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Understanding Shelter Animal Behavior: Now more important than ever! Amy Marder, VMD, CAAB Adjunct Assistant Professor Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Shelter Animal Behavior: Now more important than ever! Amy Marder, VMD, CAAB Adjunct Assistant Professor Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Shelter Animal Behavior: Now more important than ever! Amy Marder, VMD, CAAB Adjunct Assistant Professor Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine At Tufts University

2 PAST* PRESENT FUTURE * Steve Zawistowski Historical Perspective

3 The Past*

4 Drowning of Strays Drowning of Strays*

5 Drowning of Strays ASPCA 1866* Henry Bergh mourns the strays

6 Drowning of Strays City Refuge* Accepted Philadelphia’s strays and unwanted dogs and cats First humane animal shelter Provided medical treatment Placement into new homes Humane Euthanasia

7 Drowning of Strays New York City Trend ( )*

8 Drowning of Strays Program Developments*

9 Drowning of Strays Program Developments* 1946 – Post WWII veterinary focus on companion animals Dr. Mark Morris 1970s – emphasis on spay- neuter to control populations 1974 – A modest proposal

10 Drowning of Strays Applied Animal Behavior 1974 – Tuber, Hothersall and Voith. Animal Clinical Psychology: A modest Proposal. American Psychologist American Society of Veterinary Ethology 1980s – Behavior programs appear at animal shelters 1991 – Animal Behavior Society Certification for Applied Animal Behaviorists 1993 – American College of Veterinary Behavior

11 Drowning of Strays Applied Animal Behavior in Shelters 1974 – Tuber, Dayton. 1980s – Zawistowski, Hetts behavior programs appear at animal shelters (ASPCA, DDFL) National Council on Pet Population Center for Behavioral Therapy ASPCA Animal Rescue League of Boston Center for Shelter Dogs

12 The Present

13 Changing World for Shelter Dogs Fewer dogs are being handled by shelters Reluctance to euthanize for space Desire to eliminate avoidable euthanasia More need to identify and manage behaviors More dogs being handled by less structured, grass-roots networks (rescue, foster, transport) Dogs are being transported Internet has made dog rescue global and desirable

14 The Need is Great Many shelters are evaluating dog and cat behavior Shelters are being pressured to do evaluations and institute behavioral programs Behavior evaluations are not or only partially validated and the effectiveness of enrichment and behavior treatment programs is hardly known Predictability of behavior evaluations Effectiveness of JM program

15 The Time is Right Growing expertise in companion animal behavior (CAAB, ACAAB, DACVB, CPDT) Increased volume and quality of scientific literature on shelter animal behavior (journals, on- line journals) Textbook on shelter behavior Ability to keep statistics Great interest in modifying behavior

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17 The Time is Right Great interest in measuring and understanding the influence of stress on behavior Great interest in debunking shelter myths Black dogs Getting pets as gifts Identifying breeds Associating behavior and breed Treating each animal as an individual “Because every dog is different”

18 The FUTURE

19 Use what we have learned and will learn to save more animals lives Food aggression Behavior evaluations Play groups Work together to leave our old ways and establish new ways based on research Shelters Universities Coalitions Organizations

20 Thank you for your attention!


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