Change can be hard for anyone. Typically, animals admitted to shelters are scared and exhibit signs of stress. The strange sights, smells, and sounds of their new environment, combined with the presence of unfamiliar people and other animals, contribute to their unease.
To reduce the impact this transition has on animals entering our facility, LHS partnered with the Fear Free Shelter Program, which focuses on the emotional needs of animals as they transition into and out of the shelter through the use of stress-reduction tactics and techniques.
Over several weeks, LHS’s entire animal care staff learned behavioral and environmental skills clinically shown to reduce stress and anxiety in cats and dogs. Our Operations Team also implemented changes to animal housing, tools, and workflows based on program data.
Our staff is now entirely certified in these techniques and, as a result, our shelter has been designated a “Fear-Free” facility. The program is important, as even short-term stress can negatively impact an animal’s health and adoptability. The calmer the pet, the more likely they will find their forever home.
“We are proud to be continually learning and taking greater steps to improve the lives of pets in our community,” says Kim Saunders, director of operations.