Categories Animal

The Bloomington Animal Shelter in Bloomington, Indiana

Looking to adopt or foster a new pet? An addition to your family is a big decision, and the Animal Shelter in Bloomington, Indiana can help you every step of the way. Located at 3410 S. Walnut Street, the shelter is the temporary home to many stray and unwanted animals. Their mission is to work for the welfare and compassionate treatment of animals through education and outreach programs.

The Bloomington Animal Shelter maintains a pet adoption program, as well as a pet fostering program. Since there are many times more animals than the shelter can handle, “foster parents” shelter an animal or animals in their homes. This is on a temporary basis, so if you want a permanent pet, you need to enter the pet adoption program. In order to adopt a pet from the shelter, you need only to fill out an application. The application includes questions about where the pet will be kept (indoors or out), how many hours out of the day that you will be home with the pet, how much exercise you can provide it with, and if you have children or other pets in the home. It may take up to 24 hours for an approval. At that time, you can take your new pet home (after paying the $50 adoption fee). All pets in the shelter are spayed or neutered and many come with an identification microchip embedded beneath their skin.

The Bloomington Animal Shelter provides many other services besides pet adoption. They aid in connecting lost companion animals with their homes, enforce animal control ordinances, and investigate animal cruelty and neglect. They provide a 24-hour emergency rescue for injured animals and produce a weekly television program, Pets Without Partners, that offers education on caring for your pet and information on pet behavior.

The animal shelter also works with the community to educate about animal care, offering guided tours of the shelter as well as free literature. They work closely with other organizations in Monroe County, such as the Human Association, Pets Alive and Wild Care.

The Bloomington Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization, and appreciates volunteer efforts of the community. In order to volunteer at the shelter, you must be 16-years-old or older (ages 13-15 can volunteer, but must be accompanied by a parent), attend a volunteer orientation session, and be available to volunteer at least once per week for six months. To fill out an application or for more information, contact 812-349-3872.…

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Categories Animal

Lady Ginny's Tea Parties & Mechanimals: 2007 Animal Books By Orca

In 2007 two very different picture books featuring animals were published by Orca Book Publishing. The first, Susan Rennick Jolliffe’s Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties is a first-person narration of a poodle’s entertaining exploits. The second, Mechanimals by Chris Tougas, explores the creation of a robotic farm. Both are extremely well illustrated and are sure to please readers.

Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties

Written and illustrated by Susan Rennick Jolliffe, Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties is a gorgeous picturebook that is presented as a scrapbook of a poodle and cat’s monthly tea parties. It is rich in visual detail, and the drawings are beautiful and fun. Each party spans two pages.

There are three types of text in Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties. The first is the narration that is printed in a white rectangle at the bottom of every right-hand page. It describes each event and offers reflections and insights into Ginny’s emotions. Attention to Ginny’s wardrobe is also a prominent feature. The vocabulary is varied and engaging.

The second type of text featured is the menu. This is found in a simple horizontal text box with a band of paw prints and a teapot on the left-hand page. A pictorgraphical key is included so to help readers identify various elements of the menu in the drawings. The menus provide important information for each month’s tea: the guests, the type of tea served, the cuisine and the teaware used.


The third type of text used by Susan Rennick Jolliffe in Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties is quotes such as, “Got any more lillybuds?” and “The tweets were tweet.” These are peppered throughout the drawings and give a true scrapbook feel to Ginny’s book.

Besides being a visually pleasing book, reminiscent in some ways of Wallace Edwards’ Alphabeasts, Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties is educational. It introduces readers to a variety of animals and places them in the months and seasons where they are most prominent. It is a humourous book and develops readers’ observational skills.


Chris Tougas’s Mechanimals has a completely different look from Lady Ginny’s Tea Parties and will probably be more appreciated by male readers than the aforementioned book. Mechanimals tells the story of a farmer who, although saddened when a tornado leaves him with nothing but “a mountain of scrap metal and machine parts,” is inspired to “turn [the] mess into a masterpiece.”

The neighbours’ admonishment, “When pigs fly,” provide the inspiration the farmer needs. He organizes and draws up plans and creates robotic farm animals – chick-bots, cow-bots, rooster-bots, sheep-bots and horse-bots – to help him with his plan to make something out of the heaps of metal. Together, the farmer and his animal-bots create a flying pig-bot that surprises the neighbours and pleases the farmer.

Mechanimals is a humourous engaging book that features colourful, jovial, round farmers and funky robot animals in the foreground and detailed pencil drawings in the background. The text is short and to the point, and it is in perfect harmony with the illustrations. Doreen Cronin’s book Cows That Type would be a good companion book to Mechanimals.…

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Categories Animal

Prince William Animal Shelter in Manassas, Virginia Hires a Part-Time Veterinarian

Prince William Animal Shelter – Manassas, Virginia

The Manassas, Virginia Animal Shelter has a new part-time veterinarian, Dr. Jodi Carlson, who began working the beginning of August 2011. Her job will be to examine the animals brought into the shelter 2 days a week, prepare medical reports, give vaccinations and provide treatment for any health issues.

Lt. Dawn Harmon, Prince William County’s Animal Control Bureau Manager, tells a story about an English Bulldog, named Lola who was 8 years old, who entered the shelter as a stray and she brought along a slew of health issues with her, i.e., cherry eyes, skin infections, and ear problems requiring treatments.

All of Lola’s health issues could have prevented her adoption and led her to being euthanized, Harmon said. With the help of the shelter, Lola is on the road to recovery. Harmon indicate Lola is a sweet dog who needed cared for.

They’re in the process of organizing and figuring out a system for the shelter, but first, Dr. Carlson’s examining all of the pets which are up for adoption to the public to ensure they’re healthy.

She also works as a veterinary during part of the week at Quantico and Fort Belvoir. She also indicated her work for the county is going well so far, and she said, “It’s nice to see some of the animals I’ve examined being adopted.”

Lt. Harmon, stated Dr. Carlson is providing a service for the animals at the shelter that is needed. Harmon also said, “It’s great to have her as a resource and to have her expertise and expert advice available to us.”

The county animal shelter takes in about 6,500 animals a year and the hiring of a veterinarian will help the shelter to provide a much better service for the animals taken in at the shelter. One of the shelter’s main goals Harmon indicated is to reduce the number of animals they euthanize 63% of cats and 35 % of the dogs in 2010 were euthanized…according to the shelter’s statistics.

The shelter’s main objective is to create a “no-kill” shelter or an adoption facility, Harmon stated. This year as part of the fiscal 2012 budget process, The Prince William Board of County supervisors approved increases to adoption fees at the animal shelter, which allowed the shelter to hire a part-time veterinarian.…

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Categories Animal

Animal Shelter Adoption Rules: Necessary or Excessive?

In her article, Animal Shelters Should Act More Like Pet Stores, published in Global Animal, Kristin Hugo suggests that restrictive adoption rules not only limit the number of adoptions but may result in unwanted repercussions such as driving people to pet stores rather than rescue shelters and possibly perpetuating the existence of puppy-mills and disreputable breeders. Although there is some logic to these suggestions, and some of the suggestions could be implemented, there are many reasons why animal shelters resist making adoption more accessible.

When I became a volunteer administrator for the Facebook page of Pet Rescue North, a no-kill rescue shelter in Jacksonville, Florida, one of the first posts I responded to was an angry rant disparaging the organization by an adoption applicant rejected due to the inability to provide vet references. Similarly, as volunteers taking some of the dogs to a local pet-supplies store in an effort to stimulate interest in animal adoption we were often met with tears, anger, or outright abuse when potential applicants were informed that some obvious factor would render them ineligible under the shelter’s animal adoption rules. Amid such high emotion it was easy to question some of the rules and policies, and I often did. However, experience has shown me that shelter directors are not unnecessarily harsh in their requirements. Indeed, I now fully understand why the adoption rules are in place. Here are just a few thoughts regarding some of Ms. Hugo’s suggestions to increase the number of adoptions:

Relaxing the Ban/Age Restrictions on Children in the Home Would Increase the Number of Potential Adopters

This was one of the rules that I had most difficulty understanding, yet it is a rule that I now fully support. I have been around dogs almost all my life and many of my most important relationships with dogs occurred when I was very young. I have witnessed potential adopters on a cell phone almost screaming at the shelter’s director about how their child is in the store playing happily with a dog, about how the child and the dog appear to be getting along brilliantly, and about how their child would never do anything to hurt an animal. My personal experiences allow me to feel for such parents. Unfortunately, however, one of the most common complaints when a dog is returned to a shelter is that the dog’s behavior has changed for the worse, especially around the children. There are many possible reasons:

For example, as the dog tries to establish its position within its new pack, it may become dominant or even aggressive toward small children.

Conversely, as small children become more comfortable with a dog that seems placid or friendly they may unintentionally (or in a few cases, intentionally) become too rough and the dog feels the need to protect itself.

I have witnessed many occasions when dogs that seemed to love children were returned in a terrified or traumatized state, and now cower or snarl whenever children approach them. Whatever the reason, the parents cannot hand back their children so they hand back the dog.

Relaxing the Need for Vet References Would Increase the Number of Potential Adopters

As Ms. Hugo indicates, the need to provide vet references excludes first time animal owners from adopting from no-kill shelters. This is not just some arbitrary rule that hasn’t been thought through. Indeed, the exclusionary consequence of the rule is deliberate.

Shelter dogs have often been traumatized in some way and this can lead to unforeseen health or behavioral problems that are overwhelming to the novice pet owner. You just have to look at the number of animals given as Christmas gifts that are surrendered to shelters each year to see this principle in action. “It’s not what we expected,” or “we just can’t cope” are common utterances.

The possibility of these reactions is increased when dealing with a shelter pet. Returning a pet to a shelter is a much easier solution than returning it to a pet store. At least the vet references provide some evidence of the potential adopter’s experience with animals and a willingness to appropriately meet challenges.

Relaxing Adoption Rules Would Allow More Pets to be Saved from Kill Shelters

It is difficult to argue against the idea that if more animals were adopted from no-kill shelters this would free up room for more animals to be pulled from kill shelters. The one argument, however, is that the no-kill shelters would have to reduce their feelings of responsibility for those already in their care so that they could save others. It is akin to the question of which of your children do you sacrifice so that you can save the other.

For a true no-kill shelter the one and only focus of the shelter is to find a forever home for animals that have already been abused or abandoned at least once in their life. This focus includes doing everything that can be done to avoid a failed placement.

To relax the adoption rules would be to enter a numbers game. If you think of animal adoptions as a gamble, which all adoptions are, a shelter taking fewer precautions could be accused of playing a game of Russian Roulette with the animals in their charge, a game where fewer rules increases the number of live rounds in the gun.

To Change Adoption Rules or Not?

It is worth noting that I would have agreed with everything Ms. Hugo said if I had been presented with her article before I became involved in the pet rescue community. The intention and heartfelt passion of the article is obvious-increase the pool of potential adopters, place more animals in homes, and ultimately increase the number of animals that are saved. There were more suggestions made in the article than those examples given here and other specific rules were mentioned, even if some were extreme examples. Unfortunately, it would take more space than is available here to discuss every point in depth. However, some arguments against Ms. Hugo’s stance are worth noting as reasons why it is unlikely that no-kill shelters will follow her ideas.

Adoption rules for each shelter have developed through many years of experience. As I said, these dogs have generally been abused or abandoned at least once before, and a failed placement can compound or increase problems that stem from this treatment. Often it has been the failure of adoptions due to the more relaxed rules that Ms. Hugo suggests that have led to the imposition of increased restrictions.

Also, because many of the dogs are found as strays or rescued from puppy mills, other shelters that euthanize animals, or in some cases simply dumped at the shelter the organization usually has very little in the way of history on the dogs. Shelters simply cannot guarantee how they will react in a new home. For this reason the shelter personnel feel obligated to find a home that will care for the animal through thick and thin . . . not a home that might care through thick and thin, but one that will!

Does this mean that all adoptions through no-kill shelters succeed? Obviously not. Does this mean that all rejected applications would have failed? Again obviously not, but if we were discussing the adoption of a child would we be asking to relax the rules? The need to minimize failure here is no less important.…

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Categories Animal

Animal Shelter in Warner Robins, GA is in Deep Doo-Doo

I’ve been quite astonished to learn that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a “cease and desist” letter to my local Warner Robins Animal Shelter. PETA reports that Warner Robins, Cobb County, and Bulloch County are violating a state mandate requiring that gas chambers no longer be used in the euthanasia of homeless animals. The letters were sent on April 5, 2007 by attorney Walter H. Bush specifying that the shelters comply with the 1990 Georgia Law by April 10,2007.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture and commissioner, Tommy Irvin, were sued in March, by the very person who implemented the Humane Euthanasia Act in 1990 (former state Rep. Chesley Morton) for authorizing the usage of these gas chambers. Although the courts ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, the Houston Home Journal, has reported that Warner Robins hasn’t taken heed and did not comply by the April 10th deadline. Instead, they are researching their ability to continue under a pre-law exemption. Tsk. Tsk.

I have visited this particular shelter and even understand the unique experiences of those who must work in such an environment, where the endless stream of unwanted or homeless pets continues unfettered, despite the best intentions of “spay or neuter” campaigns and publicized high death statistics. It is truly a dark place and not one for the faint of heart. On the other side of the coin, a thousand yard stare does not constitute a free pass to cast all moral and ethical evolution aside.

I love animals as much as the next person. I may turn a forgetful blind eye to the conspicuous absence of cruelty free product labeling or forget that, while I sleep peacefully in my bed, millions of animals suffer at the hands of their human best friends, but I cannot quite wrap my desensitized brain around the reality that my local animal shelter has been shamelessly operating a gas chamber. What?!

It is not for lack of a better way. Shelters all across the nation practice euthanasia, but we find the little comfort we can in the popular notion that they do not suffer. We find our comfort in the trust that it is being done humanely.

According to PETA, the reality of the gas chamber is an undignified, slow, and sometimes violent death. Meanwhile, Warner Robins City Attorney, Jim Elliot, has announced that the city will continue operating its gas chambers until the state tells them they can’t. To this I say, there is a time to have a stand off and then there is a time to demand accountability- and at least a small measure of human decency.

I can’t help but wonder what will be the response of the good citizens here in the heart of Georgia. Will more of us face down the gray pall and filth of the shelter to adopt and simultaneously rescue a few new friends? Or will we recoil with disgust, in the knowledge of what is happening deep within the walls, and refuse to support the shelter in any way? Finally, what will be the end result for the homeless animals in Warner Robins, Ga.?…

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Categories Animal

Flooded Missouri Animal Shelter Needs Your Help!!

As most of you already know, I live in Missouri and recently we have been plagued by a tremendous amount of flooding in our southern counties. There was one story on the news that really touched me and I would love it if my readers would get involved and help this shelter out – they really need us!!

Our rivers and streams rose so fast, it took a lot of people by surprise, and it took one place by storm. The Piedmont Animal Shelter located in Piedmont, MO was hit incredibly hard by the rising waters. They have one animal control officer who is in charge of caring for the pets and making sure they are safe. When the waters started to rise, she didn’t think the flooding was that bad on the inside, but when she went in, water was flowing fast and faster into the little building.

She quickly gathered up all the carriers she could find and started putting the animals inside them. She took them to her house to keep them safe and she took as many as she possibly could. She thought the other animals would be safe until she was able to return in the morning. When she went back in the morning, she found 8 puppies had drowned and the inside of the shelter was a complete disaster.

Can you even imagine how bad she felt when she walked inside? She took as many as she could, but she was thinking if she could have only grabbed just a few more, just that group of puppies…..but the “what if’s, and “I should have’s…” will drive you crazy. In total around 5 feet of water flooded the shelter and they lost everything in the flood.

For right now, the other animals rescued from the flooded shelter are housed at other local animal shelters and humane societies. They will remain there until adoptive homes can be found for them. Right now, the shelter desperately needs donations to help them rebuild. They lost absolutely everything and it is our duty as responsible, compassionate human beings to help them get back on their feet! I am asking you to visit my donate page and make a donation – EVERY PENNY OF WHAT COMES IN FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS WILL BE GIVEN TO THE PIEDMONT ANIMAL SHELTER. 100% WILL BE DONATED!!

Please show me your caring and your compassion, let me help give back to this community devastated by the floods. I know each and every one of you has a great heart – send me your donations and with your help, we can get this shelter up and running again!! Please pass this post along to all your friends -let’s see how much we can raise for them!!…

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Categories Animal

Animal Rescue Shelters : Moles Operating in Animal Rescue Shelters

It is unfortunate in this day and age that we still require “moles” in animal rescue shelters. In many towns around the globe you can pay for the privilage of watching two Pit Bull Terriers ripping each other apart, blood splattered walls, confined within a makeshift pen so that the onlookers, each who has paid an entry fee and each who can bet on each individual fight, can witness a kill and cheer the dogs on.

These dogs are especially bred for fighting and their lives revolve around death. Those who so survive often carry war-wounds to their faces, legs, ears and it is only until a stronger Pit Bull comes along and wins it’s place.

Many raids across the county, mostly after months of culmination by expert investigators, must endure the harsh reality of this dreadful bloodsport. These “moles” operate in secret and collect fragments of intelligence required to trap and prosecute those guilty of mistreating animals. Many of these blood-sport games are found due to “tip-offs” by the public who find this brutal sport unwarranted.

The mistreatment of animals does not just stop here. Many animals are ferried illegally into our country with a very high rate of mortality. Bird smugglers operate between many continents supplying African Grey Parrots, Cockatoos, Gahlas and some are even airmiled in little cardboard tubes where they suffocate.

Unfortunately, the list of cruelty to animals could go on-and-on. I truly admire how these remarkable “moles” work undercover to uproot this evil pasttime. These people are highly necessary for surveillence and arrest of unjust people. They are, in some areas, issued with nightvision binoculars and readily give up their time on their crusade against animal cruelty.

The best information comes from informers and this is why I urge anyone who suspects animal cruelty to contact their local Police or Animal Welfare Shelter. Just take a moment to think of those poor Pit Buill Terriers and the lives they have to lead, the image sends shudders down my spine. Please help your local rescue representative to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to our animals. It does not matter how young or old our are, all it takes is courage.…

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Categories Animal

Where Animal Shelters Can Find Financial Help and Hope

Kill rates in many animal shelters across the country are as high as 50% and some are even higher. That’s not very good survival rates for a dog or cat entering one of these shelters. For pets surrendered by their owner, the chances they will go out the front door to a new home is pretty slim. It’s almost as if some animal shelters would rather take the easier and less expensive solution to our pet overpopulation problem and put pets down rather than care for and find homes for all healthy and adoptable pets. Every year, three to four million pets are euthanized in animal shelters because we can’t figure out a more humane and compassionate solution to properly care for homeless pets.

Any pet owner can understand the financial strain animal shelters are under with food, veterinarian calls and other operating costs. Tax dollars fund most shelters, but it’s difficult to keep up with an overflowing number of pets turned into shelters. However, people surrender their pets to shelters because they believe it’s the right thing to do and they think shelters will in turn do the right thing. Euthanizing healthy pets isn’t the answer, but there is help and hope if the animal shelter and community are willing to make a commitment to work together to help save pets and move towards a no kill promise to every pet who is healthy and adoptable.

Maddie’s Fund was created by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to honor their beloved Miniature Schnauzer. Maddie was ten years old when she passed away in 1997. The Duffield’s started their organization to honor her memory by trying to save the lives of all animal shelter pets who are healthy and adoptable. Maddie’s Fund isn’t a rescue group; they give financial aid to animal shelters when the community, counties, rescue organizations, animal control and veterinarians all come together in a common cause to save shelter pets. The idea is to work together to convert their kill shelters towards no kill facilities. There’s no reason why healthy and adoptable pets should ever be put down. By requiring entire communities to become involved; ending unnecessary euthanasias will more likely succeed when everyone works together.

Maddie’s Fund has an aggressive goal of turning all animal shelters into no kill shelters by 2015 to create a no kill nation. We are one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world and yet we can’t provide a better option for healthy and adoptable homeless pets other than putting them down when shelters are full. The problem has been and continues to be; out of sight and out of mind. What we don’t know about what goes on at our local shelters can’t upset us when we don’t take the time to find out how many pets are going out the back door instead of out the front door to a new home. For too many pets, being adopted is like winning the grand prize at a state fair.

To qualify for grant money from Maddie’s Fund, communities and counties must come together to develop a business plan and long term plans. Human population matter and in order to qualify for grants, there has to be a population of at least 100,000 people in a coalition made up of animal groups, counties and cities (large and small) to build commitments supporting the people we charge with taking care of animal shelter pets. That includes everyone in the community who works with pets from shelter workers to vets, rescue groups and animal control personnel.

Once a community qualifies, money is then available to implement long term goals that will eventually lead a shelter to becoming no kill. Starter grants help committed communities pay for developing long term goals and business plans. Maddie’s Fund helps communities see other options to save shelter pets instead of taking the easy route too many shelters are still doing.

Animal shelters don’t usually have a vet on staff. Maddie’s Fund supports the colleges of Veterinary Medicine programs to help future vets learn about shelter medicine so more are qualified to work in animal shelters and can help pets who need behavioral rehabilitation and can take care of the medical needs of all of the pets in their care. Shelters that commit to an adoption guarantee and have a full time vet on staff will then be able to apply for grant money to help pay for medical equipment. Maddie’s fund wants to change the way shelters have been doing business to a more humane and progressive focus that actually solves problems instead of hiding the sad reality behind closed doors.

Most pets in animal shelters are not there because they have behavioral problems. The reasons vary for why a pet is surrendered to a shelter and if more people looking for a pet would visit their local shelter instead of supporting puppy and kitten mills that sell their pets through pet stores, more homeless pets could find a good home and puppy and kitten mills would stop producing as many pets once their main connection to the public is shut off.

Maddie’s Fund is about educating entire communities and getting them on board to commit to a more humane way of treating animal shelter pets. There is no reason why healthy and adoptable pets should be euthanized. For more information on Maddie’s Fund, please visit their website. We can create a no kill nation, if we have the will and courage to change, by doing it one animal shelter at a time.


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Categories Animal

Career Opportunities for Graduates with an Animal Behavior Degree

An Animal Behavior degree can be a definite asset for someone who has an interest in animals and wishes to pursue a career in animal science. Animal behavior is the study of interactions between the physical environments( both external and internal) and animal response, specifically in relation to development, growth and evolution.

This area of knowledge feeds into several disciplines such as comparative psychology, behavioral ecology and anthropology. A degree in Animal Behavior can also be highly specialized. Students begin with a Bachelor of Arts ( B.A.) or Science ( B.Sc.), then move to a Master of Arts ( M.A,) or Science ( M.Sc.) or advanced degrees like a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine ( D.V.M).

Teaching and Research at Colleges and University

Colleges and universities employing animal behavior specialists for teaching and research usually require a PhD degree. Competition for academic positions is high because of the strong interest academia has in research that is relevant to the needs of industries.

For example, universities are hiring animal behaviorists to study the relationship between behavior and production, conservation and care of animals. Much research is directed at specific industry goals – improving livestock production, enhancing conservation of endangered species, developing policies for the well-being of wild and domestic animals or controlling agricultural and urban pests.

Research in Government and Private Institutions

Graduates with an Animal Behavior degree are also in demand in government sponsored laboratories or private industries. Drug companies, for example, require the knowledge of animal behaviorists to conduct research on the effect of drugs on behavior, the connection between behavior and disease, the relationship between genes, brain and behavior disorders and the manipulation of genetic material to produce animals and organisms with a high level of immunity to disease.


Animal Behavior Expertise Needed by Conservation Groups, Zoos and Museums

Behavior research is needed to enhance the health and reproduction of animals in captivity and animals in wildlife habitats. Graduates with an Animal Behavior degree are in demand in zoos and museums where they work in close collaboration with field biologists and various specialists to monitor the well-being of animals.

Conservation groups use animal behavior consultants to design and maintain habitat requirements for wildlife reserves. They may also require animal behaviorists to prepare animals for re-entry into native habitats.

Current interest in preserving the environment has also increased the image and popularity of wildlife habitats, many of which are heavily dependent on sponsorships, grants and income through public education. To this end, conservation groups need animal behaviorists to communicate specific knowledge to the general public in the form of programs, lectures, presentations, newsletters, books and educational camps.

Writing and Broadcasting Widen Career Options

Public interest in animal behavior also means that there are increased opportunities for graduates who are interested in broadcasting, films, science writing and journalism. The proliferation of science journals both in print and online also means increased opportunities for those who have a particular affinity with the written word or media.

Pet Management and Training

Currently, the fastest growing field for an Animal Behavior consultant is pet management. A PhD is not required here, although strong communications skills and rapport building skills will be very helpful indeed.

This work entails working with animals and their owners to manage behavior problems in pets. The business of pet management can also expand to include several services: seminars and classes for owners, training sessions with pets, home visits and even pet day care.

If one has a love for animals and an interest in behavior and psychology, getting an Animal Behavior degree promises to be both exciting and rewarding.

More information on animal behavior can be found below.…

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Categories Animal

Great Picture and Audio Books for Kids About Toy Animals

From The Velveteen Rabbit to Toy Story, tales about the secret lives of toys have enchanted kids for years. There’s just something magical about getting to see what’s really going on in the mind of your favorite stuffed animal during playtime or when his or her owner is away.

Here are a few new and more obscure stories about toys – told expertly through innovative picture and audio books.

Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue


When Benjamin Middlemouse, a toy mouse who lives in the wooden wardrobe of a boy’s bedroom, learns that his mother has gone missing, he teams up with his friend Bumper, a toy elephant who lives on the boy’s bed, and embarks on a rescue mission. Their journey takes them to far-away places in the kitchen and the pantry where they encounter many other toy animals – but not Benjamin’s mother.

But when Benjamin and Bumper venture into the garden, they learn that Benjamin’s mother has been kidnapped by the odious stuffed cat Sir Pouncelot – and is due to become the cat’s next meal! Can a toy mouse and elephant find a way to save the captive mouse before dinnertime?

A charming picture book done in the spirit of other toy animal stories like Winnie the Pooh or The Mouse and his Son, Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue uses actual photographs of stuffed animals and miniature diorama sets to create the whimsical scenes in the story. This enables photographer Olivier Toppin to create some wonderful laugh-out-loud photos of Benjamin and Bumper riding a scooter or constructing elaborate gadgets out of ropes, spools, and cans to rescue Benjamin’s mother.

The storybook does get a little too precious near the end as author Molly Coxe tries a bit too hard to ensure that all the characters get a happy ending – yet overall the book succeeds in introducing (and re-introducing) children and adults to the old-fashioned stories kids used to enjoy in the Raggedy Ann and Andy books or Gumby TV show.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane: Listening Library Audio Book

Once upon a time there was a china rabbit named Edward Tulane who belonged to a child named Abilene. Although Abilene loved Edward very much, Edward did not love Abilene – or anyone else for that matter – as he was too caught up with his own splendid appearance.

Then, one day, during a sea voyage, Edward is lost and spends the next several years in the hands of many different owners – from a fisherman’s family, to a hobo and his dog, to a sick child, to a street performer. With each new owner, Edward learns to open his heart even as his appearance grows older and frailer. Yet as cruel twists of fate continue to separate him from those he loves, Edward grows sad – and wonders if loving his owners is worth the pain of losing them.

Read by Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Judith Ivey, this unabridged audio book of Kate Di Camillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a fantastic piece of oral storytelling. Ivey narrates the book in a warm and soothing tone that’s frequently punctuated with several wonderful character voices, ranging from a mysterious old grandmother, to a craggy fisherman, to a lonely hobo.

For a less accomplished actor, coming up with voices for such a wide variety of characters could lead to repetitive performances. Yet, Ivey’s voice is so flexible that it’s easy to accept her as a boy, old woman, or toy rabbit — while the overall fluidity of her reading makes the transitions into and out of these different characters smooth and effortless. The result is an audio book that’s very easy for kids to get caught up in – all the way from its whimsical beginning to its poignant end.

At only one hour and fifty-six minutes (two audio book CDs) long, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is very short compared to other audio books for young readers, which can run up to six hours or more. As such, it makes an excellent bedtime story for kids in the mood for a fairy tale that seems tailor-made for reading aloud.…

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