Medical and Behavioral Programs Part 1

May 2014 by Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD and Aimee Sadler

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 76 minutes

The medical department's protocols to prevent transmissible disease and injuries may come into direct conflict with the behavior department's protocols to socialize, exercise and train dogs. How do you choose the best approaches to balance medical and behavioral needs?

Dr. Cynda Crawford and Aimee Sadler will address this issue by providing their perspectives and case studies for merging critical medical and behavioral programs in shelters to increase their life-saving capacity, in this presentation given at the University of Florida's 7th Annual Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how the Playing for Life!™ training program for shelter dogs enhances quality of life, assessment and adoption matching for shelter dogs.
  • Review case studies of shelters that implemented new approaches for addressing the emotional and behavioral well-being of the animals and the medical team's responses.
  • Explore protocols that merge the best of behavior programs and medical care.
  • Identify medical and safety risks important to manage when implementing new behavior programs.
  • Discover the importance of treating the whole animal for best practices in animal sheltering.

After viewing the presentation, click here to take the quiz and receive a Certificate of Attendance!

Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD

Dr. Cynda Crawford is Maddie's® Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine in Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Crawford earned a PhD in Immunology/Infectious Diseases from the University of Florida in 1984 and a DVM degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the same institution in 1989. Her areas of expertise include canine and feline infectious diseases, and evaluation of diagnostic tests and vaccines for infectious diseases.

She focuses on diagnosis and management of viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory infections in shelter dogs. Dr. Crawford was instrumental in identifying the H3N8 canine influenza virus and among the pioneering researchers into the disease when it first presented in shelter dogs in Florida in 2004.

Aimee Sadler

Aimee Sadler is the Director of Training & Behavior for the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) and the founder of Playing for Life!™, a training program for shelter dogs featuring play groups. With over 25 years of experience with multiple species in varying venues, Aimee has become an internationally recognized trainer and speaker specializing in shelter programs that reduce canine euthanasia, improve quality of life and enhance adoption matching efforts for sheltered dogs. The Playing for Life!™ Program is in increasing demand and has been introduced to over 55 shelters while supporting SASF in maintaining a Live Release Rate in excess of 95% as an open admission shelter! Aimee is a proud recipient of the Henry Bergh Leadership Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Members Hall of Fame by the International Association of Canine Professionals in 2013.


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