Although neglected in the narrative about smart and sustainable cities, the communities of animals should be regarded as part of the citizenry, for biophysical, systemic and ethical reasons. The structures taking care of the abandoned dogs in most cases can count almost only on private donations and voluntary work, despite the relevant resource flows needed for the system management. In this work, an emergy analysis is presented for a Dog Shelter, located in North-Eastern Italy, that hosts more than 100 abandoned dogs (plus as many cats), providing health care, food, shelter, company, and -in several cases- specific physical and psychological support. The Shelter provides also the formation of volunteers and, thanks to several public events, promotes public awareness and possibly the re-integration of the four-legged guests in a family. Emergy accounting results showed the criticality of a system that cannot define a budget in advance, nor make any reliable prediction about the flows of resources needed for the next year, or even month. Furthermore, it was pointed out the need for a continuous feedback action between the image of the structure, carried by its own activities and by the public events, and the flow of donations supporting the Shelter, that in turn contribute to increase the quality of the service. The sej/dog was calculated for the whole care of the “average dog” during one year.

When Systemic Sustainability is an Everyday Struggle: an Emergy-based Analysis of a Dog Shelter

Francesco Gonella
Supervision
;
BROCCA, GIORDANO
Data Curation
;
Silvio Cristiano
Methodology
;
Sofia Spagnolo
Methodology
2019

Abstract

Although neglected in the narrative about smart and sustainable cities, the communities of animals should be regarded as part of the citizenry, for biophysical, systemic and ethical reasons. The structures taking care of the abandoned dogs in most cases can count almost only on private donations and voluntary work, despite the relevant resource flows needed for the system management. In this work, an emergy analysis is presented for a Dog Shelter, located in North-Eastern Italy, that hosts more than 100 abandoned dogs (plus as many cats), providing health care, food, shelter, company, and -in several cases- specific physical and psychological support. The Shelter provides also the formation of volunteers and, thanks to several public events, promotes public awareness and possibly the re-integration of the four-legged guests in a family. Emergy accounting results showed the criticality of a system that cannot define a budget in advance, nor make any reliable prediction about the flows of resources needed for the next year, or even month. Furthermore, it was pointed out the need for a continuous feedback action between the image of the structure, carried by its own activities and by the public events, and the flow of donations supporting the Shelter, that in turn contribute to increase the quality of the service. The sej/dog was calculated for the whole care of the “average dog” during one year.
Proceeding for the 10th Biennial Emergy Research Conference
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3716424
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