CITIZEN CANINE is a fascinating journey through time and space, documenting our relationship with our closest domestic friends. Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Grimm's work is relevant, not just to every dog and cat lover, but anyone interested in how we came to be the humans we are today.”
Dr. Brian Hare, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, and author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Genius of Dogs
“David Grimm brings a uniquely balanced perspective to a subject that is often overwrought with emotions: the modern relationship between pets and their people. Whether you are a devoted pet lover or a skeptical spouse, "Citizen Canine" is as entertaining as it is eye-opening.”Ken Foster, bestselling author of The Dogs Who Found Me and I'm a Good Dog
“No one who loves cats and dogs should miss this book. Grimm tackles the tough questions of our times: Should cats and dogs, and other animals be regarded as persons? Would they be happier leading feral lives? Grab this book and read it now for some surprising and inspiring answers.”Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise, a Kirkus Reviews "Best Book of 2013"
“An engaging account of how dogs and cats came to be our best friends."Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"A fascinating account of how our conceptions of dogs and cats are changing - and what the outcome may mean for their futures. I was gripped throughout."John Bradshaw, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Sense and Cat Sense
“Grimm traces the evolution of today's pets, from once being considered feral beasts and valueless subjects to family members and quasicitizens. The author's research includes fascinating travels across the country interviewing detectives investigating animal cruelty cases, soldiers training military working dogs, and animal law attorneys, and he also visits a wolf sanctuary
Engrossing, enjoyable, and well-researched.”Library Journal, starred
“Grimm, deputy news editor at Science, investigates the ever-changing roles played by cats and dogs throughout history and travels the U.S. speaking to those on the cutting edge of animal science and welfare. [His] most valuable contribution
is his reasoned and well-researched discussion of the pet “personhood” movement, particularly its legal implications for veterinarians, scientific research, and agriculture.”Publishers Weekly
"Our most common petscats and dogshave made a long journey from wild animals to treasured family members. How did this transition happen? Science magazine editor and journalist Grimm explores the biological changes in cats and dogs as well as human laws and social attitudes in his broad survey of what our companion animals mean to us
Well researched and also very personable, this book will make readers think as they look into the eyes of those furry beings that share their lives.”Booklist
"Grimm does an excellent job of documenting how Fido became family and how that relationship may be changing,"Science News
“Well-researched, wide ranging, and well-written. A must read for those who share their lives with dogs and cats. You'll come to realize that our interactions with these animals are central to defining who we are.”Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed
Many American households have companion dogs and/or cats that are considered family members, even surrogate children. Cat owner Grimm (deputy news editor, Science) explores, through changes in social attitudes and laws, how our furry friends attained such an esteemed status. Citing various historical and legal writings from the Middle Ages through the early 20th century, Grimm traces the evolution of today's pets, from once being considered feral beasts and valueless subjects to family members and quasicitizens. The author's research includes fascinating travels across the country interviewing detectives investigating animal cruelty cases, soldiers training military working dogs, and animal law attorneys, and he also visits a wolf sanctuary. The chapter on the search for pet survivors of Hurricane Katrina is heart-wrenching, yet from this tragedy new rules were created to rescue cats and dogs in natural disasters, exemplifying how attitudes toward them have changed. VERDICT This engrossing, enjoyable, and well-researched title contributes positively to the literature on companion animals and belongs in all libraries.—Eva Lautemann, formerly with Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston
Science deputy news editor Grimm (Journalism/Johns Hopkins Univ.) looks at the pros and cons of granting citizenship to our pets—a far-out idea, to be sure, but one gaining traction with some on the fringe of the animal rights movement. At issue is the evolving status of the cats and dogs who have traveled a long road with our species, from camp followers in our hunter-gatherer days to treasured family members today, helping to shape our civilization while being themselves transformed. "Nearly a third of all Americans and half of all singles say that they rely more on their pets than on other people for companionship," writes the author. They fill the void in our lives "created by technology and our disintegrating relationships," and we spent a mind-boggling $55 billion on them last year, up 2.5 times from our expenditure in 2000. This state of affairs is reflected in the growing number of laws protecting animals from abuse and the efforts of animal rights activists to shut down puppy mills, stop the confinement of chickens in factory farms and abolish the use of animals for medical experiments. While some advocate direct action, others support the Animal Defense Fund, which models itself on the NAACP and draws an analogy between our treatment of animals and the treatment of black slaves—a comparison that some may well consider offensive. The ADF is taking legal cases that give them "a shot at chipping away at the property status of animals," and animal rights litigation is becoming a recognized legal specialty taught at leading universities. Grimm also reports the views of opponents of the ADF, who question putting animal abuse on par with child abuse, veterinarians who object to frivolous malpractice suits, and other critics. He does not subscribe to giving animals citizenship, but he does believe "that the quest for inclusion defines us all, animal and man." A challenging notion that fails to adequately address the implicit downgrading of our broader responsibilities as citizens.