Category: Shelter

Training Cats to Become Therapy Cats

“I’m so happy to see my favorite cat!” the older gentleman said as Rainy and I entered his room at the senior retirement community. He held out his shaking hand to pet Rainy and said that he had been feeling down and in need of company. After he had stroked Rainy a few times, I asked if he wanted me to place her on his lap. Upon hearing this, he smiled broadly and nodded. I placed Rainy on his lap, where she immediately curled up….

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What Are We Going to Do With These Cats?! Case Studies in Difficult-to-home Shelter Cats: Murray

Murray was probably the scariest cat I had met in my five years of working one-on-one with shelter cats. The handsome 5-year-old neutered male Nebelung (a breed I’d never heard of before!) was surrendered by a married couple who was going to have a baby. Although they loved Murray very much, the couple knew Murray was aggressive toward strangers, and they were afraid of how he’d do with a new baby.

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One Dog at a Time: Enriching the Emotional Lives of Shelter Dogs While Navigating Real-World Challenges

The animal sheltering world is an emotional one for all stakeholders: the animals who live with the stress of an imperfect and unpredictable environment; a shelter organization that is constantly addressing challenges with funding, staffing, and rehoming animals; employees and volunteers who care about the animals, but may not necessarily have the skills or knowledge to ameliorate the stress of shelter life….

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So There’s a Pig in Your Shelter! What to Know, What to Do, and How to Help Them Thrive

Pigs are highly intelligent creatures. As a professional animal trainer, I will say pigs are more intelligent than dogs in many respects. They are also very emotionally sensitive; I’d compare them to an 18-month-old infant. They lack impulse control, don’t stay as tiny as many advertise, and in the wrong environment can give a whole new meaning to bringing down the house! Which is why, sadly, it’s not surprising that a pig may find themselves placed into a shelter.

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Empathy, Antecedent Arrangements, and Fun! What to Think About When Working with Youth Clients

Many of us working in the animal field do the work we do because we love animals. But we often don’t realize how much we really rely on interacting with people of all kinds, including children. I have a unique perspective when it comes to working with youth and dogs. At the spcaLA I work in the Violence Prevention and Humane Education Department, where we do numerous programs working with children and shelter animals. Two programs we are most well-known for are our Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC) program and our Friends for Life Summer Camp.

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