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Dogs in a shelter environment can not say that they're bored or stressed, but they may express it through inappropriate behaviors.
Enrichment programs can help to relieve this boredom and stress and reduce these behaviors—and thus make a major difference in a shelter dog's daily life.
Angels of Assisi staff and volunteers give dogs time outside the kennels, with and without human interaction. This play time offers some of the best opportunities for canine enrichment:
Training is key to reducing stress. Keeping a dog challenged and his mind busy can make all the difference in his ability to deal with a noisy, over stimulated environment. Keeping his mind challenged is an important part of his behavioral development and stress reduction.
Almost every meal is served to the dogs in Kong toys; this gives the dogs some extra mental stimulation as they enjoy digging through the peanut butter to get to their main entrée.
As necessary, dogs are also given appropriate alternatives that satisfy their need to chew and help reduce the stress of kennel life.
Angels of Assisi staff and volunteers encourage shy kitties to the front of their kennels with treats and everyday movements that invoke their curiosity. Often a shy cat comes out of its shell because it just can’t stand to be left out of the fun. They may not like to be held or cuddled but they do love to play.
Our extra colony housing gives kitties a chance to play and climb. Staff and volunteers brush the cats, inspect them for illness or stress that precludes their good health and interact with them on many different levels