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 provide shelter enrichment? How to help dogs become more social?
We also have what we call desk fostering. Some other places might call something different. We encourage our staff members who have offices and who likes dogs or even back in the admin side of the building whether there is couple of cubicles where people, our staff members if they have a dog they take a shining to, or that may need a little bit help where they can take that animal over and spend the day over there. Where they are either going to sleep in a quiet space away from the kennel, or they are going to get some cool toys and meet people. Or again if they are a little nervous it gets them out of what might be scaring them.
Why is it important to have enrichment in shelters?
A dog who spends too much time isolated in a kennel can develop some unfortunate side effects. If they are locked up and are not able to be around people, they can start developing unwanted habits like barking, chewing and other behaviors. Simply put, dogs get bored in the kennel. I know I would be bored if I was stuck in a small room with nothing to do.
When a shelter offers desk fostering it allows the dog to get out and be a dog! They can spend time cuddling with people and getting some extra loves from them. This can make their stay at a shelter easier and much more enjoyable.
A happy dog is a more adoptable dog!