Peter begins with an animal news round-up including giraffe conservation, why people must not approach wild animals in national parks or anywhere, imagining a world teeming with T. rexes, mad cow madness and the continuing tragedy of horse racing.
Lori then continues the giraffe theme with facts and queries about these magnificent, gentle beings. June 21 was World Giraffe Day!
Then, did you know that two states, Virginia and California, now have laws requiring shelters and rescue group which adopt out dogs, to share the dogs’ “bite history” if known, to the potential adopters? Lori believes that in principle, such laws are a good idea because more information about the dogs’ history should lead to better matches between adopters and dogs. However, determining the true and complete history of dogs’ prior lives can be near impossible. And, saying a dog has bitten in the past automatically stigmatizes the dog in the eyes of many, even though the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident are unknown. For instance, if a child pulls the tail of dog, frightening the animal, who then spins around and nips the child, can the dog be blamed? Another regrettable phenomenon is the imprecise use of the word vicious. A dog who has bitten is often wrongly called a vicious dog, which lessens the dogs’ prospects for adoption, and raises its chances of being euthanized. So, whether and how to provide histories to potential adopters is a complex issue. For now the best we can do is to remind or educate adopters that they need to be realistic and adaptable. There is a little story, apropos here, where a woman asks her Vet, “Is there any chance my dog will bite?” The Vet replies, “Does he have teeth?”
Featured image: Giraffe Conservation Foundation