blog

From anxious to adoptable: An expansion of foster care using a Maddie’s Idea Lab Grant

June 7, 2017

Do you have shy or anxious dogs in your shelter who you just know would benefit from being in a foster home and out of the shelter environment? That's exactly how the Anxious Dog Program (ADP) started at Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colo. The Anxious Dog Program expands the shelter’s foster program to include specially… Learn More

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#FeelGoodFriday: Golf cart transports fearful dog to happiness!

May 12, 2017

Sometimes a golf cart is just a golf cart. And sometimes it’s a terrified dog’s ticket to ride. When Daphne came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, she was scared of everything. She was frightened of people, and wanted to hide all the time. But one day, her caregiver, John Sibley, encouraged her to jump up… Learn More

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How a dog named Patty sparked a lifesaving revolution for dogs with behavior challenges

March 28, 2017

Are there dogs in your shelter or rescue who you honestly think can’t be adopted because of behavior problems? There might be a simple solution — and if it works for them, they’ll have a dog named Patty to thank. Kristen Auerbach, Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer at the Austin Animal Center, told Patty’s story… Learn More

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Introducing Your Foster Dog to Strangers in Your House

Rebound HoundsMarch 2017

This short video, on introducing your foster dog to a stranger at your house, will demonstrate easy and ultimately rewarding steps to help your foster dog greet new people in a safe and relaxed manner. Learn More

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Bringing Your Shy Foster Dog Home

March 2017

To help start a foster family of a shy dog get off on the right foot, er paw, this short video will provide helpful tips for bringing your foster dog to your house for the very first time.

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Study: Audiobooks outperform music at reducing stress in shelter dogs

March 1, 2017

By now you’ve probably seen the research showing dogs in shelters are quieter when they’re listening to soft rock, reggae, and (at least for short periods) classical music. You may have seen programs where children come in and read to shelter dogs. So here’s the question: Do dogs like listening to audiobooks? The answer is… Learn More

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How foster homes set shelter pets up for behavioral success

January 5, 2016

Foster homes can provide a valuable safe harbor for stressed, fearful, or anxious shelter pets, as well as a place where they can learn behaviors that will maximize their chances for successful adoption into a permanent home. For that to happen, however, the foster family must also provide appropriate support for the easing of fears… Learn More

presentation

Getting Big Dogs Out of the Shelter via Canine Good Citizen Training

Marian Cannell and Amy LewisFebruary 2015

Through a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, Austin Pets Alive! embarked on a six-month pilot program to test the effectiveness of Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Training on adoption rates.  The results have been very good and show a clear adoption rate difference between dogs who undergo training and those who don’t.  Learn More

presentation

Saving All the Little Dogs: Small Dog Behavior Issues

Faith Wright and Deaven WilsonFebruary 2015

Do you know how many small breed dogs are euthanized in your community shelter?  In Austin, Texas in 2008, it was many more than would have been expected (roughly 500).   Do you know that nearly ALL of them can be saved and although many are marked "aggressive”, they rarely are? Learn More

presentation

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

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Behavior Modification for Cats in Shelters and Foster Homes

Sara L. Bennett, DVM, MS, DACVBOctober 2014

Getting a leopard to change his spots sometimes seems easier than getting a domestic cat to change her behavior. Fortunately, the science of feline behavior modification has come a long way in recent years, leaving animal shelters, rescue groups, fosters and adopters with plenty of new tools to help cats become happier and well-adjusted companions. Learn More

presentation

Vet to Vet: Efficacy of Synthetic Feline Interdigital Semiochemical (FIS)

Katherine Polak, DVM, MPH, MS, DACVPMMay 2014

Discussion of research on the efficacy of synthetic FIS, or feline interdigital semiochemicals, which may be useful as a preventative measure for inappropriate scratching behavior. Learn More

webcast

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.

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

November 2013

On November 14, 2013, Maddie's Fund® 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

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Shelter Dog Mod Squad: Identifying and Modifying Canine Behavior Problems in Shelters

Shelia (Segurson) D'Arpino, DVM, DACVBDecember 2012

How can you get jumpy, mouthy or fearful shelter dogs adopted? By joining the "Shelter Dog Mod Squad" and learning how to identify and modify those behavior problems! Learn More