Our understanding of how best to assess the behavior of dogs coming into shelters and rescues continues to evolve. Recent research supports the view that gathering information from a variety of sources results in a more accurate picture of the individual dog. However, it’s important to strike the right balance between taking the time to collect data and getting the dog out of the shelter and into a home.
In this first part of this webinar, we’ll present the ASPCA’s position and review the value and limitations of various sources of information.
Kristen Collins is the Vice President of the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center. At the Center’s new facility in Weaverville, NC, she and her staff focus on the study and rehabilitation of extremely fearful dogs, most from cruelty cases, as well as the development of collaborative teaching programs to share the BRC’s work with partner shelters across the country. Kristen joined the ASPCA in 2007. Prior to her assignment at the BRC in 2013, she worked with Dr. Pam Reid on the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team (ACBT), where she helped create and conducted specialized behavior evaluations for animals rescued from dogfighting, puppy mill and hoarding situations, collecting information to determine the best outcome, assist with shelter partner placement and provide supporting evidence for prosecution. In 2010, Kristen also played an integral role in the creation of the ASPCA’s first enrichment and behavior modification programs for animals held as evidence during ongoing cruelty cases. Kristen is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and holds a master’s degree in applied animal behavior from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Pamela Reid is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), and currently serves as Vice President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team (ACBT). The ACBT works closely with the ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response (FIR) and Community Engagement (CE) teams to provide behavior evaluations, enrichment and rehabilitation for animals from cruelty cases and disaster responses.
Dr. Reid received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in animal learning and behavior from the University of Toronto. Dr. Reid frequently lectures on shelter behavior, animal behavior and dog training worldwide. She also trains law enforcement on non-lethal methods of handling dangerous dogs. Her scholarly works include chapters in Readings in Companion Animal Behavior, Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff, Animal Behavior for Shelter Veterinarians and Staff, Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals, The Domestic Dog and The Behavioural Biology of the Dog. Dr. Reid authored the books Excel-erated Learning! Explaining (in plain English) how Dogs Learn and how Best to Teach them and Dog InSight: a Collection of Essays on the Essence of the Dog.