Low-income Americans are having a hard enough time feeding themselves. Feeding their pets is an even bigger challenge. Some 42 million Americans received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) last year.
“Veterinarians who want to report suspected animal abuse often encounter a bureaucratic runaround,” says Phil Arkow. Arkow hopes that the recent launch of a free online National Directory of Abuse Investigation Agencies will help. Arkow is Coordinator of the National Link Coalition, a multidisciplinary, collaborative initiative formed in 2008 to raise awareness of the connection between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. It’s based on the idea that violence begets violence, and that when animal cruelty or neglect exists in a home, chances are that children, domestic partners, or elderly family members are being hurt, too.
The opioid shortage isn’t going away any time soon. The shortage, which is severely affecting veterinarians’ ability to provide pain management for patients, is expected to last into 2019. The primary short-term cause is a production issue at a Pfizer, Inc. plant in Kansas, but residual hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing center, and a pre-existing Drug Enforcement Agency mandate to reduce the manufacture of opioid medication in the United States by 20% in 2018, are also having an effect.