August 2012 by Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM

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

Video Length: 42 minutes

Shelters and adopters of animals rescued from puppy mills and hoarding situations were surveyed to inquire about the methods used to help rehabilitate the animal(s). Specific attention was paid to what they did that was most effective, what was least effective and what, if anything, caused a setback in the animal's progress toward recovery. For psychological conditions, it was found that specific traditional therapeutic methods as described in current clinical behavior texts could be beneficial for some individuals, but unhelpful and even harmful to others with the same apparent disorder. This talk, given at the 2012 Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Conference at the University of Florida by Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM, Director of Well-Being Studies at Best Friend's Animal Society, will present this wealth of clinically useful information for helping these animals overcome their physical and emotional difficulties.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn what therapeutic methods have shown the best results in rehabilitating rescued animals from puppy mill and hoarding environments
  • Understand what methods and situations have been least successful and detrimental for these animals' recovery
  • Identify what to do when attempting one of the "best" methods of rehabilitation and instead it has a detrimental effect on the animal's progress

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About Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. McMillan graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University in 1981, and following graduation he completed an internship and residency in small animal internal medicine at the University of California, Davis. Subsequently, Dr. McMillan was in private practice in Los Angeles for 23 years before becoming a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2007 he took a position at Best Friends Animal Society.

The focus of Dr. McMillan's studies is the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have endured psychological trauma, such as abuse, hoarding, puppy mills, dogfighting and natural disasters. Dr. McMillan is the editor and co-author of the book, Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals.