(Submitted by Wood County Humane Society)
Wood County Humane Society is selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, to participate in the Autumn 2018 Semester of Cat Pawsitive Pro, a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to shelter cats. Supported by the Petco Foundation and Halo pet food, this innovative training program for shelter cats aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as educate the shelter staff and volunteers on how to implement it.
Jackson Galaxy (star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP) developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:
– Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents
– Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity
– Promoting the human-cat bond
– Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers
“The genesis of Cat Pawsitive Pro stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the “AHA!” moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” said Jackson Galaxy. “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result, lives being saved, was the win-win I envisioned passing on to as many cats and shelters as I possibly could. So today I am filled with an indescribable mix of joy and anticipation as we enter the Autumn semester of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Pro program.”
Cats who are exposed to reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress level and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters. The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal.
“We at The Wood County Humane Society are thrilled to have been selected for the Autumn 2018 Cat Pawsitive Pro Program. This program will fundamentally change the lives of the many cats that come into our shelter and find it difficult to acclimate to that environment and ultimately their forever homes. By being selected for this innovative training initiative, our staff will be significantly better equipped to alleviate the stress that these animals experience while in shelter. This program also will ensure that such animals find their forever homes much more quickly and integrate to those forever homes much more seamlessly, thereby better enabling all of us, as an organization, to fulfill our mission of bringing about the best possible treatment and quality of life for all animals in Wood County,” said Heath Diehl, Board President of Wood County Humane Society.
Lisa Stemcosky, a feline behavior expert hand-picked by The JGP, will lead the program for the shelter beginning August 23rd. Throughout the Autumn, Wood County Humane Society staff and volunteers will participate in weekly seminars with Stemcosky and will have direct access to the entire training team for specialized consultations about the cats in their care.
Galaxy will be sharing highlights of the program on The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Learn more about Cat Pawsitive at www.catpawsitive.org.