Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs

June 2016 by Dr. Sara L. Bennett

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

Everyone wants to make sheltered life better for dogs while they wait to get adopted. What works? What doesn’t? And how do we know? 

In this free Maddie's Institute® webcast, Sara L. Bennett, DVM, MS, DACVB, a certified veterinary behaviorist, will share an overview of the importance of enrichment to help maximize the emotional well being of sheltered dogs.

She’ll also cover how to determine whether a particular form of enrichment applications is actually beneficial, as well as examples of effective forms of enrichment. An opportunity for audience Q&A will follow the webcast.

Join us for Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs, available on-demand.

Register for the free webcast

Attendees will learn:  

  • How to stimulate the various senses and social and physical needs of dogs in a shelter setting
  • What the scientific literature tells us about enrichment for dogs
  • How to measure the effect of enrichment efforts
  • How to know if a change has created a positive change in emotional well being and welfare

Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs is the follow-up presentation in a series of four webcasts. These include:

  • How Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts
  • How Stress is Sabotaging Your Dog Adoption Efforts
  • Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Cats on a Fast Track to Adoption
  • These presentations are 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 1.0 hours of continuing education. Participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. 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 Sara L. Bennett, DVM, MS, DACVB

    Dr. Sara Bennett has been a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists since 2012 after completing a residency in Animal Behavior and Masters of Science at Purdue University.

    Dr. Bennett is currently a courtesy lecturer for the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program and co-instructor for University’s online learning course "Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare,” which is one of three core courses in the online Maddie’s® Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine Program.

    In her behavior consultations, Dr. Bennett addresses a variety of behavior problems and behavioral disorders including aggression, inappropriate elimination, compulsive disorder, fears, and phobias, as well as behavior problems associated with aging across a wide range of species. She particularly enjoys addressing problem behavior in shelter and rescue animals, helping to protect animal welfare, make these pets more adoptable, strengthen the budding human-animal bond, and keep these animals in their new homes.


Content you may be interested in

Use social media to get more foster homes for big dogs

February 15, 2017

Can you save 44 large dogs’ lives in 14 days through the power of social media? Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) did just that, and in this recording from the 2015 Best Friends National Conference, Faith Wright tells you how you can, too! In Foster Faster: Growing Your Dog Foster Program, Wright says the trick is… Learn More

Adopted pets are rescued by love, saved by shelter medicine

February 9, 2017

If you’ve adopted a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group, you know how powerful the bond is that exists between the pet and their human family. You’re also probably aware of the efforts made by shelter and rescue staff and volunteers to make sure you and your pet found each other. What you… Learn More

Advances in pet databases can help your shelter or rescue group get more pets adopted

February 8, 2017

The technological revolution of the last 25 years has had a profound impact on the animal welfare industry. Things we now take for granted, like websites that display our organizations' services and adoptable pets, pet-search databases such as and, more robust and easy to use animal sheltering software solutions, and the rise of… Learn More