An inside look at the forces behind how our pets become treasured members of the family.
In the last 20 years pets have gone from the backyard to sleeping on our beds, then showing up in every corner of America. Pet Nation tells the story of this seismic shift and the economic, media, legal, political, and social dramas springing from this cultural transformation.
Since 1998 the pet population in the U.S. has almost doubled -- about two-thirds of the country now owns a pet. No longer left to wander the neighborhood, dogs and cats eat special food, get individualized medical attention, and even fly in the cabin. As founder of the Animal Policy Group, Mark Cushing provides an inside look at the rise of Pet Nation, tracking the myriad ways pets are acquired (a "Canine Freedom Train" runs south to north), reporting on pet rights legislation (and the unseen problems that come with elevating their status), pet healthcare (revealing the truth and myths about large scale breeders), and discovering that despite what many organizations would have us believe, there is a shortage of dogs.
Insightful, surprising, and full of great stories, Pet Nation opens our eyes to the big changes happening in front of us right now. It shows us not only what our love of animals says about pets, it shows us what it says about ourselves.
Mark Cushing is the founding partner and CEO of the Animal Policy Group and a Stanford honors graduate. He acts as Trustees Counsel for Lincoln Memorial University and has served as adjunct faculty and lecturer at Lincoln Memorial University, Lewis & Clark College, and the University of Oregon law school.