shelter publications

This is Rosie. She’s a 10 year old tabby cat who we adopted from the shelter 3 days ago.

Since then, the amount of people who have asked “why didn’t you look for a kitten?” or “are you sure you want to adopt such an old animal?” or “adopting her is a waste, you should look for a younger cat!” is unreal.

Did you know that cats have an average lifespan of 13-17 years but can live to well over the age of 20? Or that senior pets who are considered the ‘least adoptable pet’ can take on average of 4 times longer than the average adoptable pet to find a home? Or that senior pets are the first to be euthanized because our society is obsessed with the cute baby puppies and kitties, only to grow bored with them as they get older, and then give them back to the shelter so they can not be chosen against the little kitty they once were and then be put down? Not a single person who asked me any of those questions knew any of that information.

I could go on about how senior animals have already developed their personalities so what you see is what you get or that they have a better temperament and better manners than their younger counterparts or that they’re usually already trained so you have to do less work once you bring them home and your carpets will suffer less. But I’ll stick with the one major point I want to get across.




This little angel was given up by her owners after 10 years, left in a box on the shelter’s doorstep with a note saying they didn’t want her anymore because she was too fat and they tried to make her lose weight and couldn’t. And so she sat in the shelter for 112 days. Missing the only family she’d ever known, in a room full of strange cats, and constantly being poked and prodded by strangers all day long. And I am not a cat person whatsoever, I’ll make that clear right now. I’ve been bitten and hissed at by almost every cat I’ve ever come in contact with. But the second I saw Rosie at the shelter, I was drawn to her and before I knew it, she stole my heart right outta my chest. Since then, every day she warms up to us more and more, forever purring like a little tugboat and chirping away at us, her true personality starting to peek through little by little.

Rosie deserves a happy life, surrounded by people who love her and a dog who tolerates her (their relationship is a work in progress 😅), just as much as any kitten does. She may be old but she’s certainly not broken and even if she only makes it to the 13 instead of the 17, at least her last few years will be spent in her home, with a family, and not a homeless shelter.

So moral of the story, adopt. Go out to your local animal shelter and adopt. If you can’t adopt, donate, volunteer, or sign up to participate in their read to the animals activities or whatever your shelter does. But if you can, don’t just stick to the tiny, cute ones. Older babies need homes too and they are just as precious and lovable as the tiny ones and I promise you that it’ll be one of the best decisions you ever make.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

5 out of 5 stars

Guys, I loved this book so much.  SO MUCH.  I ALREADY WANT TO REREAD IT AND I HARDLY EVER REREAD BOOKS.  @corinneduyvis, what have you done to me?!

It’s about an autistic, half-Surinamese teenage girl named Denise who lives in Amsterdam in the 2030′s.  At the very beginning of the book, she learns that a comet is going to hit the earth in the coming months, so all of the richest people either high-tail it out of there on generation ships that have been built to bring people to a newly discovered, earth-like planet (a little bit ahead of schedule, but hey, this is an emergency) or hunker down in super impressive shelters.  The rest of the population, like Denise?  Left to fend for themselves in public shelters.  That’s all I’ll say about the plot, though, so as to avoid spoilers of any kind.

So it’s an #ownvoices book in regards to the autistic main character, which is awesome, and reason enough to want to support this book in general.  Add on that the main character is also a WOC (half-Surinamese, as mentioned above) and that it’s apocalyptic and sci-fi (two of my favorite genres)?  I mean, it’s a recipe for a book that I would love, and it didn’t disappoint at all.  Also, Denise’s sister, Iris, is trans, and the two sisters’ relationship is amazing and really real written.

All of the characters are really well fleshed-out, honestly.  Denise and Iris’s mom is a drug addict, and while she’s not cut any slack, she also isn’t demonized for her illness.  There’s also a very minor romance that I actually shipped, surprisingly enough, and all of the people that Denise befriends are great in their own way.  Basically, the characters are very well-drawn and real, and that’s one of the things that makes this book so readable: it’s regular people dealing with both regular and not-so-regular problems during extraordinary circumstances.  It makes them grounded and relatable, even if I can’t relate to, you know, a comet coming to destroy the earth.

Really, it was just a book that I couldn’t put down, and I needed that after my months-long reading slump that I only recently got out of.  The representation was phenomenal, I thought the plot was super engaging, and I loved the world-building.  The book had me crying at multiple points, and I know I’ve said this before, but that never happens to me with books.

I know this has been pretty rambling (I waited a few weeks to write this review and I think it shows, but you get what you get), but all of this is to say: highly recomendddd, please go read this book and talk about it with me afterwards!  It’s absolutely a new favorite of mine now.


The Sorrowful Dawn الفجر الحزين is an Iraqi film that was produced shortly after the events of Al Amiriya Air-Raid-Shelter bombing in Baghdad. The one-hour film portrays the lives of Iraqis from different social, economic, and religious backgrounds as they cope with the events preceding the attack on Al Amiriya Shelter by the U.S Air Force, mainly relating to those who took shelter in “Public Shelter 25” in Al Amiriya district.

Al Amiriyah shelter was bombed on 13th of February 1991 by the United States Airforce. During operation Desert Storm, the U.S Airforce deliberately and belligerently targeted the underground shelter leaving more than 400 people dead, the vast majority were women and children. 

The film is directed by one of Iraq’s most famous directors Salah Karam صلاح كرم, who has directed films and shows like “The Wolves of the Night” and “Men of Shadow”.  Real scenes from the events of the bombing are employed throughout the film providing a great deal of authenticity to the story. In addition to the beautiful and emotionally charging background music by Naseer Shamma نصير شمة, the film features a group of Iraq’s elite actors and actresses such as Yussef Al Ani يوسف العاني, Asiya Kamal آسيا كمال, Hadel Kamel هديل كامل, and Bahjat Al Juboori بهجت الجبوري

I highly recommend you watch this beautifully directed and written film on YoutubeYes, it is in Arabic, but the film presents itself in a very universal manner that I felt even those who don’t understand Arabic can relate to. 


Images from Family Fallout Shelters.

A filmstrip presentation produced in 1960 by the U.S. Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization for use in the “Home Preparedness Workshops” held in local communities. Target audience was the average American housewife and homemaker of the period. This is number 2 in a series of 5 filmstrips made by the OCDM for use in the Home Preparedness Workshop.
Western countries not prepared for nuclear war, expert warns
Western countries are ill-prepared for the aftermath of a nuclear war or catastrophic meltdown, an expert specializing in the impacts of fallout has warned.

OK brutal honesty here, the headline is more accurate than the fluff in the article.  The author vastly understates the true nature of the problem.  For those of you who live in the United States, here is a little survey to illustrate how bad the problem really is here:

1.  How would you be notified the United States is under Nuclear attack?

2.  When notified of a impending nuclear attack how long do you have to seek shelter?

3.  Where is the nearest equipped public fallout shelter that will allow you to survive the first two weeks after a force level nuclear exchange (ie WW3)?

4.  What should you do if you aren’t in a shelter when a blast occurs nearby?

5.  How are radiation levels monitored in your community following a nuclear attack?

The answers to these questions may surprise you.

1.  The most likely method to be used to notify you of a nuclear attack in the United States is the Wireless Emergency Alert feature of your smartphone.  This system has the ability to transmit national emergency messages, also called  “Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.”  Additional alerts may also be transmitted on NOAA National Weather Radio, or on local emergency warning systems, but these are likely to provide only a minute or two of warning of an incoming attack.

2. Assuming the U.S. does not fire first, in most scenarios, significantly less than 10 minutes.  Depending on the efficiency of the WEA system and the attack strategy used by an adversary,  the system may not be able to operate fast enough to deliver a warning.  The initial threat in a nuclear exchange is likely to be SLBMs (submarine launched ballistic missles) launched on a depressed trajectory from locations in international waters near the U.S. Coast, most likely in the Atlantic ocean.  Such missiles may be able to reach their targets in as little as 15 minutes.  These missiles will most likely be targeted at military command and control targets in and around Washington DC, and will likely include warheads intended to detonate at altitude over the U.S. to initiate EMP effects to degrade the governments ability to warn of the impending strike.  ICBM’s launched from Russian missile fields have a flight time of around 30 minutes, depending on their target.  Most conservative estimates place the time to detect and verify an incoming nuclear strike at around 15 minutes.  If it is an attack launched by mistake, or by accident, the time could be even longer due to normalcy bias in the system.  Dozens of false alarms have occurred over the years….and the nationwide nuclear attack warning system has never been activated.

3. There probably isn’t one unless you work for a governmental agency or the military.  Public fallout shelters stopped being supported in the 1980s.  While the old fallout shelter signs still exist, most of the supplies stored in those shelters are likley expired and unusable at this point.  For most Americans, there simply is no where to take shelter unless they have provided a shelter for themselves.   Want to know how to do this?  Look to Nuclear War Survival Skills, a nuclear war survival manual that is one of the few honest sources of nuclear survival information on the planet available to the general public.  Otherwise you need to get as far underground or surround yourself with as much concrete as you can.  Mass is the key to protecting yourself from dangerous fallout, getting as much mass between you and the fallout is the key to remaining protected.  Once you are under cover, take stock of what supplies you and other survivors can muster, and find a way to get information.  

4.  Duck and cover, just like the 1950′s films depict.  You will first notice a bright flash, that will get brighter fro several seconds.  Do not look at it, get behind the nearest cover, get on the ground face down, and protect your neck and head with your arms.  Wait for the blast wave, or the sound of the blast.   The longer the delay the better your chances of survival of the immediate blast.  You need to get to cover as quickly as possible.  Fallout may not arrive for minutes to hours, depending on your distance from the blast.  If you survived the initial blast, you have a chance to survive, do not give up, get to the best shelter you can as quickly as possible. 

5.  Unlike the civil defense years, there is no longer a mechanism for wide spread fallout monitoring by trained civilians.  In some regions, emergency management professionals and some fire departments have the necessary equipment and training, however information about the true danger outside, and the levels of radioactive fallout will be difficult of impossible to obtain for days or weeks after a nuclear exchange.

The prospect of nuclear war is far more dangerous today that it was even 10 years ago.  We have grown accustomed to what Kennedy described as the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over our head, and have forgotten the danger that exists should that sword ever fall.  We have lived under the delusion that Mutually Assured Destruction and launch on warning strategies have made us truly safe…. nothing could be further from the truth.  While it is true that these two doctrines have prevented force level exchanges in the past, and likely do have a deterrent effect upon rational actors, the most likely cause of a nuclear war in modern times is a mistake.  Warning systems on both sides MUST be connected to computer networks  (highly secure networks to be sure, not connected to the internet). However, all networks can be infiltrated by a sophisticated enough adversary, and all electronic systems can be exploited with sufficient talent and resources.  Nuclear war, even full scale nuclear war is possible as long as nuclear weapons exist.  Worse yet, adherence to the old deterrence strategies of the Cold War greatly amplify the danger associated with an accidental launch.

anonymous asked:

My dad says Zoo's are becoming politically incorrect. I've seen both arguments but I wanna hear your opinion on it: do you think Zoo's are a good idea?

Well, let’s see if I can keep this response short.

First, I’m guessing that by ‘politically correct’ you mean ‘ethically sound.’ So, is keeping animals in zoos an ethical thing to do? As with many things, there is no easy or even single answer to that question.

Without a doubt, there are bad zoos- private or roadside zoos, zoos that keep their animals in abhorrent conditions, zoos that allow visitors to engage in unsafe things like cub-petting schemes. It is obvious that these types of zoos are unethical and exploitative.

(Hint: something like this is never a good sign.)

On the other hand, what constitutes a ‘good’ zoo? In the best captive conditions currently available, is it okay to keep an animal locked up? Some say no, no matter what; some say what we have now isn’t good enough. Others say yes- the best zoos are able to provide their captives with good lives.

This of course brings us to just what a ‘good’ life is. Those who say that animals should never ever be placed in captivity usually value a sense of freedom above all else. Even in perfect captive conditions, an animal will not be free, wild, or ‘natural.’

However, we must acknowledge that ‘freedom’ is a concept created and defined by humans. A human locked in a prison knows the difference between captivity and freedom, and is able to conceptualize that certain ‘rights’ that they have are being violated. But for animals, this may be too complex to perceive. How far back do you have to move a fence before a kudu decides that he is wild again? The idea that animals sense when they are ‘free’ versus ‘not free’ is, to me, not realistic.

Animals do, however, benefit from the ability to be free to make choices, such as what they eat, where they will go, who they will interact with, and so on. Undeniably, captivity presents animals with fewer choices of these kinds than they would have in the wild. The best zoos are now implementing programs to accommodate these choices, particularly with highly intelligent animals such as elephants and apes.

One such example: the “O Line” at the Smithsonian National Zoo allows orangutans to choose one of two buildings to stay in during the day. Other animals, such as the otters, can choose whether or not to be on exhibit via spaces in their enclosure that are sheltered from the public. Scatter feeding and foraging enrichment is yet another way that zoos allow animals to choose what food they want to eat.

Still, despite these improvements, there will always be limitations of choice in captive environments compared to wild ones by the very definition of ‘captivity.’ Furthermore, while many strides have been taken to update enclosures with choices in mind, the fact remains that the implementation of behavioral science in zoos lags behind the research due to the costs, and often due to the stress of the animals themselves when trying to adjust to new schedules and norms (even if they are theoretically better ones).

A forty-year old captive elephant will have lived through decades of zoo reform, and we can’t erase those negative experiences from her mind.

One danger of comparing captive animals to their wild counterparts is assuming that captive environments should mirror the wild ones as closely as possible. But what the wild even is is not well-defined. ‘Wild’ deer roam my suburban neighborhood: should that habitat be replicated in their zoo enclosure? Wild environments include predators, diseases, and natural disasters: is it better that those be implemented in zoos as well?

In actuality, an animal born in captivity likely has no sense of what its natural environment should look like. Certainly it has natural instincts and inclinations- a tiger likes to urine-mark vertical objects and a gibbon likes to climb- but neither of them specifically needs a tree to do this with- a post or rope swing would also work. The ‘naturalistic’ look of many zoo enclosures is actually for the benefit of the visitors, not the animals. In fact, a lush, well-planted habitat could still be an abysmal one for an animal if all of its needs aren’t being met.

This brings us to one of the most important aspects of zoos: the visitors. Theoretically, one of the major purposes of good zoos is to educate and inspire the public about animals, particularly in regards to their conservation. But do zoos actually do this?

The answer is yes… to a small extent. People given surveys upon entering and leaving a zoo exhibit generally do know slightly more about the animals than they used to, but this depends a lot on how educated they were to begin with. While many visitors express an increased desire to engage in conservation efforts after leaving a zoo, not many of them have actually followed up on it when surveyed again a few weeks later. Still, most zoo visitors seem to leave the zoo with several positive if perhaps short-term effects: interest in conservation, appreciation for animals, and the desire to learn more. If a visitor experiences a “connection” with an animal during their visit, these effects are greatly increased.

However, certain types of animal “connections” and interactions can also produce a negative effect on zoo visitors. This reflects what I said earlier about the naturalistic design of habitats being more for the visitors than the animals. Individuals who view animals performing non-natural behaviors (such as a chimpanzee wearing clothes and acting ‘human,’ or a tiger coming up to be petted) are less likely to express an increased interest in their conservation, and even less likely to donate money towards it. Generally, our own perception of freedom and wildness matters much more than the individual animal’s.

The fact of the matter is that, worldwide, zoos spend about $350 million dollars on wildlife conservation each year. That is a tremendous amount of money, and it comes from visitors and donations. What amount of discomfort on the part of captive animals is worth that money being devoted to their wild counterparts? It’s hard to say.

This is a very, VERY general overview of some of the ethical issues surrounding zoos; to go over it all, I’d need to write a book. But hopefully, it got you thinking a little bit about what your own opinion on all this is. (I didn’t explicitly state mine on purpose, though it’s probably fairly clear.)

Refs and further reading below the cut!

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Careful Decisions

Summary:  You find out that SM is holding auditions, but only looking for boys, so you cut your hair and dress like a boy. You get in as a trainee and Xiumin is your teacher.
Type: Angst(?)/ Fluff
Length: 1836 Words
Members: Xiumin x Reader

- Admin Au

Originally posted by secrethideoutme

It’s just a handful of moments before dawn’s rays will cut through the foggy early-morning sky, piercing clouds and turning them into dust that one would sift through their hands as silvery, fine tangled strings if one could touch the untouchable. You stand in front of the mirror and breathe - an inhale of new hope, fresh air to clear your jumbled head, the dove’s song - exhale the worry that this will be your last day before you are caught, anxieties and fears, a deep sense of not belonging. For you are a girl with her hair cut short, a binder around your chest, your head held higher than a king’s crown; you’re a girl playing pretend in order to chase after an opportunity.

One of the entertainment businesses you’ve been dreaming about joining for many years included this one, although it was near the bottom of your list. SM Company, home (prison?) to the seniors of this stream of music, to the twelve boys that somehow shrank to nine, to the reliably risk-taking queens highlighted by the fact that they had been sheltered from public view for many a month before emerging with new shine; and many, many more - you are among the group of individuals that will leave a name in musical history.

When you heard that SM Entertainment was opening auditions, your hand had flown to the computer mouse with stars suddenly blinking on in your eyes. But your gaze continued to read through the rules and requirements and realized - they were only searching for males.

Everyone had told you not to try - Can you really pass for a boy? Will it be worth it? What if you get caught? But when would you ever get another chance? you retorted. Would there be another opportunity for them to call out to the potential in individuals all over the world? In your mind, there was no other way but to go right for it.

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Shelter dogs are not all the same and we must understand that when talking about the “shelter dogs vs. breeders” debate. 

Every shelter dog is different, and they are not always the right match for every person. People who adopt from shelters need to know exactly what they’re getting, because this will be a companion for 10+ years. They should NOT be guided by something as trivial as “adopt don’t shop” or “all shelter dogs are perfect and just as good as any purebred dog from a breeder”. Most shelter dogs, especially older dogs, require a special kind of person who is able to consistently socialize and train them. Even with younger shelter dogs, there’s always an unknown idea about what to possibly expect. 

Purebred dogs in shelters almost, if not always come from puppy mills or backyard breeders. The people who bought them thought they would be cute but when they came riddled with disease or behavioral problems they subsequently dumped them in a shelter. They are not always “just as good as a dog from a breeder”. They most often have behavioral problems that the average pet owner isn’t prepared to deal with. 

People need to stop with this type of savior complex, thinking that shelter dogs are superior, when there are huge flaws in the pet adoption system that need to be solved. People impulse-buy from both shelters AND bad breeders, and when they get an unhealthy dog it goes back to the shelter. The public needs to be educated about responsibly getting a dog from a shelter or a good breeder. Because otherwise they’re going to end up with an emotionally compromised dog who gets a disease at a young age, and are not able to care for it because they thought all shelter dogs were perfect angels. 

Both reputable breeders AND shelters are valid ways of getting a dog, but people need to research before making such a huge commitment.


Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter. Book preview by Lloyd Kahn of Shelter Publications.


A Vancouver charity, RainCity Housing, is converting city benches into pop-up shelters for homeless people. And by giving homeless people some dry coverage and a place to rest, RainCity is putting London’s anti-homeless spikes to shame that were popping up around London in early June


Here’s a rabbit you don’t see everyday: meet Wizard (A687884)!

I have dealt with shelter rabbits for over six years now and this is the second poofiest rabbit I’ve ever seen. Wizard came to the shelter from a hoarder with about 20 other rabbits, but he definitely stands out in a crowd. I didn’t even know how to take his photo, because he hardly looks like a rabbit!

Wizard’s a shy guy, coming from a tough situation, who really needs a new start in life. He needs a home that will give him good food, space to roam, a good brushing every week, and lots of love. He’s a sweet, gentle boy, he just needs that perfect family to help bring him out of his shell.

All animals on this blog are available at Toronto Animal Services South Region (a public shelter where I volunteer). Rabbit adoption fees are $45.20 and all rabbits are fixed and microchipped. If you’re interested or want more information, send me an ask!