Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too

Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too

Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too

Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too


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A moving and scientific look at the curative powers—both physical and mental—of rescuing a shelter animal, by the president of Humane Society Silicon Valley.

MUTUAL RESCUE profiles the transformational impact that shelter pets have on humans, exploring the emotional, physical, and spiritual gifts that rescued animals provide. It explores through anecdote, observation, and scientific research, the complexity and depth of the role that pets play in our lives. Every story in the book brings an unrecognized benefit of adopting homeless animals to the forefront of the rescue conversation.

In a nation plagued by illnesses—16 million adults suffer from depression, 29 million have diabetes, 8 million in any given year have PTSD, and nearly 40% are obese—rescue pets can help: 60% of doctors said they prescribe pet adoption and a staggering 97% believe that pet ownership provides health benefits. For people in chronic emotional, physical, or spiritual pain, adopting an animal can transform, and even save, their lives.

Each story in the book takes a deep dive into one potent aspect of animal adoption, told through the lens of people's personal experiences with their rescued pets and the science that backs up the results. This book will resonate with readers hungering for stories of healing and redemption.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538713532
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,180,511
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Carol Novello began rescuing animals at age 5 and hasn't stopped. With a Harvard MBA, she was a senior executive working in high tech, most recently at Intuit, Inc. Today, she is the president of Humane Society Silicon Valley, where she launched Mutual Rescue, a digital global campaign of short films designed to showcase the therapeutic benefits of animal companionship and encourage adoptions. Through her work at Humane Society Silicon Valley, she has been awarded the Maddie's Fund "Maddie Hero Award" for innovation and leadership in the sector and has been recognized as an honoree at the Fifty Years of Women at Harvard Business School celebration in Northern California.
She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she enjoys spending time with her own rescue companions: Tess, a German shepherd, and her tuxedo cats, Bode and Herbie.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Section I Heart

Chapter 1 Finding Courage: Pets as Secure Bases and Safe Havens 13

Chapter 2 Building Trust: Animals and the Biochemistry of Bonding 30

Chapter 3 Coping with Grief: Fur us a Source of Comfort and Solace 45

Chapter 4 Flourishing After Sorrow: Four-Legged Support for Post-Traumatic Growth 59

Section II Body

Chapter 5 Vitalizing Physical Health: The Effect of Wags and Whiskers on Physiology 77

Chapter 6 Embracing Joy: Animals' Playful Companionship Transforms Loneliness 92

Chapter 7 Overcoming Illness and Injury: The Role of Pets in Persevering Through Physical Challenges 107

Chapter 8 Recovering from Addiction: The Stabilizing Power of Furry Acceptance 124

Section III Mind

Chapter 9 Cultivating Grit

Pets as a Source of Strength and Resilience 141

Chapter 10 Supporting Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Paws Anchor Us in the Present 157

Chapter 11 Fostering Children's Development

Animals' Impact on Autism, Reading Skills, and Cognitive Growth 174

Section IV Connection

Chapter 12 Enriching Relationships

Pets Bind Us Together 193

Chapter 13 Beyond Cats and Dogs

Appreciating the Natural World and All the Creatures in It 210

Chapter 14 Discovering Purpose

What Animals Can Teach Us About Meaning, Love, and Faith 224

About Mutual Rescue 239

Shelters and Rescue Organizations Referenced in the Book 241

Acknowledgments 243

Sources 249

About the Author and Collaborator 263

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