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Shelter Enrichment On A Budget

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John Griffin is the director of shelter services at the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem, PA. They are committed to the humane and compassionate treatment of animals and are distinguished as America’s First Animal Shelter.

How to do shelter enrichment on a budget?

Look at what you can do today, look at what you can do that can become part of just what you do, not when we have enough people. I would encourage anyone who’s looking at doing enrichment on a budget or how do we do that, the ASPCA has a really wonderful webinar about enrichment, and they have a lot of ideas and a lot of things you can do. And you can tailor it to what you can do.

Visit these links for training from ASPCA:

Click Here For More Shelter Support Topics


Why is enrichment necessary for shelter dogs?

Animal enrichment is meant to improve the animals’ environments and care based on their natural behaviors and instincts. Many zoos are implementing enrichment programs to help stimulate the animals. They believe that those animals will be happier which in return make they more appealing to visitors.

Well, the same can be done for dogs and cats at a shelter. Visualize these scenarios:

  • A scared dog hiding from all the passer biers
  • A rowdy dog who is jumping, barking and tearing up his bed
  • A calm dog who looks happy

Which one are you more likely to adopt? The happy looking dog! Enrichment stimulates the dogs mentally and breaks up their boring day.

  • Enrichment programs can reduce stress
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation
  • Give the dogs and cats some control over their environment
  • Prevent unwanted behavior
  • This all adds up to = More Adoptions! 

What is enrichment? 

“Providing an interesting, complex, challenging, stimulating, and variable environment that encourages the animals to explore, think, learn, engage, and be well – mentally and physically.” Kelley Bollen MS CABC