Are we really supposed to stop assessing behavior in shelter dogs?

November 3, 2016

Did a recent study really suggest animal shelters stop evaluating dogs for temperament and adoption? Not exactly. The study, authored by Dr. Gary J. Patronek of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts and Janis Bradley of the National Canine Research Council, was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior in August. Its central… Learn More


Australian study reveals challenges, pitfalls of evaluating dog behavior in shelters

February 2, 2016

Even the best canine behavior evaluation systems are not reliable when assessing shelter dogs, suggests a recent Australian study. Psychologist Dr. Zazie Todd’s influential blog Companion Animal Psychology took on the challenges of canine behavior evaluations in animal shelters last month. Todd examined at recent study by Monash University’s Kate Mornement, evaluating the Behavioural Assessment… Learn More


How to tell if a shelter cat is stressed, fearful or feral

December 1, 2015

The best way to help any cat entering an animal shelter will depend on the cat. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many shelter workers to tell the difference between a cat who is a social animal, used to humans, but severely stressed out or afraid, and a truly feral cat. Sara L. Bennett, DVM,… Learn More


Taking Troubled Tabbies from Naughty to Nice

Sara Cookson and Kristin Hill February 2015

Every rescue encounters troubled cats with issues that go beyond tortitude. The Austin Pet’s Alive! Cat Behavior Team will teach you how to prevent behavior problems before they start. Learn More


Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide: Assessments, Behavior Modification and Re-Homing Strategies for Shy and Fearful Cats

Sheila Segurson D'Arpino, DVM, DACVBNovember 2013

Can cats who are shy and fearful in the shelter still get adopted? Yes, says board certified veterinary behavior specialist Dr. Sheila D'Arpino. Feline behavior while in a shelter is not always a good representation of that same cat's behavior in less stressful surroundings. Proper housing, handling, and, if needed, behavior modification can turn that hissing and hiding cat into a beloved family pet.

Learn More


Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide: Pre-Webcast Survey Results

November 2013

On November 14, 2013, Maddie's Institute® presented the webcast Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide: Assessment, Behavior Modification and Re-Homing Strategies for Shy and Fearful Cats, with Dr. Sheila D'Arpino, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Those who registered for the live webcast filled out a short questionnaire regarding their own experiences with shy and fearful cats. Learn More


Temperament Testing for Dogs in a Shelter Setting

Sara Bennett, DVM, DACVBSeptember 2012

When assessing dogs in a shelter, not only do we need to consider their body language, but our own as well! Dr. Sara Bennett discusses how human body language can affect test performance, and steps to take to avoid this and maintain safe handling. Dr. Bennett also gives an overview of a few commonly used behavior assessments. Learn More


Your Secret Feline Decoder Ring: Feline Behavior Assessments

Susan B. Krebsbach, DVMMay 2012

What if every cat who entered your shelter had a little decoder ring that would let you know what her personality is like, what stresses her out the most, what doesn't bother her, and what type of future living situation will be just right for her? Learn More


The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters

December 2010

The Association of Shelter Veterinarians produced this comprehensive document to address the lack of guidelines for standards of care currently in existence for animals in shelters. The Guidelines are divided into twelve sections: Management and Record Keeping; Facility Design and Environment; Population Management; Sanitation; Medical Health and Physical Well-being; Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being; Group Housing; Animal Handling; Euthanasia; Spaying and Neutering; Animal Transport; and Public Health. Learn More


Temperament Tests - What We Do and Do Not Know

Sara Bennett, DVM, DACVBOctober 2010

One of the biggest hot-button issues in animal welfare is temperament testing. Temperament Tests – What We Do and Do Not Know, presented by Dr. Sarah Bennett at Purdue University's Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Conference in October 2010, discusses the importance of temperaments tests and looks at what they can and can't do. She also examines the most commonly used temperament tests as well as the most popular adoption screening and matching programs. Learn More


Behavior Assessment Editorial

Rich Avanzino2007

A pet's temperament isn't immediately obvious, it's something we learn by watching reactions over a broad range of environments and experiences. Learn More


Behavioral Assessment in Animal Shelters

Sheila Segurson D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB2007

One of the nation's premiere shelter behavior experts, Sheila Segurson D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB talks about the limits of temperament testing, methods to increase the usefulness of the test you are using, and the importance (and guidelines for) developing a shelter behavioral program. Learn More


Handling Shelter Cats and Assessing Their Behavior: A Conversation with Joan Miller

Joan Miller2003

Cat Fanciers' Association board member, Winn Feline Foundation past President, and all-breed judge Joan Miller offers helpful hints on how to treat, handle and comfort shelter cats. Joan received great acclaim for this presentation at the 2009 No-Kill Conference in Washington DC. Learn More