Some groups that claim to be helping animals are actually hurting them
At Montgomery County Animal Services in Maryland, cruelty investigator Jack Breckenridge thumps a single arrest warrant onto his desk. The stack of paper is an inch thick.
It’s still dark, the coming dawn a wash of paler blue in the inky sky over Namyangju, a small city outside of Seoul, when the line of vans turns off the main highway onto a gravel side road. The vans ascend the narrow drive up a brushy, frozen hillside, assembling above a cluster of ramshackle metal and tarp hangars.
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Three years ago, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International embarked on an important campaign in South Korea, the only nation in the world where dogs are raised on commercial farms to be slaughtered for their meat. There are thousands of such farms and millions of dogs trapped in them. But we’ve helped to transition a number of farmers to humane livelihoods and relocated their dogs for adoption. So far, we’ve closed down 11 dog meat farms and rescued more than 1,200 animals.
After seven years of service and several overseas deployments, Ashley Morris was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and left the Air Force in 2013. She returned to her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, hoping to recover her mental balance. But a year and a half later, she was still sleeping on her mother’s couch, consumed by feelings of despair and isolation.
If you volunteer for an animal rescue group, you’re probably too focused on finding foster homes, arranging transports or coordinating adoption fairs to worry about personal tax write-offs. Rescuers tend to be “all-in”—investing significant amounts of their time and money into the effort while overlooking or remaining unaware of existing opportunities for tax breaks.
Like a mountain, a marathon or a long neglected inbox, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ standards for humane animal sheltering—all 543 of them—are out there, waiting to be conquered.
Developed by 14 veterinary professionals and released in 2010, the ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters give animal welfare organizations of all types a road map for ongoing self-evaluation and improvement. The standards aim to help ensure that organizations recognize and meet their animals’ physical, mental and behavioral needs.
When an animal control officer brought the young cat to the Prince George’s County Animal Services Facility in Maryland, he had severe wounds to his ears, toes, limbs and tail that left him limping and weak. He had been found wandering around an apartment building, disoriented and confused. His ears were gashed open, and his toes were hanging on by threads. Because of the severity of his injuries and the fact that he would need extensive treatment, Alley Cat Rescue stepped up to handle the care of this traumatized cat.