Synopses & Reviews
Monster is an adult pit bull, muscular and grey, who is impounded in a large animal shelter in Los Angeles. Like many other dogs at the shelter, Monster is associated with marginalized humans and assumed to embody certain behaviors because of his breed. And like approximately one million shelter animals each year, Monster will be killed. The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals takes us inside one of the country's highest intake animal shelters. Katja M. Guenther witnesses the dramatic variance in the narratives assigned different animals, including Monster, which dictate their chances for survival. She argues that these inequalities are powerfully linked to human ideas about race, class, gender, ability, and species. Guenther deftly explores internal hierarchies, breed discrimination, and importantly, instances of resistance and agency.
A behind-the-scenes examination of how a high-intake public shelter asserts control over human and animal populations, how those humans and animals respond to and resist such control, and what the consequences of these dynamics of domination and defiance are for impounded companion animals and for all animals. Can we save America's homeless animals?