It’s described as the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty.
The center opened this week as a partnership between the ASPCA and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J., according to a press release.
In addition to working to rehabilitate the dogs who end up there, the center’s findings will be the basis of a research study that will be shared with shelters and rescue groups across the country.
“For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery,” said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team.
“The ASPCA recognized the need for a rehabilitation center that will provide rescued dogs customized behavior treatment and more time to recover, increasing the likelihood that they will be adopted.”
Dogs eligible for treatment at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will be those rescued from animal cruelty investigations conducted by the ASPCA as well as by other shelters and rescue groups.
The ASPCA says dogs admitted to the center will undergo an intensive rehabilitation regimen, including customized behavior modification treatments to reduce fear and anxiety.
Treatment plans will incorporate the use of “scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.”
The primary goal is to improve their well-being and help them become suitable for adoption.
Work conducted at the center will be featured in a research study evaluating successful methods and treatment protocols for rehabilitating undersocialized, fearful dogs. The findings will be shared with animal welfare organizations and scientific communities nationwide.
“Many shelters around the country are doing great work in terms of rehabilitation and behavior modification, but often times they are stretched thin and may not have the resources to work with animals who need more time,” said Kristen Collins, director of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation.
“Our goal is to not only rehabilitate the dogs we admit into the program, but to also collect data for our research study so we can share these findings with other animal shelters and rescue groups. We want others to be equipped to better treat those undersocialized dogs in their care so they can save more animals.”
(Photo: ACPCA photo of Musketeer, a five-year-old pit bull mix, with Pia Silvani, vice president of Training and Behavior for St. Hubert’s, at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, aspca, behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, cruelty, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, evaluation, fear, hoarders, hoarding, madison, new jersey, pets, puppy mills, recovery, rehab, rehabilitation, rescues, research, shelters, st huberts animal welfare center, trauma
But with Gov. Rick Scott’s signature this week, some of them may get a second chance.
Scott signed into law SB 722, which allows local authorities to evaluate — instead of automatically euthanize — dogs seized from dogfighting operations.
A ceremonial bill signing will take place on September 19.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Luis Garcia, Rep. Jeff Brandes, and Sen. Jim Norman — and pushed by Best Friends Animal Society.
“We have been working to remove the automatic ‘dangerous’ stigma from dogs and puppies seized from cruelty situations,” said Best Friends Animal Society’s Ledy VanKavage, who testified in support of the bill. “After SB 722 becomes law, we will continue our work to remove this arbitrary designation in the remaining 13 states as part of our national pit bull terrier initiatives.”
“In a year in which the state has gone after many of Florida’s most vulnerable I was glad to see that we came together as a legislature to stop punishing these abused animals,” Rep. Garcia said upon the bill’s passage in the House last month. “I truly believe that you can judge the civility of a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable, including its animals.”
Other animal advocacy groups, veterinarians, and rescue groups also voiced their support for the bill by highlighting their work with dogs seized in from animal-fighting situations.
The new law, which stops short of requiring behavioral evaluations of all animals seized from dogfighting situations, provides local authorities with the option to conduct them to determine if the dogs can be rehabilitated and adopted.
Assisting in the campaign to get the bill passed was Dolly, a rehabilitated pit-bull terrier who was believed to have been used as a bait dog but now lives peacefully as a Canine Good Citizen canine companion and therapy dog for senior citizens.
“You can see what a wonderful animal this is,” Sen. Norman said at one press conference, as Dolly laid down near his feet. “This is a dog that has been typified as a vicious type of animal but, as you can see, if dogs are treated right, they’re man’s best friend, ladies’ best friend — just wonderful creatures.”
(Source: Best Friends Animal Society)
(Photo: Best Friends Animal Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, automatic, behavior, behavioral, death sentence, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, dolly, euthanasia, evaluate, evaluation, florida, governor, jeff brandes, jim norman, law, luis garcia, operations, option, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rick scott, sb 722, seized, signed, signs
Behavior problems are the main reason dogs end up in shelters, the main reason they get returned, and the main reason that some of them never get out.
So it only makes sense that helping dogs and the families that adopt them resolve those issues would lead to far more happier endings and far fewer dogs being put down.
Realizing that, Best Friends Animal Society in Utah has developed a new program in conjunction with the Monmouth County SPCA that matches dog trainers with shelters and families whose dogs have behavioral issues.
Sam Wike, the first trainer accepted into the program, is shown in this video working with Rufus, one of the first dogs referred by Best Friends’ Community Training Partner program. Wike is the lead trainer at Purr’n Pooch, a pet boarding/training/grooming facility in New Jersey.
Rufus, who was in the Monmouth County SPCA, needed a “finishing school” environment in order to be ready to be adopted, Best Friends says. Now he’s completed the training and is ready for adoption.
The main goal of the program is to lower the number of dogs returned to shelters and to counsel people considering relinquishing their dogs because of behavior issues.
When a family comes into the shelter to turn in their dog, a staff counselor sits down with them, and talks through the reasons the family is considering giving up their pet. Owners then are offered the option of training and behavior modification for their dogs, which is funded through the Best Friends program.
“We started this January working with the staff and we’ve also initiated doggy play groups with the shelter dogs,” Wike said. “The play groups help the dogs to learn how to interact appropriately with other dogs. The dogs burn off excess energy romping with each other and it’s a great showcase for their personalities when potential adopters come by the shelter,” Wike said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: behavior, behavior modification, behavioral, best friends, best friends animal society, community training partner, counseling, issues, monmouth county, new jersey, program, purr'n pooch, relinquish, return, sam wike, shelters, surrender, training
Dog trainer and author Joel Silverman, author of “What Color is Your Dog?”, will conduct a one-hour seminar next week at Camp Bow Wow in Columbia, Md.
Silverman’s appearance, Sept. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., will include a question and answer session and book signing.
Silverman is a career animal trainer, having worked for more than 25 years training animals for movies, TV shows and commercials. He was host, for nearly 10 years of ”Good Dog U” on Animal Planet.
In “What Color Is Your Dog?” Silverman presents his color-coding technique to recognize and and enhance dog behavior based on the dog’s personality.
Silverman coaches readers on how to develop a strong relationship with new pets in their first 30 days of ownership to observe their dog’s temperament and behavior. The author then teaches readers to label their dogs temperament by color, starting at one of three behavioral levels from shy (blue) to yellow (mellow) to highly strung (red). The goal is to move the dog through training practices individualized for each type of dog to inevitably reach the middle (yellow) level.
Camp Bow Wow, at 7165 Oakland Mills Rd. in Columbia, asks that, because a large crowd is expected, you keep your dogs home for this event.
Camp Bow Wow is also offering a class on pet first aid and CPR training on Sept. 20. Visit our Doggie Doings page for more information.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, animal trainer, author, behavior, behavioral, book, camp bow wow, coded, color, dog, dogs, good dog u, joel silverman, personality, seminar, signing, talk, temperament, trainer, what color is your dog?