Skip to content Skip to navigation

Magazine Articles

  • Magazine Article

    Answering the calls of the wild

    Chief animal control officer Jennifer Toussaint checks the condition of a baby fox.

    Fox in the yard? Bat in the bedroom? Injured bird in the road? No call is too small for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington

    Summer 2019

    In suburban Northern Virginia, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s service calls are an even split between domestic and wild animals. Pledged to resolve all human-animal conflicts safely and humanely, AWLA staff find daily ways to promote peaceful coexistence among all the region’s creatures.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    You can save a life

    Download this Shareworthy to urge action on behalf of dogs who need protection from the cold

    Winter 2018

    Download this Shareworthy to urge action on behalf of dogs who need protection from the cold.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Making the case against animal cruelty

    Animal control and humane law enforcement officers in some jurisdictions can now play a key role in developing a database of national and regional animal cruelty statistics.

    New manual helps officers report incidents to the FBI

    Fall 2017

    The evidence couldn’t have been clearer, because the perpetrator videotaped his crimes on his phone. In one video, the man wraps his girlfriend’s cat in duct tape and taunts the animal. The other recording, dated three weeks later, shows the same man beating his girlfriend so badly she would end up in the hospital. (Fortunately, the cat and the woman survived.)

    Both videos were disturbing, says Chris Brosan, former manager of strategic campaigns and special projects at The HSUS. But only one of the crimes—the assault on the girlfriend—would appear in national crime statistics.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    The dark side of the coop

    For shelters and rescues taking in chickens, the quest for backyard eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

    Fall 2017

    "We have three chickens,” reads the email, one of many that routinely land in Mary Britton Clouse’s inbox. “Somehow they all got frostbitten when they were a couple months old. One is missing every claw, one is missing feet, and [one] is missing feet and shanks. We were wondering if you guys could take them in.”

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Finders keepers

    Although it has a dedicated kitten nursery, Miami-Dade works to keep young kittens out of the shelter, where they’re at risk of contracting a disease.

    Florida shelter’s Milkman Program delivers care kits to kitten finders

    Web Exclusives

    “I’ve found a litter of kittens. Can you take them?”

    It’s the type of call your shelter likely receives multiple times a day during the height of kitten season—Good Samaritans stumble across a litter and look to you to provide a solution. That’s all well and good if your organization has the capacity to meet this need, but if you’re already swamped with tiny fluffballs who need a lot of care, these calls can fill you with a sense of panic or dread.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    A different beat

    On the front lines of human-animal relationships, humane investigators confront deliberate abuse, good intentions and everything in between

    May/June 2016

    Humane investigators face a tough job, confronting animal cruelty and complicated human motives on a daily basis. They can be facing down an injured and terrified dog one minute, charging someone with a crime in the next and providing  desperately needed resources after that. Get a glimpse into a day in the life of one officer in the nation’s capital and insights from others about what makes the job tough, rewarding and necessary.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Humane law enforcement

    Humane officer Ann Russell is always prepared to deal with the unexpected. On a call about an abandoned ferret, she spots a community cat with runny eyes in the parking lot of a D.C. apartment complex.

    What does it take to serve on the front lines of human-animal relationships?

    May/June 2016

    Humane investigators have a variety of titles—cruelty investigator, humane law enforcement officer, animal crimes detective and, on TV at least, animal cop. Some work for law enforcement or other government agencies; others are employed by humane organizations or volunteer their time. Some are commissioned peace officers; others have no legal authority at all. They have a shared mission of helping animals and bringing abusers to justice, but you need more than a kind heart to excel in this field.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Not your average exam

    In potential cruelty cases, veterinarians need to know what to look for in the exam and how to document their findings.

    In cruelty cases, make sure your veterinary evaluation will hold up in court

    March/April 2016

    When animal control officers show up at your shelter’s clinic with an animal from an alleged cruelty situation, your veterinarian doesn’t need to call in a forensics expert, but she will need to know some basics about cruelty exams. If the case goes to court, your veterinarian may be a key witness, and everything she writes in a report will be scrutinized. But as long as vets know what to look for and how to document their findings, they can perform exams that both guide effective treatment for the animals and provide clear, compelling evidence.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Hard work—with a soft touch

    Safety Net manager Erica Macias assists Baldwin Park resident Jose Marquez with his cats Muñeca and Mono, who were sterilized and vaccinated through the ASPCA’s program.

    ASPCA Safety Net managers provide resources and compassion to Los Angeles County pet owners

    November/December 2015

    Don’t expect to find Bernice Osorto, Erica Macias or Miguel Ruelas staring at computer screens all day. The ASPCA’s three Safety Net managers at Los Angeles County’s two high-intake shelters in Downey and Baldwin Park spend their time sitting at a folding table at each shelter’s main entrance, greeting clients as they approach with dogs on leashes, cats in crates, kittens and puppies in shoeboxes, or injured pets wrapped in towels.

    Read More

  • 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

    September/October 2015

    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!”

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    A photo worth a thousand witnesses

    Rescue team members work together to photograph dogs with their evidence markers during a dogfighting raid in Gary, Ind.

    Evidentiary photography can make or break an animal cruelty case

    September/October 2015

    Snapping a photo seems easy—whether you’re from the school of “point and shoot” or “aim the phone and tap.” But animal cruelty crime scenes aren’t your family cruise to the Bahamas.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    In Sacramento, a capital idea

    Janice Moore lived on the streets in Sacramento, Calif., with her two dogs and cat until local service providers—including Front Street Animal Shelter—banded together to find a home for her and her pets.

    Shelter works to keep homeless people and their pets together

    July/August 2015

    In Sacramento, Calif., the Front Street Animal Shelter has embraced the idea that it takes a village to care for homeless people and their pets.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Net worth

    Having an animal safely contained in a net can allow you to perform some basic medical procedures, such as injections.

    Tips and tricks for one of the most important animal-handling tools

    March/April 2015

    I started using netson my first day as an animal control officer, more than 25 years ago. Faced with the task of catching a feral cat who had escaped into the backyard of a hoarder’s residence, I used a net with a small mesh size to safely and humanely contain and then transport the cat to the shelter. The mesh size of the net was important to the task—the holes were not large enough to fit a pencil through, and I noticed that the feral cat appeared calmer once inside the net, seeming to relax a bit once his body was enclosed by the small, dark mesh.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Crossing the thin blue line

    Teaching police officers effective, positive techniques for handling dogs makes communities safer for both law enforcement and pets.

    New training focuses on reducing deadly police-dog encounters

    September/October 2014

    Nearly half of all households own at least one dog, according to the American Pet Products Association. That means that if the police ever come calling, there’s a high likelihood that man’s best friend will be there to greet them.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Partnering for pets and people

    Accompanied by county commissioner Art De La Cruz (in blue) and local children and pets, Matthew Pepper announces the opening of a dog park in Bernalillo County.

    A collaborative effort between animal care services and the sheriff's department reaps rewards

    July/August 2014

    At some point in our life, most of us have moved furniture, whether it’s shoving a couch up three flights of stairs into a new apartment or getting the new refrigerator from the garage into the kitchen. It is possible to do alone, but is considerably easier and more effective with many hands chipping in.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Witness for the defenseless

    As part of her work helping prosecuting attorneys navigate animal cruelty laws, Sherry Ramsey has created an online network for preosecutors nationwide to share lessons learned.

    Attorney advises prosecutors, educates shelters on animal cruelty cases

    May/June 2014

    As part of her work helping prosecuting attorneys navigate animal cruelty laws, Sherry Ramsey has created an online network for prosecutors nationwide to share lessons learned.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Putting a friendly face on animal control

    Lucky dog Miclo gets a brand-new house thanks to Officer Carlos Montes.

    A door-to-door approach pays dividends in Santa Cruz. Could it work for your agency?

    March/April 2014

    Far too often, animal control officers find themselves dealing with owners who love their animals, but don’t have the financial means to provide basic care that many take for granted, such as flea medication, proper shelter, or vaccines. Facing fines from well-intentioned animal control agencies, underprivileged owners are often forced to surrender their beloved pets.

    At the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter in California, we try and take a different approach—one aimed at helping struggling owners keep their pets for life.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    The underside of the big top

    ACOs can step into the spotlight to help prevent circus cruelty

    January/February 2014

    “It was kind of an easy day for me when it started,” recalls Blayne Doyle, now a retired police officer, “and then it turned into … one of the days I can’t seem to ever get rid of.”

    Back in February 1992, Doyle—who normally worked for his department’s street crimes unit—was assigned to direct traffic at a traveling circus set up in a college parking lot in Palm Bay, Fla.

    Between Saturday matinees, the circus offered rides on the backs of elephants. An Asian elephant named Janet was carrying a woman and five children when, according to Doyle, she decided to quit the circus.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Ovation for Omaha

    In 2012, the Nebraska Humane Society provided dog-bite prevention training through its grant-funded program known as Be-A-Tree to more than 5,000 elementary schoolchildren, like these students listening to ACO William Gray.

    For the first time, a humane society wins NACA's top animal control award

    January/February 2014

    It’s no secret that many humane societies these days are dropping their animal control contracts. So it may come as a surprise to hear that the National Animal Control Association (NACA) gave its 2013 Outstanding Animal Control Agency Award to the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) in Omaha, recognizing the shelter for its work in 2012.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Anatomy of a puppy mill raid

    The details are depressingly similar—sick, suffering dogs languishing in row after row of wire cages—but closing each puppy mill down is a struggle all its own for The HSUS and its partners.

    November/December 2013

    Many shelter and animal rescue staff have seen firsthand the scenes of filth and neglect at puppy mills: the cramped, dark pens housing terrified animals; the lack of food, fresh water, or veterinary care. Rescues are often the culmination of months of preparation, and, when they happen, they're a methodical step toward putting one of an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. out of business.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Solid bonds

    Large-scale seizures of animals—such as these dogs rescued from a hoarder in Alabama—can stretch the resources and drain the coffers of shelters and rescue groups, particularly in states that don’t have a bonding law.

    Bonding and forfeiture laws help shelters and rescues cope with cruelty cases

    May/June 2013

    Learn how animal welfare organizations are pushing for bonding and forfeiture laws to help them cope with cruelty cases that often stretch a shelter's resources and drain its operating budget.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    In the loop

    Article Image - 1: Caption  Michelle Cascio, manager of The HSUS’s Emergency Placement Partner program, provides a dramatic reenactment of how she used a Snappy Snare to capture a dog hiding under a van. (No stuffed animals were harmed in the taking of this photo.)

    Snappy Snares provide flexibility for ACOs seeking elusive animals

    May/June 2013

    Although not ideal for use in every situation, Snappy Snares can be an especially valuable tool for ACOs trying to capture elusive animals.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Road ready

    Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA had its new animal services trucks customized with "dog stairs" instead of ramps.

    Finding the animal control vehicle that's right for you

    March/April 2013

    Both experienced animal welfare professionals and vehicle manufacturers weigh in on how you can get an animal control vehicle that truly meets the unique needs of your agency.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    What happened at Spindletop?

    In July 2012, hundreds of dogs were rescued from a well-known pit bull refuge in Texas. What went wrong? And how can rescuers avoid future problems?

    The pit bull refuge once had a good reputation. Then something went wrong.

    January/February 2013

    Teri Williams is “not a T-shirt kind of gal,” so her husband ends up wearing most of the shirts she’s acquired over her years of donating to animal welfare groups. He was wearing one in church, promoting American Bulldog Rescue, on Mother’s Day 2012 when someone noticed it and told him about a bulldog running loose.

    Read More

Pages