  as the days have gone by, i have noticed certain things which make me sure it is either baloo or the new soul dog baloo has chosen for me so that i may start to heal.  jude is a loner, always preferring to sleep away from everyone else (unless he’s eating), just as baloo was. yesterday, they were all fast asleep after having just been fed.  i’m talking puppy snores, fat asleep.  anyway, i very quietly called baloo’s name in a way that i only did with him (i can’t even begin to explain it, but he always knew it and would come running…it’s pretty distinct).  i did that same thing and jude literally jumped up!  none of the other puppies even moved and i made sure to do it quietly so they woudn’t. i didn’t expect jude to react.  so, whether i am looking for things or this is truly from baloo, jude is my man.  he may end up looking like baloo and he may not, but i feel baloo’s spirit and know jude is special.  and that heart jump the day i saw baloo…i lost another piece when i first saw jude.  he was the first one i picked up to check when martha gave birth and he always wakes up when i enter the room. 

 sorry for the VERY LENGTHY post, but i wanted to tell baloo’s story as well as how i knew jude was going to be mine.  so, while i am so happy to have given martha and nine other lives safety, love, and a warm bed, i am not the one to thank.  the thanks goes to baloo. 

 i can only hope jude is even half the dog baloo was, but i love him unconditionally already.  my heart has never healed from losing him (nor do i think that part of my heart will ever heal…the part that leaped onto him when i saw him that first day), but i believe jude will help me to fill it a little bit.  i feel baloo’s touch all over this.  and baloo, i must say, your timing was PERFECT!

 martha and her puppes were rescued because of baloo and ten lives were saved because of him.  i miss him each and every day and hope i honor him with this family and in raising jude, as well as finding loving homes for them all.

 thanks for reading this far…if you did!  sorry, so long.  truthfully, i could go on about baloo and tell baloo stories for days. 


***if you would like to follow the story of martha and her pups, please join ‘martha’s’ facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/512790242114895/


flapping hands and wagging tails…

In Autism Spectrum Disorders, Child/Adolescent Psychology, Humane Education, Life with dogs, Pets, School Psychology on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 at 06:02

Your Hands Tell Me When You’re Happy

By: Stewart Duncan

Christmas was one week away, the excitement building as we prepared presents for friends and family. We laughed as we changed the words to our favorite Christmas songs, drank Egg Nog and opened the next door to find out what shape the next chocolate was in our advent calendars.


As we talk about Santa and what each of us is hoping for, I lean over to my son Cameron and say “Do you know how I always know when you’re happy?”


He said “No, how?”

I replied “Your hands tell me.”

He smiled and said “because I flap my hands!”

At that point, he began bouncing on his toes and flapping his hands so hard that I thought he might fly.

Beside us, sitting up against my hip, was my dog Spirit. She is Cameron’s best friend and, I think, Cameron is her best friend too.

I said to Cameron “Cameron, do you know how I always know when Spirit is happy?”

He said “No.”

I told him “Because her tail tells me.”

Again, the excitement building as he flapped his hands really hard, “She wags her tail!!”

I explained to him that Spirit doesn’t have hands so she wags her tail but I imagine that it’s very much the same feeling. There’s just so much happiness inside that it has to come out.

I told him that I know some people might bug him about it, some people might say silly things or tell him that he shouldn’t… but I’ll never stop him from showing me how happy he is.

He got up and gave me a big hug.


About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

Retrieved from:  http://www.stuartduncan.name/autism/your-hands-tell-me-when-youre-happy/

a girl and her puppy…

In Animal Rescue, Happiness, Humane Education, Life with dogs, Pets on Monday, 11 February 2013 at 04:50

animal rescue is important for so many reasons.  not only are you changing the life of the animal, but the life or lives of the  lucky ones to adopt that animal.  a great deal of research has been done on the multitude of benefits of companion animals (physiological, psychological, academic, etc…) and those who live with companion animals will forever be better for it.  the hours and hours spent taking care of a foster (or fosters), the money spent, the many baths, walks, lessons…all the things rescuers do with pleasure are even more worth it when you see something like the video below.

the story behind the video…riley came to volunteer with angels among us pet rescue (www.angelsrescue.org) and her mom is a good friend of the foster mom (me) to a litter of beagle/basset puppies, so she has known them since they were saved (there were six). riley’s mom fell in love with the one we called gretl. when riley came to volunteer, she IMMEDIATELY fell in love with gretl as well (like mother, like daughter). riley spent the adoption day with gretl and when she had to leave, cried and cried knowing that she would likely get adopted and riley would not see her again. in riley’s mind, she was the “best one” and riley could not imagine she would not be snatched up immediately! when she left, she got to the car and started to cry. riley said she was crying because she was sad about leaving her, but was happy for gretl because she would certainly find a home. little did riley know, plans were being made at that very moment that involved her and gretl. riley went home to her mom’s house that night and, unbeknownst to riley, her dad came to meet gretl and pick her up for a “sleepover” to make sure all was well with gretl and their dog without riley knowing in case it did not work out. it actually worked out better than could have been imagined and gretl and her “big brother” love each other. THIS is a video of riley getting to her dad’s house with NO IDEA what, or actually, who, would be there to greet her. what you see is pure joy and love and the reason i devote my life to animal rescue. rescue ONE until there are NONE.

The Heart of Education…

In Education, Education advocacy, Humane Education on Saturday, 9 February 2013 at 08:52

The Heart of Education: A Discussion with Zoe Weil

By: Michael Tobias

Zoe Weil is a long-time leader in humane education in the U.S., and throughout the world. As president of the Institute for Humane Education, which she co-founded in 1996, and as author of numerous books, Ms. Weil has passionately championed a movement which, she says, has the “potential to solve every problem we face and create a restored, healthy, and humane world for all.”  Her TEDx talk, “The World Becomes What You Teach” eloquently conveys the essence of humane education and its importance to all living creatures.

Michael Tobias: Zoe, what is unique about the Institute of Humane Education? How broad is it, in terms of the environment, animals, humans themselves, and the future of our planet?

Zoe Weil: At the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) we offer the only graduate programs in comprehensive humane education, as well as online courses, workshops, Summer Institutes, and a free, award-winning resource center. IHE believes that education is the fundamental root solution to injustice, exploitation, and destruction, and our programs are designed to help people become humane educators who can teach others within traditional and non-traditional educational venues. Humane education has four elements that are keys to its power and success, and these include: 1) providing accurate information about the pressing issues of our time so people have the knowledge they need to address global challenges; 2) fostering the 3 Cs of curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking so people have the skills they need to address challenges; 3) instilling the 3 Rs of reverence, respect, and responsibility, so people have the will to address challenges, and 4) providing positive choices and the tools for problem-solving, so people can solv echallenges.

Michael Tobias: And the scope of it?

Zoe Weil: In terms of breadth, humane education covers human rights, animal protection, environmental preservation, and cultural issues such as globalization and systemic change-making. This makes it perhaps the broadest educational movement to date, encompassing sustainability ed, character ed, social justice ed, global ethical ed, animal welfare ed, and media literacy.

Michael Tobias: In your opinion, why is humane education so important?

Zoe Weil: While there are many ways in which humanity is becoming less violent, less prejudiced, and less cruel, the reality of a warming planet with over 7 billion people and limited resources means we face potential economic, social, and environmental catastrophes. While every generation has faced its challenges, only in this century do we confront the possible loss of half of all species on earth, with the simultaneous breakdown of the ecosystems which sustain us all. At the same time, through the Internet, only in this century do we now have the capacity to work together across every border, and collaborate and innovate so quickly and powerfully. There is great and realistic hope that we can solve the challenges we face and transform dysfunctional, inhumane, and destructive systems, but we’ll be hard-pressed to succeed if children in school continue to be taught under centuries-old models, and if our grand purpose for schooling remains to “compete in the global economy,” which is the buzz phrase of our time regarding education reform.

Michael Tobias: But the basic proficiencies?

Zoe Weil: Of course our children need to become verbally, mathematically, and scientifically proficient, but these are foundational tools, not endpoints. At IHE, we believe that the goal of schooling in today’s world ought to be to provide all students with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to be conscientious choice makers and engaged change makers for a prosperous, healthy, just, and humane world for all people, animals, and the environment, or as we like to put it: we need to graduate a generation of solutionaries.

Michael Tobias: Solutionaries. I like that.

Zoe Weil: Evidence is growing that education that addresses pressing global issues and which fosters compassion, responsibility, and integrity results in graduates who know more, care more, and become more involved in creating positive change.

Michael Tobias: What are the typical impediments to introducing a humane “agenda” in public and/or private school curricula and in this country?

Zoe Weil: Public schools lack funds, freedom, and flexibility. They’re inclined to teach-to-test so as to ensure that they maintain funding, so anything that doesn’t immediately improve standardized, bubble test scores can’t easily gain a foothold. Meanwhile, our country is so politically polarized that anything that smacks of controversy is often automatically excluded, dumbing down the curriculum. A couple of years ago I spoke at a middle school assembly program, and I began by asking the kids what they thought were the biggest problems in the world. One boy said “war.” I agreed with him that war was a big problem. After the talk was over, the principal was very upset. We had a long talk, and he told me he was concerned that he’d get calls from angry parents who were veterans or who had a spouse serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. So I asked him to go into each classroom and ask the kids what they learned from my talk. I had spoken about the need to make connections between our choices and their effects on others; to model the message they hoped to convey in the world; to pursue joy in life by being of service, and to take responsibility for their actions.

Michael Tobias: So what happened?

Zoe Weil: After visiting each class, he was relieved that these points were, indeed, what the students took away from my presentation, but his fear had been so intense, and that’s worrisome. If a child can’t say war is a big problem and have a teacher agree; if we can’t speak about global warming, healthcare, factory farming, immigration, and a host of other “controversial” issues in our classrooms, where will discussions and problem-solving happen? School is exactly the place to grapple with global challenges and to explore multiple viewpoints and perspectives. We all have biases, of course, and teachers need to take care to “own” theirs because their role is to teach their students to be critical thinkers, not to disguise opinions as facts and indoctrinate them. This is why humane education is so important, because one of its core goals is to foster critical and creative thinking, without which our children are at the mercy of every sort of manipulation, group-think, and even simply mainstream norms and habits that may be destructive and inhumane.

Michael Tobias: What about in private or independent schools?

Zoe Weil: For independent schools the issues are different. Many parents send their children to private schools to give them a better chance at getting into elite colleges and to ensure they receive a strong “traditional” education. In meeting parents’ expectations, such schools may neglect innovative approaches like humane education because they’re new and not fully tested. While the reality is that humane education provides the most relevant and important skills for today’s world, parents who want their child to get into Harvard or Berkeley may feel more comfortable with traditional curricula. But there are many independent and charter schools that have adopted new approaches to and goals for education, and these may well be where humane education takes root and becomes replicable.

Michael Tobias: It seems that this whole realm of compassion and humaneness in educational curricula, not to mention, as core values, is still lacking in large measure, no?

Zoe Weil: Comprehensive humane education is still relatively unknown, and there aren’t yet enough assessments to demonstrate either its effectiveness at achieving its own goals (graduating knowledgeable and wise solutionaries), or its ability to increase academic achievement on standardized tests, which is all that we generally measure. IHE is working to remedy this by raising awareness of the field and its importance as well as through a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of humane education which we’re launching this year.

Michael Tobias: What’s the situation with humane education in other countries?

Zoe Weil: While I’m not an expert on the educational systems in other countries, I can say that some are much more open to humane education and some much less. Humane education is far more popular in the U.S. than Asia, while Canadians seem generally more receptive than Americans. It will be interesting to see whether humane education takes root in Finland which has arguably the most advanced, successful approach to schooling of any nation.

Michael Tobias: Finland. I’m not surprised. That nation’s tenth president, Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari won the Nobel Peace Prize as you know in 2008 for thirty years working in the trenches of humane conflict resolution throughout the world.

Zoe Weil: Finland has rejected standardized testing, competition in classrooms, long school days and school years, grading before middle school, even teaching reading before the age of 7, yet they consistently outperform other nations in reading and math by age 15. Given Finland’s success and willingness to embrace new approaches, it could be where humane education is embraced wholeheartedly, too, although I hope the U.S. takes on this opportunity because the impact of a generation of U.S. citizens who have received humane education could have a profound global impact as our graduates become solutionaries through the various fields they pursue and within the various industries in which they work.

Michael Tobias: At your school, can students/teachers get accredited?

Zoe Weil: Our online graduate programs are fully accredited through an affiliation with Valparaiso University. We also have online courses for teachers, parents, and the general public. For those who learn best in person, we bring our workshops to communities throughout the U.S. and Canada and sometimes overseas, and we offer a residency component to our graduate programs and a Summer Institute for teachers at our beautiful facility in coastal Maine. We have students in our programs from across the globe learning how to be humane educators and bringing humane education into their classrooms, universities, religious institutions, and communities through traditional classroom teaching as well as through the arts, as filmmakers, writers, actors and playwrights, designers, and singer/songwriters.

Michael Tobias: Do you see unique job niches for this next generation of so-called solutionaries, who have had humane training?

Zoe Weil: Some of our graduates are entrepreneurs who are creating humane education-oriented businesses. We’re still building the market for the field, but there are more and more opportunities for humane educators all the time.

Michael Tobias: Share with us some success stories?

Zoe Weil: Michael, after the very first week-long humane education class I taught in the summer of 1987, two students started a Philadelphia area-wide group and won awards for their activism. A few years ago I was giving a talk inNew York, and one of them attended. He was working for the mayor of New York City in public health. After the talk, I introduced him to some friends as having taken the first humane education course I ever taught. Before I could finish my sentence he interjected, “That course changed my life!”

Michael Tobias: That’s wonderful!

Zoe Weil: More recently, I received a packet of thank you letters from 8th graders whom I taught each morning over the course of a week. One wrote, “Spending that week with you was the most inspiring 5 days of my life so far. You made me realize how much just one person can do to help the world and how much more we can do by educating others….” The letter went on about what she planned to do with her new knowledge. I felt so great when I first read her letter, but later I came to see it as pretty depressing. Spending a week with me, or any humane educator, shouldn’t be the most inspiring 5 days of a teenager’s life. Her education should always have been inspiring, relevant, and meaningful. Another girl, who heard me speak at her National Honor’s Society induction, exclaimed after the talk, “We should have been learning this since Kindergarten!” This is exactly right.

Michael Tobias: That’s an interesting wake-up call for educators, isn’t it!

Zoe Weil: It was obvious to me from the very beginning of my career as a humane educator that this work had the potential to create profound and lasting change if we could just embrace it fully as an educational goal. I could tell you so many success stories about the impact our graduates are having in their classrooms and communities, but my hope is that soon we won’t need to talk about success stories because humane education will be the norm, infusing all curricula, taught in every school, and ushering in a solutionary generation.

Michael Tobias: This definitely puts any future education debates, let alone any legislation, into a whole new realm of compelling possibility, and plausibility.

Zoe Weil: Just imagine what would happen if every child learned about relevant global issues and examined the underlying production, agricultural, defense, transportation, energy, economic, political, and other ubiquitous systems so that they could use their great minds and big hearts to explore innovative approaches that maximize  justice, sustainability, and peaceful coexistence.

Michael Tobias: Indeed. Yes.

Zoe Weil: Imagine our students participating not just in debate teams, but also in solutionary teams that demand that they come up with practical, cost-effective, and viable ideas for solving problems instead of just arguing about who’s right and wrong. When humane education is integrated into our schools, every child will graduate ready and able to ensure that the systems within their chosen professions are healthy and humane, and when that happens we will witness a profound transformation as we solve the challenges we face and build a more humane and sustainable world.

Michael Tobias: Zoe, many thanks for your outstanding work!

Copyright 2012 by Michael Charles Tobias/Jane Gray Morrison/Dancing Star Foundation. Special Thanks to Ms. Jane Delson.

Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltobias/2012/04/25/the-heart-of-education-a-discussion-with-zoe-weil/

Watch “Just One Chance: A Story of Angels” on YouTube

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Education, Humane Education, Life with dogs, Pets on Saturday, 26 January 2013 at 17:02

know the statistics…

In Education, General Psychology, Humane Education, Personality Disorders, Pets, School Psychology, School violence on Sunday, 16 December 2012 at 12:47


animal cruelty is not just animal cruelty…we all suffer.

In Animal Welfare, General Psychology, Humane Education, Personality Disorders, School violence on Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 07:03

i have long espoused the connection between animal cruelty and future deviant/violent behaviors.  i try to explain to those that might not have the same bleeding heart for animals and animal cruelty that i have (it guts me each and every time), should they not be concerned with the violence that the animals suffer (and i don’t really understand how not, but i am sure there are people who believe an animal is a creature for us to have dominion over and we can do what we please or that there are more important causes out there that need help and support), please take note, that choosing NOT to deal HARSHLY with this type of behavior will get us ALL in the long run.  it is said that most serial killers and school shooters were cruel to animals earlier in life.  to me, to ignore such behavior and play it off as something they will ‘grow out of ‘or a result of what is seen on tv, in movies, etc., is negligent knowing the statistics and predictive validity of such behaviors.  you see, those that are cruel to animals, more often than not, “graduate” to levels of cruelty that are inflicted not on animals, but on people.  so, should you not be incensed, disgusted, enraged, gutted, immensely saddened, etc….by the kid who set his dog on fire, or the kid who microwaved his cat, or the sheer magnitude of crimes inflicted upon animals daily with absolutely no regard for their suffering (there are so very many, and they are so very shocking, horrific, and born of pure evil)…should this not sicken you or move you into action, please…realize that at some point people will more likely than not have to deal with the aftermath of this cruelty when it extends to people.  

please, please, please…be aware, be vigilant, and above all, fight for stricter animal cruelty laws.  if not for the innocent animals, then for those that will be on the receiving end of the violence that stems from those that are able to inflict cruelty on animals.




help a wonderful cause and maybe win an ipad!

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at 08:32


Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer-based organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia. We operate through a network of foster homes in the north metro Atlanta area. Our efforts are funded by tax-deductible contributions from compassionate people and organizations who care and want to help make a difference… one pet at a time.


the starter dog…

In Humane Education, Life with dogs on Tuesday, 6 November 2012 at 12:56

There’s No Such Thing As a Starter Dog

By: Ruthie Bently

I become disheartened when I hear about someone giving up a dog. Why did they get the dog in the first place if they were only going to give it up? Too many dogs (and cats, birds, reptiles, etc.) are ending up in shelters these days because people give them up. I can understand someone’s financial situation changing, or someone passing away and leaving their beloved dog behind. I applaud adoption and stand firmly behind it, but taking a dog that has known only family and loved ones to a shelter is an upheaval of major proportions. There is no such thing as a “starter” dog.

Recently my mother-in-law adopted a Miniature Boxer from someone who works with my sister-in-law’s husband. Why did they give him up you ask? They were moving out of state and could not take him with them. He was very lucky, my extended family never turns away an animal in need. At least not in the 31 years I’ve known them.

In my personal opinion, moving is not an excuse for giving up a dog and saying you couldn’t find anywhere that would let you move in because you have a dog means you didn’t try hard enough. I have moved four times since I left my mom’s house and I have found somewhere to go every time. The first time I moved with one dog and two cats; the second time same thing; the third time I moved with two dogs and seven cats; and the last time I moved with two dogs, seven cats, six geese and a flock of about thirty chickens.

Before getting a dog (whether adopting or from a reputable breeder) do your homework. Get all the members of the family involved. Ask yourself some questions and be honestabout the answers.

What kind of dog do you want? Do your research, that cute puppy will grow up. Even a small dog can be a bundle of energy if you aren’t prepared for it. It can be like adopting another child. Different dogs (mixed or purebred) have different traits, energy levels and care needs.There are many breeds that have congenital health issues, do yourhomework. Don’t get a dog just because you like the way it looks or because your friend has one, it may not be the right fit for you. Properly done this dog will grow old with your family and the fit needs to be right at the beginning.

Can you live where you are with the dog you want? There are many cities, towns and states now that have dog specific laws and do not allow certain breeds to live within their confines. Many insurance companies will not insure you for liability or will restrict your liability on your homeowners policy because of the dog breed you own. Some places even require dog owners of specific breeds to muzzle their dogs when walking them in public. I have owned American Staffordshire Terriers since 1981 and have watched the laws change. People look at them and cringe in fear, not because of the dog itself but because of the stories of all the bad owners that have not trained their dogs properly or used them for something illegal. They have automatically become a “bad breed”.

What size dog do you want? Too small and the dog can be stepped on or tripped over if it gets underfoot, too large and it can step on you or your children, clean off tables with the swipe of a tail or clean off kitchen counters or the stove with its mouth because it is tall enough to reach them. Your family could sustain injuries by a well-meaning dog that only wants to play. That Great Dane will want to be on the couch with you, is your couch big enough?

Is anyone in the family allergic to dogs? Do you know? You need to find out before you bring home that bundle of joy. Find a friend or family member with a dog and go for a visit with the whole family. Check with the local vet or shelter and see if you can visit one day and explain the situation. Have them introduce you to several different breeds, get up close and personal. Rub your hands through their fur, and rub your nose; do you start to sneeze? All animals create dander and it is the reaction of your body to this dander that causes an allergic reaction. There are wipes and washes that claim to help the situation, and allergy shots, though I think this is only a temporary solution.

Who is the dog for? Who really wants the dog and why do they want them? Do you want a babysitter for the kids? From personal experience growing up with dogs, we got into plenty of scrapes that the dog didn’t keep us from and one that involved a “Cressite” rubber ball, a game of “Keep Away” and a thermopane window that got us all grounded, except for Duchess (our Boxer). Do you want a dog for protection? You don’t need a big dog or one that you think looks fierce. I had a client who had to have a Rottweiler because she thought they were cool. Max ended up being more than she could handle and she had to give him up when she found he was too much for her to handle. It is a statistical fact that many burglars won’t go into a home if they know there is a dog there, but the dog does not have to be large enough to look him in the eye through the window. Don’t get a dog because you want it to have a litter of puppies and teach the kids the facts of life. Most breeders do not get back the time, energy and expense they put into raising a litter; they do it for the love of the breed. Puppies need to be fed, they need to be wormed, they need shots, teething toys, etc., and every puppy in the litter is adding another financial mouth to your budget.

Who will care for the dog? Don’t give in to promises from the kids that they will take care of the dog when it gets home, in my experience it doesn’t usually work this way. Explain everything the dog is going to need on a daily basis: feeding, grooming, exercise, quiet time; and lay down ground rules. You are bringing home a new family member and need to consider them in this light. The new dog should not become another chore or burden to any one family member. You shouldn’t be getting a dog if this is the case.

Where will the dog be housed? Will you use a crate or leave them loose in the house to chew who knows what? Puppies have been known to eat whatever they can lay their mouths on. I have personal experience with clients’ dogs eating wall paper, sheetrock or plaster board, cell phones, batteries, power cords, rugs, TV remotes, blankets, toilet paper, glasses and plastic. Puppies chew because they are teething or bored. Older dogs chew out of boredom, separation anxiety and anger. Yes, dogs get angry. Dogs should not spend 24 hours a day outside, in my opinion that is a recipe for disaster.

Is your yard fenced? If you get a dog, you should consider at least partially fencing an area for the dog large enough to exercise and relieve themselves in. It should be safe from stray dogs, cats and predators and should have a shaded area to protect them from the sun and somewhere for them to go on a rainy or snowy day. The fence should be high enough to keep your dog in; a six foot height is a good start. Too high you think? No so, any dog worth their salt can even go over a six foot fence if they have enough motivation. Case in point: My AmStaff Katie. Katie was only about 18 inches at the withers and I watched her take a six foot wooden stockade fence from a standing start, balance on the top and then go over an adjacent six foot chain link fence in quest of a squirrel. If you are interested in an Arctic breed, be advised they dig and can dig their way out, so burying the fence at least a foot underground is a good idea.

Do the zoning laws in your town allow fencing? Some communities don’t. A tie out stake with a chain or tie out line can kill a dog. They can get tangled and break a leg. If the stake is too close to a fence they can leap over after something they see and strangle. While invisible fence systems are very popular, not every dog will stay inside the perimeter. I had clients that used one with two dog that were constantly running through the barrier, no matter how much they increased the electric shock the dogs received. Once through they wouldn’t come back and ran through the neighborhood terrorizing other dogs, neighbors and tradespeople. They finally got a fence, problem solved.

Is the dog trained? Every dog needs to know basic obedience commands: sit, stay, down, come, drop it, out. Knowing basic commands can save your dog’s life. I know a man who hunts with his Labs and he taught them to sit at a curb. They are always on a leash when they leave the yard, why would they need it? One day a service person left the back gate open and his female shot out the gate after seeing a rabbit. The rabbit bounded across a busy street and got hit. The dog true to her training, promptly sat when she got to the curb and survived.

If not, who will train the dog? The whole family should be involved in this (unless the kids are very small) and learn the proper way to correct the dog. Don’t just buy a book and try to do it yourself, get a reputable breeder or enroll in a class. There are many places you can get a dog obedience training these days and there is NO excuse not to. The archaic methods that were accepted 50 years ago are no longer any good. Swatting with a newspaper only makes them afraid of the newspaper. Rubbing their nose in their accident only gives them a dirty nose. Yelling at them will only make them afraid of you. I know a wonderful dog that would rather die than come when called. His previous owners would yell at him to “Come” and when he did they would hit him. Would you come if you thought every time you did you’d get cuffed?

Who is going to exercise the dog? They need exercise too you know. A dog the size of a Labrador or Golden Retriever need the equivalent of a six mile walk daily. The person walking the dog needs to be able to control them. You should not send a six year old child out with a dog that is not obedience trained and even then you should supervise the walk. If the dog shoots across the street with child in tow, you could end up losing not only the dog but your child.

What dog will fit your lifestyle? What is your energy level? Are you a jogger or a couch potato? Some breeds would love to go jogging with you, and others would love hanging out on the couch. Make sure you pick a dog that will match your stamina level. If you like jogging, then you don’t want to go running with an English Bulldog, they wouldn’t be able to go the distance. If you are laid back and just want to hang out then a Dalmatian is probably not the dog for you.

Can you afford to take on a financial responsibility that will last the life of the dog? Dogs can live up to and over 20 years. My American Staffordshire Terrier Smokey Bear lived to the ripe old age of 19 years and 7 months. There are yearly checkups at the vet, which include an exam, inoculations / boosters, parasite tests, medication to prevent parasites. They should eat at least 2 meals a day and as well as dog food there are treats, toys, bedding, outdoor clothing and boots for inclement weather.

If something happens to you, where will the dog go? You should have provisions in your will for your family dog. If you don’t have a will, you should have written instructions for the dog’s welfare and keep them up to date. It should be kept in a safe place like a home safe or your safety deposit box at the bank. Is there an extended family member or very good friend that knows the dog and would be willing to take them? The chances of a dog in a shelter getting adopted lessen as they age.

Can you set up a fund to take care of the dog if something happens to you? Many people leave monies to their family pets for their care and upkeep for the remainder of their lives if they predecease them. You should figure out how long your dog might live and the upkeep needed for their care and feeding, then factor in inflation.

Can you afford the financial burden if the dog becomes ill? Dogs can get cancer, autoimmune diseases, renal failure, cataracts, glaucoma and other diseases as they age. My first dog died of cancer after an illness of eight months. I could have put him down when the cancer was diagnosed, but neither Nimber or I was ready for him to leave me. The cancer could not be removed from where it was (around the artery at the base of his heart). Chemotherapy for dogs was in its infancy and I couldn’t put him through that. I chose not to put Nimber down and we had another glorious eight months together. But it was an expensive eight months: Nimber took two medications daily and every day I dropped Nimber off at the vet’s on my way to work and he had to have the fluid drained from his chest cavity, to keep it from building up more and either stopping his lungs or heart from working. Renal (kidney) failure was what killed him in the end. It was a side effect of the medications he had to take daily.

This brings up another question: will you be ready to say goodbye when the time comes? Saying goodbye to Nimber was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I alone had to make the decision to euthanize my beloved four-legged child. I made the appointment and that day Nimber rallied so much that I made the vet do another blood test to make sure he was as ill as I was being told. The test results came out the same and I knew I was grabbing at false hope. I absolutely hate needles with all the being of my soul, but I had to be there to support Nimber as he made the transition from earthly being to four-legged spirit angel. I am happy to say that I have never had to make that decision since, all of my animals since have died peacefully in their sleep.

Maybe the most important question is: Do you have the emotional stamina to own a dog? You will run the gamut of every human emotion known to man. It takes not only financial ability but patience, fortitude, laughter, tears, anger (sometimes), joy, fear, sorrow, loss and most of all an unabiding love to allow a dog into your life. They will put you through the emotional wringer, but they give back so much more than they take  and don’t ask for anything in return. I can’t make that decision for you, you need to make it, and you should not make it lightly.

I have been a dog owner for 31 years of my adult life and lived through raising two puppies, two life threatening accidents, a severe case of dog aggression, wild animal attacks, two bouts of cancer, one case of renal failure, loss three times and an ongoing case of idiopathic juvenile seizures with the four dogs I have been privileged to live with. Knowing what I know now would I go back and do it again? You betcha.

I am not being a gloom and doomer because I don’t want your family to have a dog. I am being practical and trying to open your eyes to all the ramifications getting a dog (or any pet for that matter) that should be considered before you make that decision. So the next time you see a dog and your child, children or spouse suggests you get a dog, please, pleaseplease think long and hard about the decision you are considering, because there’s no such thing as a starter dog.

Retrieved from: http://laceysbarkery.com/blog/2012/11/05/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-starter-dog/

Pet overpopulation…an Illustration.

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Pets on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 10:41

It really adds up!

please spay/neuter


for my fellow animal rescuers…

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Pets on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 10:35

animal rescue is one of the most rewarding things i do, but also one of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and difficult.  but…the rewards are immeasurable.  still, some advice for my fellow rescuers:

“Rescuers Need Rescue, too.”

 By Chandra Moira Beal

 Animal rescue is deeply rewarding yet extremely difficult work.  To survive in this realm, one must find healthy ways to cope with the emotional challenges.

Here are 10 points to ponder:

1. You can’t save them all.  Even if you spent every hour of every day working to save animals, you still wouldn’t be able to save them all.  Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your efforts.

2. Work smarter, not harder.  Manage your rescue efforts like a business.  Organize tasks to make the best use of time.  For example, time spent recruiting more volunteers may make more sense in the long run than trying to do more yourself.  If you find yourself pulled in many directions, you might be more effective if you focus on one rescue facility, one geographic locale, or one species or breed.

3. Just say no.  Many people feel guilty when they can’t take care of everything that comes up.  Be realistic about how much you can handle!  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to say, “I can’t right now.”  Delegate to others when possible, and ask for help when you need it.

4. You are making a difference.  Whenever you question whether you’re  helping very much, remember the old parable about the man walking on the  beach, picking up starfish who have washed ashore and tossing them gently,  one by one, back into the ocean.  Another man approaches, notices that there are starfish on the beach for as far as the eye can see, and asks, “What difference can you possibly make when there are so many?”  Looking at the creature in his hand, the first man replies, “I can make all the difference in the world to THIS starfish.”

5. Celebrate victories.  There are happy endings to many rescue stories.  Rejoice in what is working.  Of course, seeing an animal go home with a loving family is the greatest reward of all.

6. Small kindnesses do count.  It’s common to think that small efforts don’t mean as much as large victories, but stopping to pet an animal, even for just one minute is worth doing.  Your touch may be the only friendly attention he or she receives that day.  Grooming, holding and comforting, or intoning softly that you care, are activities that many shelters don’t have time for.

7. Find outlets for emotional release.  Rescue work can be physically exhausting, emotionally draining and spiritually challenging.  Don’t dismiss your feelings or think you’re a wimp for being affected by it all.  Talk to someone you trust about what you’re experiencing. Cry when you need to.  Write your feelings in a journal.  Channel your emotions into action by writing to the editor of your newspaper or your local representatives about the need for animal protection legislation.

8. Take care of yourself.  Make time to do whatever makes you feel good.  Take a relaxing bath, or go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking.  You need to recharge your batteries in order to maintain mental and physical health.

9. Don’t downplay your compassion.  When people ask me why I rescue animals,  often I’m tempted to say, “Oh, it’s not big deal” or “Somebody’s got to do  it,” when in reality I rescue animals because I care so deeply about them.  Compassion is healthy, normal and necessary for this work.  Let people know how important this cause is to you.  You just might inspire others to become involved.

10. Never give up.  When you get discouraged, it is tempting to throw in the towel.  Despite all your hard work, you may not see real change in your lifetime.  Still, giving up won’t make it any better.  Take a break, and come back fighting.  And remember the man and the starfish.


and for those who may not be able to actively rescue but want to help:

What Can One Person Do?


Here are some suggestions about items to donate and ways to volunteer. The suggestions are based on what many local animal organizations and animal control officers typically need.

Please note: It’s always a good idea to start by checking with your local rescue group or shelter to see what kind of help they really need, Some groups may be desperately in need of materials, like dogs beds, that you’d be willing to provide. Another group may benefit more by getting help with publicity. Checking with the staff first ensures that your donation or service will genuinely be of help to the organization.

These suggestions are based on what many local animal organizations and animal control officers need. Be sure to check with your local groups to see if they can use the type of help you would most like to provide. For example; if you’d like to help get publicity, you’ll want to ask in advance if the organization would like your assistance – after all, you want to be sure that your donation or service is genuinely of help.

Things you may be able to give:

Basic things many shelters can use:

•               Bedding; towels, sheets, blankets, a cat or dog bed, carpet squares

•               Cleaning supplies

•               Cat and dog food, cat litter, toys, collars, leashes

•               Scratching posts, metal bowls, dog crates, grooming supplies

You don’t have to spend a lot of money: Perhaps you are no longer using some of these items around the house, or you may spot them at a yard sale or thrift store.

Doghouses: If you have an old doghouse that isn’t being used, you can clean it up and pass it along for a dog in your neighborhood who could use it. Or give it to your local animal control agency and ask that it be given to a needy dog. Sometimes feral cat groups can refurbish and use doghouses.

Office stuff: office supplies, computers, office furniture, or equipment. The next time your office is upgrading equipment ask about donating it to the local shelter.

Coupons: Some shelters can use free or discount coupons for animal food or cat litter.

Medical supplies: Many spay/neuter clinics and some shelters can use medical supplies.

Humane traps.

Use of a photocopier: Many groups cannot afford a copy machine and would appreciate an opportunity to duplicate flyers and forms.

Prizes for fundraising auctions or raffles.

Things you may want to do:

Be a foster home. Open your home to an animal that needs a place to live and learn until he/she can find a home.

Set up a donation coin can or food program. Create donation cans and place them in area businesses OR pet food donation collection bins at local super markets.

Fix an animal. Help a friend or acquaintance fix their pet. To find a local low-cost spay neuter program call 1-800-248 PETS OR 1-888-PETS911 OR visit: http://www.1888pets911.org

Donate your special skills and talents:

•               Computer skills: Create or manage a website for a local group, or help create a mailing list database.

•               Desktop publishing skills: Create a brochure, newsletters, or posters.

•               Sewing, knitting, or crocheting talent: Offer to make pet beds or catnip mice.

•               Building/Construction skills: Make repairs around the shelter, or build doghouses or feral cat shelters

and feeding stations.

•               Writing talent: Offer to write their newsletter or an article for the local paper.

•               Organizational skills: Help out with administrative tasks or event planning.

•               Gardening skills: Ask if you can help beautify the landscaping around the shelter.

Provide care for shelter animals. Volunteer to clean cages, feed, groom, or walk the animals in a local shelter.

Feed a feral, or two, or three. . . Many organizations practice trap/neuter/return and can use help with feeding cats. Offering to help with feeding once or twice a week can provide a nice break for a busy caregiver.

Promote animal adoptions:

•               List homeless animals on an adoption website (contact us for a list of sites).

•               Photograph shelter animals.

•               Create adoption posters and hang them around the community.

Tell your friends and neighbors. Don’t underestimate the value of word of mouth. Tell others what you are doing and why. Invite them to help out too.

Larger projects you could help to organize:

Plan a fundraising event. This could be as simple as holding a yard sale and donating the proceeds to a shelter, or as involved as planning a benefit auction or walk-a-thon. We have helpful information on planning some types of events.

Organize an adoption event. We have a manual on planning Super Adoption events and off-site adoption programs.

Coordinate a local feral cat spay/neuter program or one-day event.  We can offer advice on how to do this.

Start a local organization or program. Create a community animal welfare group or volunteer Brigade to help other local groups. We can send you information on starting a local program to help the animals.

Start a community e-group to help unite like-minded people, spread the word about animals in need of homes, promote local events, and volunteer opportunities. An excellent model is the Austin Pets Alive No-Kill Handbill. You can see a sample at: http://www.io.com/~mvb/ARCHIVE/ or subscribe at: http://www.austinpetsalive.org

Create a local event: You could plan a local observance of: National Homeless Animals’ Day (www.isaronline.org), National Feral Cat Day (www.alleycat.org), or Spay Day USA (www.ddaf.org).

Start a Week for the Animals. We have a manual to help you create a Week for the Animals in your town, city or state.

Retrieved from: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehomelesspets/pdf/WhatOnePerson.pdf

100 Ways To Help A Rescue Without Adopting or Fostering:

Can you:1. Transport a cat/dog?

2. Donate a dog/cat bed or towels or other *bedding* type items?

3. Donate MONEY?

4. Donate a Kong? A Nylabone? A hercules? cat toys?

5. Donate a crate?

6. Donate an x-pen or baby gates?

7. Donate a food dish or a stainless bucket for a crate?

8. Donate a leash?

9. Donate a collar?

10 .Donate some treats or a bag of food?

11 .Donate a halti or promise collar or a gentle leader?

12. Walk a dog?

13. Groom a dog?

14 .Donate some grooming supplies (shampoos, combs, brushes, etc.)?

15 .Go to the local shelter and see if that dog is the breed the shelter says it is or go with rescue to be a second opinion on the dog?

16. Make a few phone calls?

17. Mail out applications to people who’ve requested them?

18. Provide local vet clinics with contact information for educational materials on responsible pet ownership?

19. Drive a dog to and from vet appointments?

20. Donate long distance calling cards?

21. Donate the use of your scanner or digital camera?

22. Donate the use of a photocopier?

23. Attend public education days and try to educate people on responsible pet ownership?

24. Donate a gift certificate to a pet store?

25. Donate a raffle item if your club is holding a fund raiser?

26. Donate flea stuff(Advantage, etc.)?

27. Donate Heartworn pills?

28. Donate a canine/feline first aid kit?

29. Provide a shoulder to cry on when the rescue person is overwhelmed?

30. Pay the boarding fees to board a dog for a week? Two weeks?

31. Be a Santi-paws foster to give the foster a break for a few hours or days?

32. Clip coupons for dog/cat food or treats?

33. Bake some homemade doggie biscuits?

34 .Make book purchases through Amazon via a web site that contributes commissions earned to a rescue group?

35. Host rescue photos with an infornation link on your website. ?

36. Donate time to take good photos of foster dogs for adoption flyers, etc.?

37. Conduct a home visit or accompany a rescue person on the home visit?

38. Go with rescue person to the vet to help if there is more than one dog?

39. Have a yard sale and donate the money to rescue?

40. Be volunteer to do rescue in your area?

41. Take advantage of a promotion on the web or store offering a free ID tag and instead of getting it for your own dog, have the tag inscribed with your Club’s name and phone # to contact?

42. Talk to all your friends about adopting and fostering rescue dogs?

43. Donate vet services or can you help by donating a spay or neuter each year or some vaccinations?

44. Interview vets to encourage them to offer discounts to rescues?

45. Write a column for your local newspaper or club newsletter on dogs on dogs currently looking for homes or ways to help rescue?

46. Take photos of dogs available for adoption for use by the Club?

47. Maintain web sites listing/showing dogs available?

48. Help organize and run fundraising events?

49. Help maintain the paperwork files associated with each dog or enter the infonnation into a database?

50. Tattoo a rescued dog?

51. Microchip a rescued dog?

52. Loan your carpet steam cleaner to someone who has fostered a dog that was sick or marked in the house?

53. Donate a bottle of bleach or other cleaning products?

54. Donate or loan a portable dog run to someone who doesn’t have a quarantine area for quarantining a dog that has an unknown vaccination history and has been in a shelter?

55. Drive the fosters’ children to an activity so that the foster can take the dog to obedience class?

56. Use your video camera to film a rescue dog in action?

57. Pay the cost of taking a dog to obedience class?

58. Be the one to take the dog to its obedience class?

59. Go to the foster home once a week with your children and dogs to help socialize the dog?

60. Help the foster clean up the yard (yes, we also have to scoop what those foster dogs poop)

61. Offer to test the foster dog with cats?

62. Pay for the dog to be groomed or take the dog to a *Do It Yourself* Grooming Place?

63. Bring the foster take out so the foster doesn’t have to cook dinner?

64. Pay a house-cleaning service to do the spring cleaning for someone who fosters dogs all the time?

65. Lend your artistic talents to your club’s newsletter, fundraising ideas, t-shirt designs?

66. Donate printer paper, envelopes and stamps to your club?

67. Go with a rescue person to the vet if a foster dog needs to be euthanized ?

68. Go to local shelters and meet with shelter staff about how to identify your breed or provide photos and breed infonnation showing the different types of that breed may come in and the different colour combinations?

69. Go to local businesses and solicit donations for a club’s fundraising event?

70. Offer to try and help owners be better pet owners by holding a grooming seminar?

71. Help pet owners be better pet owners by being available to answer training questions?

72. Loan a crate if a dog needs to travel by air?

73. Put together an *Owner’s Manual* for those who adopt rescued dogs of your breed?

74. Provide post-adoption follow up or support?

75 .Donate a coupon for a free car wash or gas or inside cleaning of a vehicle?

76. Pay for an ad in your local/metropolitan paper to help place rescue dogs?

77. Volunteer to screen calls for that ad?

78. Get some friends together to build/repair pens for a foster home?

79. Microchip your own pups if you are a breeder, and register the chips, so if your dogs ever come into rescue, you can be contacted to take responsibility for your pup?

80. Donate a small percentage of the sale of each pup to rescue if you are a breeder?

81. Buy two of those really neat dog-items you “have to have” and donate one to Rescue?

82. Make financial arrangements in your will to cover the cost of caring for your dogs after you are gone -so Rescue won’t have to?

83. Make a bequest in your will to your local or national Rescue?

84. Donate your professional services as an accountant or lawyer?

85. Donate other services if you run your own business?

86. Donate the use of a vehicle if you own a car dealership?

87. Loan your cell phone (and cover costs for any calls) to s/one driving a rescued dog?

88. Donate your *used* dog dryer when you get a new one?

89. Let rescue know when you’ll be flying and that you’d be willing to be a rescued dog’s escort?

90. Do something not listed above to help rescue?

91. Donate a doggy seatbelt?

92. Donate a grid for a van or other vehicle?

93. Organize a rescued dog picnic or other event to reunite the rescued dogs that have been placed?

94. Donate other types of doggy/kitty toys that might be safe for rescued animals?

95. Donate a roll-a-treat or Buster cube?

96. Donate clickers or a video on clicker training?

97. Donate materials for a quarantine area at a foster’s home?

98. Donate sheets of linoleum or other flooring materials to put under crates to protect the foster’s floor?

99. Donate an engraving tool to make ID tags for each of the rescued dogs?

lOO. Remember that rescuing a dog involves the effort and time of many people and make yourself available on an emergency basis to do *whatever* is needed?


An Important part of the Anti-Social Triad…Animal Abuse

In Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Humane Education, Life with dogs on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at 09:59

Animal Abuse and Human Abuse

Violent acts toward animals have long been recognized as indicators of a dangerous psychopathy that does not confine itself to animals. “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives,” wrote humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. “Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,” according to Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Studies have now convinced sociologists, lawmakers, and the courts that acts of cruelty toward animals deserve our attention. They can be the first sign of a violent pathology that includes human victims.

A Long Road of Violence

Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser, but a symptom of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals don’t stop there; many of them move on to their fellow humans.

The FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders. (1)

Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children than criminals considered non-aggressive. (2) A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found that all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well, including one patient who had murdered a boy. (3) To researchers, a fascination with cruelty to animals is a red flag in the lives of serial rapists and killers. (4)

Says Robert Ressler, founder of the FBI’s behavioral sciences unit, “These are the kids who never learned it’s wrong to poke out a puppy’s eyes.” (5)

Notorious Killers

History is replete with notorious examples: Patrick Sherrill, who killed 14 coworkers at a post office and then shot himself, had a history of stealing local pets and allowing his own dog to attack and mutilate them.(6) Earl Kenneth Shriner, who raped, stabbed, and mutilated a 7-year-old boy, had been widely known in his neighborhood as the man who put firecrackers in dogs’ rectums and strung up cats.(7) Brenda Spencer, who opened fire at a San Diego school, killing two children and injuring nine others, had repeatedly abused cats and dogs, often by setting their tails on fire.(8) Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler” who killed 13 women, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes in his youth.(9) Carroll Edward Cole, executed for five of the 35 murders of which he was accused, said his first act of violence as a child was to strangle a puppy.(10) In 1987, three Missouri high school students were charged with the beating death of a classmate. They had histories of repeated acts of animal mutilation starting several years earlier. One confessed that he had killed so many cats he’d lost count. (11) Two brothers who murdered their parents had previously told classmates that they had decapitated a cat.(12) Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had impaled dogs’ heads, frogs, and cats on sticks.(13)

More recently, high school killers such as 15-year-old Kip Kinkel in Springfield, Ore., and Luke Woodham, 16, in Pearl, Miss., tortured animals before embarking on shooting sprees.(14) Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 12 classmates before turning their guns on themselves, bragged about mutilating animals to their friends.(15)

“There is a common theme to all of the shootings of recent years,” says Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, director of the Child Study Center at New York University. “You have a child who has symptoms of aggression toward his peers, an interest in fire, cruelty to animals, social isolation, and many warning signs that the school has ignored.”(16)

Sadly, many of these criminals’ childhood violence went unexamined—until it was directed toward humans. As anthropologist Margaret Mead noted, “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.”(17)

Animal Cruelty and Family Violence

Because domestic abuse is directed toward the
powerless, animal abuse and child abuse often go hand in hand. Parents who neglect an animal’s need for proper care or abuse animals may also abuse or neglect their own children. Some abusive adults who know better than to abuse a child in public have no such qualms about abusing an animal publicly.

In 88 percent of 57 New Jersey families being treated for child abuse, animals in the home had been abused.(18) Of 23 British families with a history of animal neglect, 83 percent had been identified by experts as having children at risk of abuse or neglect.(19) In one study of battered women, 57 percent of those with pets said their partners had harmed or killed the animals. One in four said that she stayed with the batterer because she feared leaving the pet behind.(20)

While animal abuse is an important sign of child abuse, the parent isn’t always the one harming the animal. Children who abuse animals may be repeating a lesson learned at home; like their parents, they are reacting to anger or frustration with violence. Their violence is directed at the only individual in the family more vulnerable than themselves: an animal. One expert says, “Children in violent homes are characterized by … frequently participating in pecking-order battering,” in which they may maim or kill an animal. Indeed, domestic violence is the most common background for childhood cruelty to animals.(21)

Stopping the Cycle of Abuse

There is “a consensus of belief among psychologists … that cruelty to animals is one of the best examples of the continuity of psychological disturbances from childhood to adulthood. In short, a case for the prognostic value of childhood animal cruelty has been well documented,” according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.(22)

Schools, parents, communities, and courts who shrug off animal abuse as a “minor” crime are ignoring a time bomb. Instead, communities should be aggressively penalizing animal abusers, examining families for other signs of violence, and requiring intensive counseling for perpetrators. Communities must recognize that abuse to ANY living individual is unacceptable and endangers everyone.

In 1993, California became the first state to pass a law requiring animal control officers to report child abuse. Voluntary abuse-reporting measures are also on the books in Ohio, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. Similar legislation has been introduced in Florida. “Pet abuse is a warning sign of abuse to the two-legged members of the family,” says the bill’s sponsor, Representative Steve Effman. “We can’t afford to ignore the connection any longer.”(23)

Additionally, children should be taught to care for and respect animals in their own right. After extensive study of the links between animal abuse and human abuse, two experts concluded, “The evolution of a more gentle and benign relationship in human society might, thus, be enhanced by our promotion of a more positive and nurturing ethic between children and animals.”(24)

What You Can Do

• Urge your local school and judicial systems to take cruelty to animals seriously. Laws must send a strong message that violence against any feeling creature—human or other-than-human—is unacceptable.

• Be aware of signs of neglect or abuse in children and animals. Take children seriously if they report animals’ being neglected or mistreated. Some children won’t talk about their own suffering but will talk about an animal’s.

• Don’t ignore even minor acts of cruelty to animals by children. Talk to the child and the child’s parents. If necessary, call a social worker.


1. Daniel Goleman, “Child’s Love of Cruelty May Hint at the Future Killer,” The New York Times, 7 Aug. 1991.
2. “Animal Abuse Forecast of Violence,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1 Jan. 1987.
3. Alan R. Felthous, “Aggression Against Cats, Dogs, and People,” Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 10 (1980), 169-177.
4. Goleman.
5. Robert Ressler, quoted in “Animal Cruelty May Be a Warning,” Washington Times, 23 June 1998.
6. International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Training Key, No. 392, 1989.
7. The Animals’ Voice, Fall 1990.
8. The Humane Society News, Summer 1986.
9. International Association of Chiefs of Police.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Lorraine Adams, “Too Close for Comfort,” The Washington Post, 4 Apr. 1995.
13. Goleman.
14. Deborah Sharp, “Animal Abuse Will Often Cross Species Lines,” USA Today, 28 Apr. 2000.
15. Mitchell Zuckoff, “Loners Drew Little Notice,” Boston Globe, 22 Apr. 1999.
16. Ethan Bronner, “Experts Urge Swift Action to Fight Depression and Aggression,” The New York Times, p. A21.
17. Margaret Mead, Ph.D, “Cultural Factors in the Cause and Prevention of Pathological Homicide,” Bulletin in the Menninger Clinic, No. 28 (1964),
pp. 11-22.
18. Elizabeth DeViney, Jeffrey Dickert, and Randall Lockwood, “The Care of Pets Within Child-Abusing Families,” International Journal for the Study of
Animal Problems
, 4 (1983) 321-329.
19. “Child Abuse and Cruelty to Animals,” Washington Humane Society.
20. Sharp.
21. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health Newsletter, Nov. 1994.
22. Ibid.
23. Sharp.
24. Stephen R. Kellert, Ph.D., and Alan R. Felthous, M.D., “Childhood Cruelty Toward Animals Among Criminals and Noncriminals,” Archives of General Psychiatry, Nov. 1983.

Retrieved from: http://www.wilbargerhumanesociety.org/abuse.php

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