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The Rise in Animal Adoption – Why Rescuing Animals Is Suddenly Cool

If you haven’t noticed, major cities across the nation have fallen in love with animal adoption and pet rescues. All sorts of issues plagued animal rescue services in the past, but this is rapidly changing. Animal euthanasia rates are down significantly. Likewise, social activism and cultural trends have helped fuel a higher percentage of pet rescues. And with these changes, the pet industry is thriving, especially in a booming economy.

a cartoon of a superhero rescuing animals from euthanasia
The focus given to animal adoption is making a very positive impact that benefits both animals and humans.

In considering these recent shifts in animal adoption, it’s worthwhile exploring what has accounted for these changes. Without major legislation or regulations, these social advances have occurred spontaneously for a host of reasons. Thus, approaches taken by animal rescue services and related organizations could offer insights about resolutions for other social issues. Regardless, these trends are certainly welcomed for not only pets but communities at large.

Animal Adoption by the Numbers

In looking at statistics, it wasn’t that long ago that high euthanasia rates plagued animal shelters. In 1970, roughly 12.5 million pets were euthanized annually and a quarter of all dogs were loose on the street. Today, about 1.5 million pets are euthanized with numbers continuing to fall. In fact, this rate has further declined 75 percent in the last 10 years alone.

While euthanasia rates are lower, animal adoption is on the rise. Notably, a third of all dogs and cats now come from pet shelters. Additionally, nearly 40 percent of all households have at least one dog and a quarter have at least one cat. Of these households, between 15 and 20 percent have added a new pet in the last year. Naturally, higher animal adoption rates lower euthanasia for animals, which has further improved the situation.

All animals deserve as much respect as humans.

Advancing Professionalism and Activism at Animal Rescue Services

Even before animal adoption rates were on the rise, animal rescue services were making changes to improve the situation. A major change has involved programs to promote spay and neutering of pets. This reduces the number of strays on the streets that may contribute to pet over-population. Likewise, animal rescue services have advanced ways to assist pet owners with veterinarian bills and landlord issue. In doing so, there is a reduction in the number of animals returning to pet shelters.

In addition, animal adoption and protection activism have made a tremendous impact on the positive changes seen. The “no-kill” movement has grown significantly among animal adoption activists. In fact, they encourage a live-release percentage of 90 percent among animal rescue services and pet shelters. The challenge is balancing this figure against a rising number of sheltered animals. But many shelters have been able to achieve this rate while greatly improving past animal conditions.

Millennials Leading the Way of Cultural Shifts

Millennials now represent the largest segment of pet owners and animal adopters. Of all pet owners, they represent 35 percent with Baby Boomers a close second at 32 percent. As a result, many of Millennial ideals are influencing the perception of animal adoption. For one, 90 percent of owners consider their pet a member of the family. Likewise, there is a perception of animal adoption a way to be respectful to life and its diversity. This is playing a major role in shifting cultural norms in a positive direction.

No matter how you look at it, these new social trends appear to be quite favorable. The combination of enhanced professionalism, activism, and social responsibility have culminated in a better environment for pets. Likewise, the rise in pet owners and animal adoptions are driving other pet services and businesses. While overcrowding, public safety, and public health continue to be issues for animal rescue services, they are much more improved today.

Robotic Telemedicine and the Emerging Practice of Surgery From Afar

Imagine getting a surgical procedure done, and the physician doing the incision is a robot. Does that sound like science fiction? It actually isn’t. Thanks to advances in robotic telemedicine and a healthy dose of innovation, surgery performed with a flesh-and-blood surgeon nowhere near the patient is a reality. In fact, successful robot-assisted heart surgery was performed recently.

a cartoon of a robot who has performed heart surgery in hospital
With the recent successful robotic heart surgery done, robotic telemedicine is surely signaling a notable change for the future of health care! Let’s all look forward to what’s next!

Robot-assisted heart surgery is not necessarily new. In fact, the first percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) surgery—a non-surgical procedure that makes use of a catheter—was performed in 2011. However, procedures like this one have naturally required the presence of the cardiologist in order to be successfully executed. Notably, there’s a new device that allows robotic heart surgery to be done while the physician oversees the procedure from many miles away. This type of robotic telemedicine looks to be signaling a notable change for the future of health care.

The Potential of Robotic Heart Surgery

The recently executed robotic heart surgery was actually a series of 5 PCI procedures performed by a cardiologist who was in India at the time of the surgery itself. Dr. Tejas Patel utilized a precision vascular robot designed by Corindus Vascular Robotics. Despite being 20 miles away, he was able to direct the robot effectively using a joystick and a video monitor. And to minimize risks that might include connectivity and latency issues, a hard-wired internet connection was utilized.

Notably, robotic telemedicine has several advantages. Specifically, the ability to perform various procedures via robotic telemedicine significantly increases overall access to care. Patients who reside in rural regions or who cannot locally access specialists gain new opportunities for better health care procedures. Likewise, robotic telemedicine tends to be less costly over time. Even physicians benefit from procedures in terms of convenience and potentially less exposure to x-ray radiation. All of these advantages support the excitement around these new robotic developments.

Robotic Telemedicine Companies on the Rise

The company responsible for the latest robotic heart surgery breakthrough is Corindus Vascular Technologies. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Corindus received FDA approval for the first vascular robotics device called CorPath GRX robot. In addition to being used for PCI procedures, the CorPath GRX has also been greenlit for peripheral vascular procedures as well. As a result, this device extends the scope of vascular robotic telemedicine opportunities for patients moving forward. More than likely, additional robotic telemedicine services will soon be offered through similar devices.

As expected, these advances have not gone unnoticed. Particularly, Siemens has recognized the potential for robotic telemedicine and similar procedures. As a result, Siemens recently purchased Corindus for $1.1 billion. Other investigators are pursuing even more radical devices that will facilitate robotic telemedicine. For example, MIT engineers are developing a worm-like robot to manage acute strokes. The robot can be inserted by trained personnel and can be monitored by remote stroke centers throughout the country. And because it’s guided by magnetics, physicians’ hands-on guidance is not required.

In terms of CorPath GRX, the device enhances performance—compared to sole physician abilities. The robot offers greater precision by providing sub-millimeter measurements while improving stent-positioning capabilities. Likewise, the robotic heart surgery device also extends benefits due to its enhanced ergonomic visualization of the anatomy. For those interested, Corindus will be showcasing the CorPath GRX at the 2019 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference in San Francisco.

Robotic Telemedicine Goes Beyond a Terrestrial Reach

Markedly, the first robotic telemedicine procedure was performed in 2001 by Professor Jacques Marescaux. Named “Operation Lindbergh”—the operation resulted in a successful minimally invasive cholecystectomy on a 68-year-old woman in France. Today, that has extended to robotic heart surgery. And tomorrow the sky is the limit—literally. Indeed, for years, NASA has been advancing robotics technology in this area for the evolving opportunities for occupation in space. Thus, the first robotic heart surgery is an undeniable reason to celebrate. Breakthroughs in this sphere showcase the promises that robotic telemedicine offers both the now and the future.

Robotic Heart Surgery Is Now A Reality!

a cartoon of a robot who has performed heart surgery in hospital
With the recent successful robotic heart surgery done, robotic telemedicine is surely signaling a notable change for the future of health care! Let’s all look forward to what’s next!

The Positive Impact of Animal Adoption

a cartoon of a superhero rescuing animals from euthanasia
The focus given to animal adoption is making a very positive impact that benefits both animals and humans.