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Education Modeling Minimum Mental Health Requirements


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.

Many 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.

Open 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.

Not 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!






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