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Ruthanne Johnson

Ruthanne Johnson

Content by Ruthanne Johnson

  • Magazine Article

    Protecting the protectors

    Carol Misseldine of the Humane Society of the United States helps staff an emergency shelter for animals displaced by the 2018 wildfires in California.

    Safety protocols for rescues are critical—for both people and animals

    Responders tasked with saving animals from disasters and major cruelty cases make the animals their focus. But who’s protecting the protectors? Proper planning and training can improve the well-being of humans and animals alike.

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  • 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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