Friday, February 22, 2008

Give a Dog a Bone

In many legal cases, animals are seen as evidence, but animals are not inanimate objects that can be put in a brown paper bag and left in a locker until their case has been adjudicated. Whether you call them "custody" animals, long term shelter guests, or by any other name, Animal Control Agencies around this country face a real challenge when trying to care for these animals. Most Shelters, especially ones in densely populated urban areas, are just not set up to house animals for long periods of time. It's an unfortunate fact that such prolonged confinement often causes severe stress, loss of appetite, poor hygiene, diminished motivation, depression, aggressiveness, and in some cases, self mutilation. Many of these dogs have been rescued from neglectful and cruel situations, others are being held for "Vicious & Dangerous" dog hearings and some are there because their owners have been victims of eviction, in jail, or some other disaster in their lives where they can't take care of their animal(s) right now. Give a Dog a Bone was created in 1999 by Corinne Dowling to relieve the isolation, boredom, stress, and suffering of dogs in enforced custody and medical isolation - a population hitherto not served by the dog volunteer program at San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC), an open admissions municipal shelter. With her dedicated volunteers, Corinne improves the quality of life for these dogs by providing enrichment though emotional sustenance, mental and physical stimulation, socialization and kennel stimuli.

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