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May 2016 by Dr. Brenda Griffin

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

Video Length: 1:47

Stress can trigger physical, emotional and behavioral problems for cats in animal shelters. What can be done to help overcome stress and its negative outcomes?

A sense of control over conditions is one of the most critical needs for mental health and well-being in animals. Cats need variety and choice, and individuals possess different preferences for environmental conditions, levels of activity and social interactions with other animals and humans. That's why developing behavioral care plans to optimize feline wellness is an essential task for shelter veterinarians and staff.

Dr. Brenda Griffin, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida and Regent for the new specialty in shelter medicine, has worked with shelter pets since 1999.

Viewers of this webcast will learn how to design and implement science-based strategies to provide appropriate enrichment for shelter cats in order to optimize their health and wellness, including:

  • Basic needs and requirements for feline housing and enrichment in shelters
  • Providing humane handling and creature comforts
  • How to monitor cats for negative and positive emotional states
  • Interactions with humans
  • Interactions with other cats
  • The importance of daily routine and sensory enrichment
  • Games to stimulate physical exercise and exploration
  • And more!

Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Cats on a Fast Track to Adoption is the follow-up webcast to How Stress is Sabotaging Your Cat Adoption Efforts, and part of a series that includes How Stress is Sabotaging Your Dog Adoption Efforts and the forthcoming Stress Reduction: Happy and Healthy Shelter Dogs on a Fast Track to Adoption, scheduled for June 23, 2016. 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 course has been pre-approved for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.

Photo of Dr. Brenda Griffin in a light blue shirt helping a orange and white cat

About Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Griffin is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida, and co-instructs courses in shelter medicine there as well as at the University of Georgia. She also serves as the Regent for the new specialty in shelter medicine.

A 1990 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Griffin completed an internship at the MSPCA's Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in 1991. She then spent time working in general small animal practice as well as in animal shelters before pursuing a residency in small animal internal medicine at Auburn University.

For the past 17 years, Dr. Griffin has used her expertise in small animal internal medicine and her passion for shelter animals to assist in the development of training and research programs that support the field of shelter medicine. Her professional interests surround shelter animal behavior and welfare, population health and wellness, feline medicine, and strategies to prevent animals from entering shelters including behavioral wellness, identification, and sterilization programs.

Dr. Griffin lives in South Carolina with her husband, a pack of dogs, clowder of cats, and a cute pair of goats. In her spare time, she greatly enjoys playing with them all and is determined that one day she will train them better than they have trained her!