Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts

February 2016 by Dr. Sheila D'Arpino

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

Video Length: 1 hour 10 minutes

It's well known that cat health is quickly and negatively impacted by stress. But is it also making it harder for them to get adopted?

Certified Veterinary Behavior Specialist Dr. Sheila D'Arpino has worked with shelter pets since the 1990s, and seen the harmful effects stress can have on them. She's also seen those effects sabotage the adoption process. Through her work at UC Davis, the Center for Shelter Dogs/Animal Rescue League of Boston, Maddie's Fund® and others, she's developed strategies to identify those effects not only in individual cats, but in the entire population of cats in a facility - a phenomenon known as "whole-shelter stress."

Please join Dr. D'Arpino and Maddie's Institute® for How Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts.

Viewers of this webcast will learn:

  • The role of stress and welfare on health, disease, and well-being in cats in shelters and rescue groups
  • To identify and characterize stress and poor welfare in cats
  • To understand the impact of stress and poor welfare on a cat's likelihood of adoption difference between adaptive and maladaptive stress
  • How to assess cat welfare in a shelter
  • The effects of macro and micro stressors
  • And more!

How Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts, its companion webcast, How Stress is Sabotaging Your Dog Adoption Efforts, and future webcasts on preventing and treating stress and the behavior problems it can cause, are all part of an ongoing series of educational programs from Maddie's Institute, the academic division of Maddie's Fund, providing the most innovative animal welfare information to shelter staff, veterinarians, rescue groups and community members to increase the lifesaving of homeless dogs and cats community-wide.

This program was reviewed and approved by the AAVSB RACE program for 1 hour of continuing education in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program if you have any comments/concerns regarding this program's validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession.

This course has been pre-approved for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.

About Dr. Sheila D'Arpino

Dr. Sheila Segurson D'Arpino completed veterinary school and then a specialty-training program in animal behavior with a focus on sheltered pets at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996 and 2005, respectively.

Dr. D'Arpino has worked as an emergency veterinarian, private practice veterinarian, shelter veterinarian, dog trainer, veterinary behaviorist, and foster-based adoption program director. 

Currently, Dr. D'Arpino uses the knowledge she gained and skills that she learned in her role as Director of Research for Maddie's Fund®.  In her current role, Dr. Darpino's goal is to develop and support research that increases pet adoptions from rescue groups and shelters and improves pet well-being. She relies upon her background working in and with animal shelters, pet foster care programs, and veterinary medicine to lead Maddie's Fund research efforts.

Dr. D'Arpino is also a courtesy lecturer for the Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and is the lead instructor for the Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare online course.


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