1887

Managing and rehoming the rescue dog and cat

image of Managing and rehoming the rescue dog and cat
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Abstract

Rescue pets can make great companions, especially if obtained from a reputable shelter. Veterinary surgeons in practice have a responsibility not only to help and guide potential owners to appropriate sources, but also to support shelters to ensure they maintain standards that protect the welfare of the animals. This chapter looks at shelter behaviour plan, behaviour assessment in shelters, testing, foundation training and enrichment programmes, behavioural modification programme, behaviour counselling.

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Figures

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23.1 Shelters attempt to create a welcoming environment for potential adopters, in an effort to increase the likelihood that people will visit the shelter and choose to adopt a pet.
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23.2 Key components of a shelter behaviour programme and their estimated relative resource requirement.
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23.3 Shelters can be a stressful environment for pets.
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23.4 Although this terrier was of a highly adoptable size, age and breed for most shelters, it was extremely fearful in the shelter environment. Its behaviour improved once it had been placed in a foster programme and eventually it was placed successfully in a home.
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23.5 Using a synthetic hand and arm to assess for food bowl aggression. To protect the evaluator from injury, the dog is restrained on a lead.
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23.6 Environmental enrichment for a shelter cat. This ‘Hide, Perch & Go’ box (devised by the British Columbia SPCA) serves as a method of stress reduction by offering a hiding place and perch. The box transforms into a carrier when the cat is adopted.
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23.8 ASPCA Meet Your Match™ Feline-ality™ scales (reproduced with permission).
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23.9 The owner of this dog was properly educated at the time of adoption regarding how to manage their new pet’s environment. While the pet did destroy something, it was not anything of significant value to the owner and was therefore an acceptable outlet for the behaviour while the dog was being trained.
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23.10 The honeymoon is over – the newly adopted dog started to pull cans out of cupboards and chew on household items one month after adoption.

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