Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Enrichment for Protective Custody Dogs

    Posted 07-14-2022 11:07 AM
    Hi Everyone!

    Dogs and animals that are on protective custody or are involved in court cases have specific needs and requirements. These requirements can make providing enrichment hard for them, especially if they cannot risk ingesting something from a destructible or toy (like a snuffle mat). For those shelters that receive animals with these restrictions, what kinds of enrichment do you provide for these animals? 

    Also, I generally feel bad for these animals that have to sit in kennels while the court case is decided. Is there anything more that is being done for these animals like foster programs? I know that can be a touchy subject due to the nature of some of these cases, but I am opening this discussion!

    Thank you!

    ~ Caitlin
    #Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment

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    Caitlin Brown
    Behavior Enrichment Coordinator
    Sacramento SPCA
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  • 2.  RE: Enrichment for Protective Custody Dogs

    Posted 30 days ago
    Hi, Caitlin!

    TLDR; yes, absolutely! There are some great enrichment and foster solutions that I have used personally (Youtube clip here!). We did pre-adoptions for seized pets when granted certain permissions (varied per case) with applicable waivers and open discussion with the foster parents who wished to adopt the pets if they were released. 

     Enrichment Resources

    Check out exotic/zoo animal enrichment strategies - there are some really creative solutions for STRONG species, much more intensive than what the average pup can chew/ingest.

    https://www.wildlifetoybox.com/

    https://zoospensefull.com/2020/07/14/protective-contact-has-positive-effect-on-the-trainer/

    Searching the Library on this forum for "enrichment" will show a wealth of resources. 

    And as a Labrador Retriever lover and pet guardian, these are pretty much the only three toys I keep in my house: They're still going strong!

    Ruff Dawg Cube

    LARGE Nylabone - specifically this model; but watch out tooth damage if using long-term

    XXL RED Kongs - specifically this size and COLOR; the black ones snap at the seams despite their marketing as being "stronger"

    Would love to talk more if you have any questions! 


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    Heather Kalman (she/her), CPDT-KA, SBA, ABCDT
    Embedded Data Coordinator
    American Pets Alive!, Human Animal Support Services
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  • 3.  RE: Enrichment for Protective Custody Dogs

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you! This is really helpful. While I love the idea of zoo toys with the dogs, they may be a bit expensive for our shelter, but I love the clicker training and targeting with our protective custody cases. Simply teaching "touch" has already helped one of them!

    ~ Caitlin

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    Caitlin Brown
    Behavior Enrichment Coordinator
    Sacramento SPCA
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  • 4.  RE: Enrichment for Protective Custody Dogs

    Posted 11 days ago
    Oh I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the work that you do! :)

    Editing to add: Equine toys may be a bit more affordable, but similar in strength to the exotic animal toys! 

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    Heather Kalman (she/her), CPDT-KA, SBA, ABCDT
    Embedded Data Coordinator
    American Pets Alive!, Human Animal Support Services
    ------------------------------