May 2024 Maddie's Monthly Behavior Connection: Removing Barrier-Related Barriers to Adoption

When:  May 23, 2024 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (PT)

Session Topic:  Removing Barrier-Related Barriers to Adoption

Guest Speaker:  Devan Amundsen, Animal Welfare United

Dog training is always a highly valued resource at a shelter or rescue. However, when we look at the realities of dog training and the behavioral effects of the shelter environment, we find that training in a shelter can be difficult to justify. So what do we do about the behavior-related barriers to placing dogs out into homes? This presentation will explore that topic, and offer concrete solutions for some of our toughest behavior challenges.

About the Presenter:

Devan Amundsen, CPDT-KA CBCC-KA, is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant with over 10 years of experience working with not just dog owners, but dogs in shelters, assistance dogs, and other working dogs. Devan started as a volunteer training dogs at his local shelter, and since then has been a Kennel Technician, Dog Care Coordinator, Animal Control Officer, and Shelter Manager. Devan currently teaches college courses about dog training, dog behavior, kennel management, and animal sheltering at the Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science levels at Bergin College of Canine Studies in Sonoma County, California. Devan teaches approximately 25% of the Bachelor's degree program. Devan also helped modify the Bachelor of Science degree program, designing and instructing entirely new courses centered around animal sheltering and providing community support. Last year, Devan launched a pilot program at the university, assigning students to foster dogs pulled from shelters for the semester as part of their studies, then participating in placing those dogs into adoptive homes. The program continues to bring dogs from rescues into the program, specifically pregnant dogs who whelp and raise their puppies alongside the assistance dogs in training. In April of 2022, Devan joined the team at Oakland Animal Services as the Dog Behavior Coordinator. Beyond the day-to-day behavior work, the goal is to create programs and systems that can be replicated in other communities. This year, Animal Welfare United sponsored free group dog training classes in partnership with Bergin College. These goal is that these classes will serve as a pilot project for other communities to replicate.

About Maddie's Monthly Behavior Connection:
Join us on the fourth Thursday of every month as we talk about dog and cat behavior - supporting pets in our community and animal shelters. Each month, we hear from speakers about topics of interest to our group, such as behavior medications, modifying animal behavior, assessing and improving animal welfare, and how organizations successfully provide behavior support to dogs and cats.

Who should join: Animal welfare staff and volunteers who are interested in dog and cat behavior, and everyone who works to keep pets out of shelters and in homes.

You only need to register once for all meetings:

Can't attend live? Register anyway and you will get a link to the recording within a day or two after each meeting.

All recordings and resources shared during the webcast will also be available in the Maddie's Monthly Behavior Connection group on Maddie's Pet Forum -

Maddie's Fund does not share registration information. 

The opinions expressed by webinar presenters are their own and do not necessarily represent those of Maddie’s Fund.


Event Image
When:  May 23, 2024 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (PT)


Online Instructions:
Login: Register for the meeting using the Zoom link above.
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