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.


Content you may be interested in

Feline Influenza Outbreak in New York City

March 2017 by Dr. Sandra Newbury

When Avian Influenza H7N2 infected cats in a New York City animal shelter, it was the first outbreak of its kind, and the first documented case of cat-to-cat transmission. Learn about the response and the outcome for the cats that were infected.

Learn More

Small Changes, Big Results for Cats

March 2017 by Mike Keiley and Bryn Conklin Rogers

Learn how making a few small, easy-to-implement changes can spiral into more programs, lower intake and decrease euthanasia at an open admission adoption center. Learn More

Once a victim of horrific abuse, a dog named Caitlyn leads the way in saving other animals

March 22, 2017

No matter where you live, you probably remember hearing the heart-wrenching story (and photo) of the staffie-mix dog found with her muzzle taped shut. Her name is Caitlyn and her story of survival went viral, shining a light on animal cruelty. Nearly two years after she was found that day in Charleston, SC, Caitlyn has… Learn More