Bridging the Bond: The Cultural Construction of the Shelter Pet
Bridging the Bond: The Cultural Construction of the Shelter Pet (Hardback)
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What happens behind the doors of the animal shelter? This book will introduce the reader to the work culture of animal shelter employees, volunteers, activists, educators, and pets. By weaving together her own personal memoirs with interviews with workers, the author describes the traditions, philosophies, history, and current social dynamics of a typical animal welfare community. She examines how the daily interactions, personal philosophies, disparate methods, technology, and life experiences of the humans and pets influence the care of homeless animals, often playing an intricate role in the life or death situation each pet eventually faces.The author also describes her own experience with a "rescued" dog, touching upon the issues of victimization and redemption that she finds characterize the animal welfare field. The animals in the book are presented as active participants in this daily drama, able to communicate their needs to their caretakers and form lasting impressions. Throughout the book, workers, volunteers, and activists tell their own stories-stories that embody the hopes, frustrations, successes, and failures in bridging the bond between homeless pets and new families.
About the Author(s):
Education 1996 to 2001: Ph.D., American studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. Dissertation: Breaking the Bond: The Cultural Construction of the Shelter Pet 1991 to 1993: M.A., Folk studies, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY. Thesis: Too Loved To Be Forgotten: Pet Loss and Ritual Bereavement 1987 to 1991: B.A., experimental psychology, art minor, Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky. Senior project: "The Occurrence of Hallucinations in Visual Artists" July 2001- present, Program Assistant I , University of Louisville, Louisville KY. Assistant to Director of Marketing, Division of Distance and Continuing Education. March 2000 to March 2001, Director of Education and Program Development, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Inc., Albuquerque, NM. Design and implement program in humane education designed to reach all age levels. Special emphasis on establishing Junior Humane Association, facilitating Camp Love A Pet, maintaining Project Second Chance (a dog-training program for incarcerated youth) and making presentations to school children of all ages. Responsible for training staff and volunteers in daily operations, policies, and humane treatment of shelter animals. Professional presentations and publications, supervision of pet therapy program. Supervise and plan mobile adoption clinics designed to integrate education and adoption of shelter animals. June to July 1999: Coordinator, Camp Love A Pet, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. Designed and implemented a summer day camp for children ages 10-14. Integrated high-risk, low-income children with average income children with the goal of fostering humane treatment of animals. Scheduled guest speakers from various animal welfare organizations, supervised field trips, and taught the children how to care for a dog. Each child was paired with a specific dog that exhibited high risk for euthanasia which they trained and then placed for adoption. January to May 1999: Shift supervisor, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Inc. Received animals, counseled adopters, education, lost and found, facility maintenence, euthanasia, volunteer and staff training, television and media promotion of chosen animals. October 1998 to January 1999: Processing department, Kentucky Humane Society, Louisville, KY. Received animals, facility maintenence, book and record keeping, lost and found, euthanasia, supervision of community service workers, training of staff. January to May 1998: Graduate assistant, American studies department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. Assisted Professor Ruth Salvaggio with Senior seminar in American studies. October 1996 to May 1998: Adoptions counselor, interim assistant manager, shot clinic coordinator, education coordinator. Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Inc., Albuquerque, NM. Courses taught: Fall 2000: The History of Animal Activism. A 300 level course designed to teach students the cultural history of animal rights and welfare. Subject allowed for an analysis of the history and philosophy of science and scientific experimentation. Fall 1999: Introduction to Gender Studies. A 100-level course designed to introduce students to the study of gender in American culture. Spring 1999: The History of Animal Activism. A 300 level course designed to teach students the cultural history of animal rights and welfare. Publications, Conferences and Presentations: Presentations "Stolen! Pet Theft Conspiracy Stories in American Culture" American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee, October 20-24, 1999. "Inside the Shelter: Ethnography and the Human-Animal Bond".Going Native: Recruitment, Conversion, and Idetnification in Cultural Research, Center for Folklife Studies at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, May 20-22, 1999. "The Ninth Life: Folklore in Animal Shelters." Borders and Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Human-animal Bond, University of California at Santa Barbara, February 25-26, 1999. "Respect for the Pariah: Human-Animal Interactions in an Animal Shelter." American studies colloquium series, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, March 12, 1998. "The Cruel Knife of Progress: Gender and Vivisection in Victorian England." Presented at Victoria's Secrets, a conference hosted by the English Department at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, April 23, 1998. Publications: Breaking the Bond: The Cultural Construction of the Shelter Pet. West Lafayette: Purdue UP, 2002.