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Conflicting perspectives on nonhuman animal rescues in natural disasters

By D. Every, C. Due, K. Thompson, J. Ryan

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Nonhuman animal guardians are more at risk during natural disasters because they are likely to delay or refuse evacuation and return to evacuated disaster sites to rescue animals. Research on the human-animal bond (HAB) views animal guardians' actions as a reflection of a strong attachment. However, in addition to guardians, disaster planners, rescue personnel, and other community members influence which animals are saved and how. As Irvine (2009) noted, the way people and institutions think about different animals precedes which animals are included in disaster efforts, and when and how these animals are included. This paper considers how media articles on animal rescues use moral evaluations of animals to justify or challenge people's actions in saving or not saving animals. We found that the multiple moral evaluations of animals and animal rescue were a source of misunderstanding and conflict during and after a disaster.

Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 358-382
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/15685306-12341417
Language English
Author Address Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, 44 Greenhill Rd, Wayville SA 5034,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal health and hygiene
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Conflict
  5. Disaster
  6. Ecology
  7. Media
  8. morality
  9. natural disasters
  10. Pets and companion animals
  11. Psychiatry and psychology
  12. Relationships
  13. Social psychology and social anthropology
  14. Veterinary sciences
  15. Zoology