How We Can Save 5,000,000 Lives a Year
Here is the first comprehensive review of a survival issue that touches the lives of a majority of Americans -- but hasn´t yet won as much of our active concern as it deserves.
Nearly six out of ten U.S. households own at least one dog or cat. As the new century began, over l30,000,000 pets were sharing our lives. Yet every year an estimated 5,000,000 shelter orphans -- healthy, lovable young animals who would make happy and devoted pets -- are doomed to premature death simply for want of sufficient homes.
What can all of us who keep and care about companion animals do to save the lives of those "surplus" dogs, cats, puppies and kittens? A great deal. But until now there´s been no single, accessible source to enlighten America´s pet-owning public on the many large and small ways we can help.
This informal and inclusive guide, written by a fellow pet owner with no institutional affiliation, focuses on three prime areas in which thoughtful dog and cat lovers can make a dramatic difference: how we acquire our pets; how scrupulously we manage their birth control; and -- perhaps most important today -- how committed we are to keeping them with us for life.
The American Humane Association, in reviewing THE PET SURPLUS on its Web site, said: "If you ever wondered what you could do to help animals, this book provides a clear and concise path towards making a difference. Seidman does a remarkable job of capturing the essence of humane work and offers simple solutions that pet owners -- or potential pet owners -- can follow to help alleviate the pet population problem in this country. The book also summarizes many key humane issues and may serve as a refresher for those working in the humane field. If books like this could be gotten into the right hands...more strides could be made to make the world a better place for our domestic companions."
A review in the Winter 2002 issue of the ASPCA´s magazine, ANIMAL WATCH, said: "As well-researched and readable a text as you could hope to find on this subject, PET SURPLUS is also full of surprises. If there´s new stuff here for savvy dog and cat people -- and there is -- imagine how useful it will be for that friend or neighbor you´d love to enlighten. Better get two copies."
A review in SPAY/USA´s Autumn 2001 newsletter by the organization´s director, Esther Mechler, said: "If they are willing to read, you can save your breath and give them Susan Seidman´s new book THE PET SURPLUS. Full of interesting information..."
A review in the March-April 2002 issue of ANIMAL SHELTERING, the magazine for shelter professionals published by The Humane Society of the United States, said: "An excellent publication for the general public. Encouraging private citizens to become effective armchair activists for the sake of their own pets and the animals in shelters, the book will be an eye-opener."
A review in the October 2002 issue of ANIMAL PEOPLE said: "Public policy could be based on her numbers. Her writing style is lucid, her experiences as a petkeeper for about 50 years both typical and revealing. Timing may be on her side. More of the public than ever before may at last be ready to sit down and read an entire book about pet overpopulation."
Table of Contents:
FOREWORD. Why and for whom this book was written.
Chapter 1: SUPPLY AND DEMAND. The Sunny Side of the Picture. The Shadow Population. A Short History. Progress to Date: A Partial Solution. Where Do We Go from Here?
Chapter 2: ACQUISITION. Right and Wrong Decisions. Is Now the Right Time? Which Kind of Pet Is Best for You? Why Not a Purebred? Rejects and Defects. The Feline Fancy. Breed Rescue. Where to Find the New Pet. The Shelter Option.
Chapter 3: BIRTH CONTROL. An Unmistakable Trend. A Few Facts of Life. Benefits for Everyone. Excuses, Excuses. Going Public. The Feral Cat Challenge. Three Approaches. How Can Pet Owners Help?
Chapter 4: COMMITMENT. Lost and (Sometimes) Found. Holding On vs. Giving Up. Housing Challenges. Bothersome Behavior. Ah(choo!), Those Allergies. Other Personal Problems: "not enough time for the animal;" family changes and complications; economic pressures; illness, disability, physical frailty. If All Else Fails: Outplacement. Life and Death in a Shelter. When Our Pets Outlive Us.
(Appendix:) SOURCES. A selection of resources used and referred to throughout the book. Addresses and other data valid as of January 200l.