Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Overpolicing and constant surveillance of low-income urban communities leads to the incarceration of animals as well as people with many pets being killed in public animal shelters, argues UC Riverside Associate Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies Katja M. Guentherin her new book, ” The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals. “
Guenther shows in poignant detail how residential segregation and systemic racism criminalize certain sorts of dogs and their Black and Latino human guardians—and how this influences life and death decisions regarding the fates of shelter animals .
“Low-income communities of color are disproportionately subject to intervention from animal control officers, just as they are from police,” Guenther said. “Their companion animals are more likely to end up impounded in shelters, disrupting human-animal relationships, which have been consistently shown to provide critical emotional and physical benefits to human guardians.”
Drawing on multiple years of ethnographic research in a high-intake Los Angeles-area public animal shelter, Guenther documents the processes underlying disproportionate rates of animal killing in a shelter responsible for animal control in mostly lower income Latino communities compared to shelters serving wealthier, whiter parts of Los Angeles.
Guenther, a long-time volunteer at the shelter, which took in 20,000 […]
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