Humans and animals have shared this planet and some animals have even evolved side by side with humans. It should not be surprising that the animals that share our lives like dogs, cats and birds, or the animals that are forced into a more human life like performing, working or zoo animals would develop mental health disorders alongside the humans that they interact with. Through the lens of her troubled dog, Oliver, Laurel Braitman explores the world of animal mental health in everything from mice to dogs and gorillas to elephants in order to show that humans and every other animal are strikingly similar.
I have always believed that animals were capable of emotions and when I studied animal behavior in school, I was glad to know that this thought was becoming more widely accepted. It is now not a question of 'if,' but to what degree. Though most of the stories in Animal Madness are anecdotal, there are stories amassed from professionals in the field with a whole life of observational experiences that provide good proof that through psychological meds and behavior therapy, an animal with severe trauma and possible PTSD could recover and lead a healthy life for their species. Some of the stories are absolutely heartbreaking; for example a working elephant who was pregnant and forced to work during her pregnancy and ultimately giving birth while logging. The calf rolled down the hill they were working on and died. When the mother refused to work, she was blinded. Ultimately, however, though the story is grim, the end result shows how we all need the same things: love, understanding of our needs, therapy and medicine.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.