Animals, just like humans, have a range of emotional problems too. They have feelings, also. And just like humans, it is challenging for them when they are not feeling well emotionally.
Some shelters are overcrowded enough. Thus, they don’t have the time or resources to tend to each animals’ mental health and wellness. But there is still a chance for stressed and mentally challenged dogs to heal and overcome their pasts.
With the help of ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, animals can get the best mental health and wellness care. They have a dormitory in Weaverville, North Carolina, and it houses up to 65 dogs. They have rescued many from hoarding situations and puppy mills.
While staying here, a mentally challenged dog can become suitable for adoption. Many professionals can also learn essential behavior modification techniques here. The facility has individual kennels and entire rooms to help dogs familiarize themselves with the concept of home. Furthermore, it also features an outdoor play area and a large indoor training area.
The idea of a Behavioral Rehabilitation Center came about ten years ago, through Collins, Dr. Pamela Reid, and Dr. Katherine Miller. Since its founding in 2013, the full-time staff grew from five to over thirty. It included veterinarians, research scientists studying behavioral therapy, and trainers.
Amazingly, about 87% of the dogs who underwent rehabilitation since 2013 now have forever homes. Because of that success, the rehab facility in North Carolina became a permanent establishment in 2018. More importantly, the BRC is part of what the ASPCA would call a “knowledge hub”.
This means that the knowledge learned from behaviorally challenged dogs and how to deal with it can be passed and help other dogs with similar experiences. The staff observes each dogs’ daily progress and treatment during their stay.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic stopped the staff from visiting shelters around the country, they still found a way to impart knowledge and information through online courses. Currently, more than 500 dogs have already graduated from BRC’s 3-month training course.
The dogs who underwent the program grew to enjoy human company and respond to basic commands. After the training, the dogs are placed in ASPCA’s network of partner shelters and rescue groups, ready for adoption.
With the help of this organization, many dogs have overcome their past and heal from it. That is undoubtedly good news! Learn more from their documentary.
Photo credit: ASPCA Behavioral Research Center