The most important thing we can do for sheltered animals is to help
the animals to form positive associations to all kinds of people.
This will help make them more calm, quiet and friendly when people
approach the kennel, which will help them to get adopted, and will
make them better socialized to people once they're out in the “real
world,” which will help keep them adopted.
animals have behavioral baggage when they come to the shelter, and,
sadly, many animals rapidly deteriorate after only a short time
in the shelter environment. Shelter animals often become de-housetrained,
hyperactive, noisy, anxious, and lonely. If they do not become intimidated
when strangers walk up to their kennels, their delight and excitement
at seeing people is expressed as uncontrollable exuberance. Unless
a vigorous socialization and training program is in effect, the
animals, particularly puppies and kittens, become less and less
adoptable with each day that they stay.
Paw has created a set of Minimum Mental Health Requirements to provide
for the essential needs of sheltered animals, specifically regarding
their adoptability and comfort, and their needs for companionship,
entertainment, and education.
only do the Minimum Mental Health Requirements help existing sheltered
animals, they can help keep other animals from ever entering a shelter.
The calm, quiet, friendly, happily occupied dogs and cats in an
Open Paw shelter generate amazement and curiosity in shelter visitors.
This creates the perfect opportunity for the staff, volunteers,
and shelter animals to help educate the public about pet education!