White cat standing with raised paw looking up.

Clicker training can reduce stress for cats in animal shelters

When shelter staff and volunteers talk about clicker training for cats, it’s mostly as a way to get the kitties to put their best paw forward for adopters. But what if it can be something more — even a tool to fight suffering and disease? That was the theory of researchers at Colorado State and North… Learn More

two cats looking at each other

Can something in the air treat fights between cats in the same family?

What if you could sprinkle magic fairy dust to reduce fighting between cats in a family? That would certainly help keep cats in their homes, and encourage people to adopt multiple cats, so we wish we could tell you magic anti-cat fight fairy dust was a thing. What we can tell you is there’s something… Learn More

Shelter dog, black and white, young

Shelter dog behavior assessments not reliable, reports ASPCA

An in-shelter behavior assessment is not a reliable way to determine whether dogs will or won’t be safe in adoptive homes, reports a new ASPCA position statement. Instead, such evaluations need to be based on multiple observations over time. That’s a position shared by Maddie’s Fund® Director of Research and board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Sheila D’Arpino.… Learn More

Cute kitten lays down on a book and play with her ball.

Help kittens shine with Kitten Kindergarten

What’s cuter than one kitten learning manners? Several kittens learning how to “touch,” “sit” and wear a harness with pride! After all, puppies have access to all sorts of classes, so why not kittens? By exposing kittens who are 16 weeks and younger to new experiences, they’ll be on their way to becoming confident and… Learn More

Shelter dog in armchair

#FeelGoodFriday: Shelter dogs on big, comfy chairs

The only thing better than getting adopted is getting comfy in the meantime! That’s the likely opinion of these shelter dogs who are benefiting from the recent craze of putting armchairs into animal shelters so the pets can chill out in comfort. The chairs make the pets more appealing to adopters, too. It’s a classic… Learn More

Foster field trips

Study: Can foster field trips improve welfare in dogs?

Can just a few hours outside the shelter make a difference for a dog? Data from an ongoing study suggests foster field trips can help improve welfare in dogs, increase adoption chances and create other advantages for the organization caring for the dogs. Here’s the background: About a year ago, Austin Animal Center received a… Learn More

dog eating

Is it time to stop evaluating shelter dogs for food guarding?

Research published last month suggests evaluating shelter dogs for food guarding doesn’t increase safety or reduce bites, and may result in lower adoption rates and increased euthanasia of dogs who are defined as “food guarders.” The behavior a dog shows in an animal shelter may not match the behavior she’ll show once in a home.… Learn More

Study: What cats really don’t like in their litter box

When cats stop using their litter box, and they get a clean bill of physical health from their veterinarian, there’s one piece of advice that almost universally comes next: Keep your litter box clean. But what does that mean from the cat’s point of view? The smell of a cat box is probably the main… Learn More

Free behavior support for fostered hurricane pets

Fostering a pet from a recent hurricane? As a thank you, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) is now offering free behavior support across the country for any hurricane foster pet who may need it. When Dr. Sheila D’Arpino, Research Director for Maddie’s Fund®, approached IAABC Executive Director Marjie Alonso with the idea,… Learn More

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