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Bridging the Bond: The Cultural Construction of the Shelter Pet Hardcover – December 11, 2002


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Cast either as necessary evils or benevolent havens, animal shelters are as frequently reviled as they are revered, largely because of a dearth of information and a wealth of innuendo about what actually transpires behind their doors. Inspired by her personal experiences with rescue dogs and background as a shelter volunteer, Harbolt records a scholarly yet sensitive study of animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue leagues, rendering an objective and informed insight into the animal welfare movement. To better understand this complex and sometimes controversial interspecies relationship, Harbolt conducted in-depth interviews with dedicated shelter volunteers and employees and adamant activists to reveal the setbacks and successes inherent in their mission--and even "talked" with abandoned animals themselves. An informed analysis of several national and local imperatives provides a sociological and cultural overview from both historical and contemporary viewpoints. Part memoir, part ethnography, Harbolt's investigation sheds valuable light on an emotional and often contentious subject by examining with compassion and equanimity the bond that exists between man and beast. Carol Haggas
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About the Author

Tami L. Harbolt earned a masters degree in folk lore from Western Kentucky University, and completed her graduate work at the University of New Mexico in American studies in 2000. During that time, she worked at the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico developing youth education programs.

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