Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs

June 2016 by Dr. Sara L. Bennett

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

Video Length: 60 minutes

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 Fund® 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.

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.


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