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Loving AnimalsToward a New Animal Advocacy$
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Kathy Rudy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816674688

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816674688.001.0001

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The Love of A Dog

The Love of A Dog

Of Pets and Puppy Mills, Mixed Breeds and Shelters

(p.29) Two The Love of A Dog
Loving Animals

Kathy Rudy

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores what emotional connections between humans and their pets do or could look like. New trends in animal studies indicate that the intimate connections humans have with domesticated animals have altered the shape of what it means to be human. Donna Haraway, for example, suggests that we humans have become different subjects because of our sustained involvement with dogs. From dog parks to breeding to debates over training and diet, “companion animals” are connecting with another species in a way that forces humans to develop different styles of communication and attachment. This chapter examines various social forces that conspired to produce some dogs as pets and others as unwanted shelter animals, as well as concrete recommendations for how we might close that gap. It argues that the problem of homeless pets that end up in animal shelters arises because pets are treated as commodified objects rather than living beings, and that love for pets is the key to helping people open their minds, awaken their spirits, and soften their hearts to the plight of all tortured animals today.

Keywords:   love, emotional connections, humans, pets, dogs, companion animals, attachment, homeless pets, shelter animals, animal shelters

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