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Ruthanne Johnson

Ruthanne Johnson

Content by Ruthanne Johnson

  • Magazine Article

    Hope for the hardest cases

    Rehab of dogs from a South Korean meat farm has lessons for anyone handling traumatized animals

    Dogs rescued from traumatic situations like puppy mills or fighting rings may have problems trusting people. Shelters can stress out any animal, and it can take some extra work to rehabilitate dogs with emotional baggage. With special attention, consistent routines and gentle training, dogs can overcome their traumatic pasts and embrace their futures as beloved companions.

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  • Magazine Article

    Where the wild things shouldn’t be

    For more than a decade, Ginger and five other servals lived in a dark basement. Their owner surrendered them to Big Cat Rescue after she fell ill and could no longer keep them.

    Forcing exotic animals to suffer as pets endangers their well-being—and the safety of the people around them

    Imagine tigers and cobras and monkeys—in basements, garages and backyards. These situations are far too common in the United States. What might start out as a misdirected desire to be close to wild animals can lead to dangerous situations for people and heartbreaking outcomes for the animals, who suffer when their needs aren’t met in captivity. In the best-case scenario, they end up at reputable sanctuaries, but those can take in only a fraction of the animals needing homes. While advocates struggle to care for the exotic pet industry’s castoffs, they’re also pushing for legislation to curb the private ownership of should-be-wild animals.

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  • Magazine Article

    Gratuitous gore

    Chris Schindler of The HSUS removes a Dogo Argentino from an alleged breeding operation for hog-dog fighting.

    Alabama raid reveals that hog-dog cruelty still persists

    It was a tense situation —rescuers working in the middle of a cornfield in Cottonwood, Ala., with one police officer standing guard. Suddenly, a black truck barreled down the driveway. The officer pointed his rifle at the truck and yelled, “Stop!”

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  • Magazine Article

    In a flash

    North Carolina photo project helps boost rural shelter adoptions

    In December 2013, HSUS state director Kim Alboum and photographer Shannon Johnstone hit the road during a rare Southern snowstorm to visit eight rural animal shelters throughout North Carolina.

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  • Magazine Article

    Bashing the gas

     Colton Furnish, 10, takes a sledgehammer to the gas chamber removed from Heber Valley Animal Shelter during the “Bash the Gas” celebration.

    The HSUS works with shelters to end the use of gas chambers

    The gas chamber at Heber Valley Animal Shelter in Utah was once the bane of Justin Hatch’s existence.

    The shelter’s executive director inherited the task of euthanizing animals after being hired in 2000. The gas chamber was a constant reminder of the black lab he’d lost as a kid after the dog had been picked up and possibly euthanized by animal control. “It was devastating,” he remembers, “and I told my mom that I wanted to change how animal control did things.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Freeze and quackers

    CASE HISTORY: Ducks rescued in Billings, Montana

    Every winter, The HSUS’s Dave Pauli works to rescue and relocate abandoned domestic ducks that end up trapped in Montana lakes as the water freezes.

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