rhino
Photo by Casey Allen from Pexels

The book that’s the talk of the season this year for animal lovers is by veterinarian, animal welfare advocate, and zoo director Dr. Mark Goldstein.  The five-star reviews on Amazon and social media have readers raving about the engaging, touching and amusing stories in “Lions and Tigers and Hamsters: What Animals Large and Small Taught Me About Life, Love, and Humanity.”

Each chapter highlights an important event in his life as a 40-year-veterinarian, treating animals from goldfish and hamsters to elephants and rhinos. Stories also reflect his time as zoo director for the Los Angeles and Boston zoos, especially in the areas of conservation and saving endangered species.  As president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, his passion was growing the understanding of the human-animal bond in individuals and in the community.

In his book, Goldstein shares up-close and personal experiences of taking the rectal temperature of a 6,000-pound unrestrained and unanesthetized rhinoceros; teaching veterinarians how to spay and neuter dogs on a kitchen table during a war drill in the Hula Valley of Israel; and removing a tumor from a beloved goldfish of an autistic child. He recounts saving the canine mascot of a local order of Catholic nuns; coming face-to-face with a Siberian tiger; being responsible for the delivery of a baby lowland gorilla; and protecting an escaped chimpanzee set loose by an animal rights group.

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Goldstein discusses commonly asked animal welfare questions: What drives the costs of veterinary care? Should homeless people be allowed to have pets? Why are antibiotics often ineffective against bacterial infections? Why do we have zoological parks and aquariums? What is the future for animal welfare?

He also helps the reader understand that euthanasia can be the most selfless act of love provided to a suffering pet.

Author and animal advocate Temple Grandin, wrote, “This book will give you insight into the animal mind and why it is important that people need animals and animals need people.”

Folk music icon Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) called the book, “joyous, moving and remarkable…a great gift in these fractured times.”

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