Displaying items by tag: overpopulation

On the Backs of Tortoises
Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden
Elizabeth Hennessy
An insightful exploration of the iconic Galápagos tortoises, and how their fate is inextricably linked to our own in a rapidly changing world
The Galápagos archipelago is often viewed as a last foothold of pristine nature. For sixty years, conservationists have worked to restore this evolutionary Eden after centuries of exploitation at the hands of pirates, whalers, and island settlers. Elizabeth Hennessy’s book tells the story of the islands’ namesakes—the giant tortoises—as coveted food sources, objects of natural history, and famous icons of conservation and tourism. By doing so, it brings into stark relief the paradoxical, and impossible, goal of conserving species by trying to restore a past state of prehistoric evolution. The tortoises, Hennessy demonstrates, are not prehistoric, but rather microcosms whose stories show how deeply human and nonhuman life are entangled. Acknowledging the interlocked relationship between evolution and global history, Hennessy puts forward a vision for conservation based on reckoning with the past, rather than trying to erase it.
About the Author
ELIZABETH HENNESSY is assistant professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin‑Madison, where she is on the steering committee of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) and—building on her background in journalism and editing—serves as faculty advisor for CHE’s graduate‑student‑run digital magazine, Edge Effects. She received her Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In Ecuador, she works with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and its Galápagos Institute for the Arts and Sciences.                                                                                                                                                                                                     More . . .
Advance Praise for On the Backs of Tortoises
“Wonderfully interesting, informative, and engaging, as well as scholarly.”—Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power of Place
“Timely, fresh, and compelling . . . a must read for anyone interested in the environmental history of the Galapagos and tortoise conservation.”—Jamie Lorimer, University of Oxford, author of Wildlife in the Anthropocene:  Conservation after Nature
“Hennessy’s book isn’t just about the controversial efforts to preserve the world’s most famous tortoises—it also provides an expansive tour de force of Darwinian ideas, the Galapagos, human entanglements in evolution, and the risks of icon making.”—Daniel Lewis, author of Belonging on an Island: Birds, Extinction, and Evolution in Hawai‘i
“Hennessy’s enthralling history of the iconic Galápagos Islands focuses on the tortoises after which they are named to deftly unpack the contradictions of global conservation in the name of science.”—Claudia Leal, author of Landscapes of Freedom: Building a Postemancipation Society in the Rainforests of Western Colombia
“Hennessey finds that even though this archipelago is 97% a national park, humans can no longer consider themselves distinct from nature, but rather are an inseparable part of it with consequences for the identity of each.”—Deborah Cramer, author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey
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Title: On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden 
Author: Elizabeth Hennessy
Price: $30.00 * ISBN: 978‑0‑300‑23274‑5 Hardcover * eBook ISBN: 978‑0‑300‑24915‑6
Pages: 336 * 20 b/w illus.
Publication Date: October 29, 2019

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) January 11, 2016—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has updated its policy on free-roaming abandoned and feral cats to encourage collaboration among veterinarians, humane groups and wildlife conservation entities in efforts to reduce these cat populations in a humane and ethical manner.

While emphasizing that there is no “single solution” to reduce the population of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, the policy states that approaches should give consideration “to the welfare of the cats and wildlife themselves, the ecosystem in which the intervention will be conducted, the expertise and abilities of those implementing the intervention, societal and cultural attitudes, and public health.”

The updated policy, approved by the AVMA House of Delegates on January 9 at its regular winter session, was the result of more than two years of discussion and review among a broad range of stakeholders, including the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee, Committee on Environmental Issues, and Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine, as well as others having feline, avian and wildlife interests and expertise.

“The updated policy reflects extensive review and compromise among major stakeholders and was revised to reflect new information, help build consensus, and provide leadership per the management of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats,” said Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, president of the AVMA.

Dr. Kinnarney explained the policy was the result of “great efforts” to represent the diverse viewpoints related to the issue of free-roaming abandoned and feral cats, while maintaining scientific credibility and a policy that provides valuable and practical information for AVMA members and the public. 

“The revised policy represents iterative progress toward resolving the free-roaming abandoned and feral cat problem, while recognizing that there is currently not consensus around what an ultimate solution will look like,” Dr. Kinnarney said. “It also points to the veterinary profession as a key player in developing approaches that are both science-based and socially responsible.”



TriStar Pictures, Media Rights Capital and QED International present an R rated, 109 minutes, sci-fi, action, drama, directed and written by Neill Blomkamp with a theater release date of August 9, 2013.

Spay FIRST! is a national non-profit organization with the mission of educating the public about the crisis of pet overpopulation which still affects much of our nation. Spay FIRST! is dedicated to preventing animal cruelty by helping to establish low-cost spay and neuter programs in underserved areas in order to enable people everywhere to have their pets spayed or neutered today.

Preventing overpopulation is the only humane way to halt suffering for millions of dogs and cats and to help communities that are otherwise unable to humanely address the issues of unwanted animals.
Helping communities have pets spayed or neutered also enables families to develop bonds to dogs or cats that would otherwise become surplus, or disposable, annoyances.
Areas of rural poverty face some of the biggest problems and, unfortunately, usually have the fewest resources. Issues facing people in chronic poverty impact the animals that share their lives. That’s why Spay FIRST!needs your support to help create spay/neuter programs in the most needy areas of our nation.
*Cats/dogs can get pregnant at 4 months old – spaying/ neutering prevents litters that cannot be cared for. Sadly, over half of Americans polled believed that pets should not be altered until after six months of age.
*By eliminating accidental first litters, U.S. births of 2 million kittens alone could be prevented annually.
*Millions of homeless dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. Euthanasia, due to being homeless, is the single leading cause of death of dogs and cats.
* Spaying a dog or cat costs a fraction of sheltering its unwanted litter and reduces the demand for more shelter space.
*The current cost of sheltering and animal control in the U.S. exceeds $2 billion dollars a year. That figure would increase 11 fold in order to rely on long term sheltering instead of euthanasia.
In addition to halting reproduction, other health benefits of spaying/neutering include the prevention of certain types of cancers and behavioral problems that include roaming, fighting and “marking”territory. Please see our fact sheet about the benefits of spaying/neutering.
Spay FIRST! provides animal lovers with an array of easy ways to get involved: visit: www.SpayFirst.org.
Spay/Neuter Statistics
Dollar for dollar, spay/neuter programs do more than shelters, transport or rescue programs
Affordable spay/neuter programs are urgently needed in low-income towns across our nation.
We spend billions of dollars on pet care products but for nearly half of U.S. households the image of a child happily romping with a healthy pet is merely a fairy tale. In poor communities, especially rural ones, children are often pained seeing their pets abandoned or shot because the family cannot endure another litter. The largest source of unplanned puppy and kitten litters are low-income homes and households with free-roaming cats that produce colonies of feral cats.
* A single male & female dog and their puppies can produce thousands of puppies in 6 years. A female dog can have a litter as young as five months old & then one every six months after that and cats can even get pregnant at four months of age. A male dog can impregnate as many females as he can get to in a day.
* Nearly half of all Americans believe wrongly that a pet should be allowed to have a litter before being altered.
* Many low & moderate income homes are unable to get pets altered before they have an unwanted litter yet fewer than ten states have statewide access to reduced cost spay/neuter services.
* Many states have no high volume spay neuter programs at all.
* Only 51% of homes earning under $35,000 per year have their pets altered, compared to over 90% of higher income homes, yet 41% of American households earn under $35,000 per year.
* The number of homes living in poverty in the U.S. increased dramatically in the last two years and their pets’ lives are urgently fragile. This points to the urgent need for expanded access to community based spay/neuter services.
*In rural areas, there are often more pets per household and less access to spay neuter services.
* While most towns and cities have animal collection facilities of some type, many poor counties do not. Unwanted animals are abandoned, shot, drowned and sold in “swap meets” and flea markets where they have been documented to go to research, dog fighting and puppy mills.
*Worldwide there are 375 million homeless dogs and nearly the same number of unwanted cats -that is 75% of all dogs and cats that are born across the globe. More dogs are electrocuted, poisoned, drowned and starved than are killed by lethal injection, as humane euthanasia is standard only in developed nations.

Ruth Steinberger, Founder of Spay First!, is a highly-respected animal advocate who has devoted her career to expanding the network of professional and grass roots organizations that partner to assist at-risk animals through prevention (spay/neuter), education, and legal protection.
Ms. Steinberger has coordinated rural pet sterilization programs since 1993 when she launched her first program in the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia. She moved to Oklahoma in 1999 to make her home in an area with no existing low-income spay/neuter programs. Since her move, she has expanded her network by working daily with non-profit organizations, veterinarians and dedicated volunteers to start new spay/neuter programs in low-income regions around the state and throughout the country.
Before becoming a Founder of Spay First! she was a founding board member of SPAY Oklahoma, the first high-volume, low-income spay/neuter clinic in Oklahoma. She remains Outreach Coordinator for Spay Oklahoma and has served as the Development Director for Oklahoma Spay Network and as Director of Outreach for the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
Ms. Steinberger has created innumerable programs unique to the communities she serves. One remarkable program she developed was in association with the tribal health office of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Working together to establish a spay/neuter program tailored to the needs of reservation populations, nearly 7,000 surgeries later, this program is recognized as a national model for serving areas facing chronic poverty.
Understanding that education is vital to helping at-risk animals, Ms. Steinberger has assisted in coordinating accredited seminars on early age spay/neuter for veterinarians in conjunction with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association. In addition, Ms. Steinberger has worked with Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners investigator Dale Fullerton and Carey Floyd, D.V.M. to develop the first continuing education anti-cruelty classes for Oklahoma peace officers. This class is now provided by the state law enforcement training agency wherein officers learn investigative veterinary forensic techniques and the link between animal targeted violence and the progression to violence against humans.
Ms. Steinberger is a much sought-after speaker. At the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine she presented a paper on pet overpopulation as a public health issue and the role of the private veterinary practitioner in the resolution of this crisis. She has been featured at many national conferences including all Spay U.S.A. Southern Regional Leadership conferences from 2003 through 2009, the 2011 Best Friends Animal Society’s No More Homeless Pets Conference, the 2007 Humane Society of the United States’ Expo and the 2011 Spay/Neuter Leadership Retreat.
An esteemed animal advocate, spay/neuter expert, and activist/journalist, Ms. Steinberger has received recognition throughout her career. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her outstanding work in the spay/neuter field including the ASPCA’s prestigious Henry Bergh Award for animal activism. The noted publication, Veterinary Practice News, featured the low-income service model Ms. Steinberger developed, called “In-Clinic Clinics,” in its March, 2007 issue. Ms. Steinberger’s journalistic talents earned her being honored as Journalist of the Year by the Lakota Journal.
Always an active volunteer, Ms. Steinberger is an Advisory Board Member and Legislative Chair with the Oklahoma Humane Federation and was recently awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association.
Ms. Steinberger is proud to work with new communities everyday to help create effective programs to prevent animal suffering.
SEAACA & Pet-Connections to Provide No-Cost Spay & Neuter Programs for Owned Free-Roaming Cats

(LOS ANGELES, CA) August 11, 2011 - SEAACA (Southeast Area Animal Control Authority; www.seaaca.org) and Pet-Connections are helping cat owners who live in the 14 cities served by SEAACA with the BIG MEOW, a compelling program to provide no-cost spay and neuter serviced for owned free-roaming cats. The year long, national program kicks off at SEAACA on August 17 with photo opportunities during cat drop-off (7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.) and pick-up (2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.). 

SEAACA and Pet-Connections will offer a variety of services for owned free-roaming cats at absolutely no cost to cat owners. Services include spay or neuter, microchip ID (so cats have permanent ID in addition to a collar), vaccines (FVRCP and rabies), one month application of flea and tick control and basic health care at the time of surgery. 

The BIG MEOW is a significant step in improving cat health and curtailing overpopulation. Spayed or neutered cats tend to want to stay inside with their families. Cats that roam, however, can get lost, hit by passing cars, be exposed to pesticides, poisons or unhealthy plants and disturb neighbors. Moreover, an un-spayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring, producing two litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter, can result in thousands of cats (over 2,000 cats in four years and over 370,000 cats in seven years!).

“The BIG MEOW delivers monumental benefits for everyone,” noted SEAACA Executive Director, Dan Morrison. “It helps owned free-roaming cats lead safer, healthier lives. It also helps manage the surplus cat problem, and the no-cost element helps personal finances in tough economic times,” he added.

The Big Meow will result in over 50 surgeries at SEAACA on the “kick-off day” (August 17) with partner veterinarians in private practice performing another 100 to 150 surgeries on that day; the annual goal for SEAACA is 3,000 surgeries. The Inland Valley Humane Society is concurrently doing the same program. 

In order to participate in the BIG MEOW, cats must be four months to seven years of age. Only owned free-roaming cats are eligible (no feral or wild cats will be accepted). Additionally, cat owners must provide proof of residency in SEAACA service cities and each cat must be in a properly secured kennel or carrier.

For more information about the BIG MEOW or SEAACA, please visit www.seaaca.org, or call the appointment line at 562-803-3301 ext. 251.   


SEAACA (Southeast Area Animal Control Authority) provides animal care and control services for 14 cities in southeast Los Angeles County and northern Orange County, including Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Buena Park, Downey, Lakewood, La Palma, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate and Vernon. SEAACA's Animal Care Center located in Downey reunites pet owners with lost pets and assists new pet owners with pet adoptions. SEAACA’s Animal Wellness Clinic, also located in Downey, spays and neuters all adoption animals plus provides vaccinations and microchipping to the general public. For more information about SEAACA, please visitwww.seaaca.org.

About Pet-Connections

Pet Connections, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to developing coalitions between pet owners, community leaders and animal welfare organizations to reduce the number of stray and unwanted cats and dogs.