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Dog's Life: Humane
Dog Is in the Details
The many sides of temperament testing
In a gathering storm centered on the policies of animal shelters, temperament testing has become a lightning rod. Some resource- and space-starved shelters—which might have once chosen dogs for adoption based on such specious criteria as color, size, age, breed or length of time in the shelter—now use a series of tests that purport to evaluate a dog’s behavior and predict whether the dog will be...
Dog's Life: Humane
Santa Delivers
Chronicles of a red-coat midwife
I was halfway through attaching new trim to my Santa suit when the call came from the Humane Society. The pregnant dog they’d asked me to foster three weeks before had finally been brought in. Only now she was very pregnant, and they advised that I get the dog to my place as soon as possible, before she started “poppin’ pups all over the place.” I tossed an old quilt into the back of my van,...
Blog: Guest Posts
First Dog Bites Reporter
Reporters are always on the lookout for a sound bite, but I don't think this is what political writer Jon Decker had in mind. The Reuters reporter spotted First Dog Barney on a walk with his handler and asked if he could pet him. The dogwalker said sure but the Scottish Terrier wasn't as agreeable. Or perhaps he was making a political statement of some kind. Fortunately, Decker was treated by the...
Dog's Life: Humane
Treading Water
More than one year after hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast, humane organizations, shelters and resident dog-lovers struggle to survive.
On September 4, 2005, Trixie Levins and her family—husband Erin, 13-year-old daughter Erin (aka Spanky), Siberian Huskies Mirabeau and Meeko, and cat Johnny Rotten, Jr.—were airlifted out of New Orleans to escape the floodwaters. An army ground crew refused to allow them to take their dogs, but a navy helicopter crew offered to make room on board for the entire family, so none of their pets were...
Blog: Guest Posts
Greyhounds Are Also Big Winners
More election night news: Massachusetts voters decided to end greyhound racing in the state. Passed by a healthy margin, the Massachusetts Greyhound Protection Act puts an end to 75 years of dog racing and its attendant suffering. Woof.
Dog's Life: Humane
Street Dogs of Paradise
Grass-roots efforts to improve the lives of dogs
Led by Jacqueline, a small brown street dog, I walked the streets of Bora Bora. I had a purpose; so did she. Mine was to count dogs for a population estimate. Hers was to convince any cat foolish enough to show his face that keeping a low profile was wise. Jacqueline effectively yet benignly dispatched each one into hiding. Each time she did so, she looked back at me. By her expression I guessed...
Dog's Life: Humane
Africa Outreach
Humane educator Karen Menczer works at the grassroots to help Africa’s dogs
Skimming Uganda’s morning newspaper in April 2001 over my almost burnt toast and black coffee, I was struck by a story—or maybe by the picture. An American woman living in Kampala, working on conservation projects, was inspiring big changes at the Uganda Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (USPCA), setting up spay days and community education programs and helping to build a new animal...
Dog's Life: Humane
A Better Life for Michael Vick’s Pit Bulls
BAD RAP lends a helping hand
A BAD RAP Pit Bull training class.
Earlier this year, on a sunny January day in a parking lot near the Berkeley, Calif., waterfront, BAD RAP’s Pit Bull training classes were in full swing. People and dogs cheerfully circled, practicing “heel,” “sit” and, most important, “look at me.” The media were there too. They wanted to be ready with photos, film and interviews the minute sentencing was over in the Michael Vick dog fighting...
Dog's Life: Humane
Black Dogs Face a Hard Choice at Shelter
Don't judge a dog by his color
Editor’s note: Best Friends Animal Society is kicking off their annual Back in Black 2013 campaign dedicated to finding great homes for black dogs and cats. It’s a reminder that a stigma can follow adoptable animals who are black, as they often wait longer to find their forever homes. Special adoption events will be hosted throughout the month by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, our Los Angeles and...
Dog's Life: Humane
Rolling Dog Ranch
A haven for special-needs animals
Dogs can inspire us to do many wonderful things. When animals are the direct beneficiaries of that inspiration, the results are truly extraordinary. Take Steve Smith and Alayne Marker—Marker’s dog led her to meet Smith on a mountain trail near Seattle in 1994 … which led to dating and marriage, the adoption of several special-needs dogs, and, ultimately, the couple’s decision to create Rolling...

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