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Wenatchee Valley Humane Society Participates in ASPCA Learning Lab Program to Help Shelter Dogs with Behavior Issues

Hands-on training at ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center provides
innovative techniques and protocols to help homeless dogs nationwide

WENATCHEE, WASH.—The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) today announces its partnership with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) through the Learning Lab program. This program, based at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, North Carolina, is an interactive educational program where select shelters participate in an intensive, hands-on workshop and discuss all aspects of advanced behavioral care in animal shelters.

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WVHS is among the first group of animal welfare agencies to participate in the ASPCA Learning Lab program and will be applying key learnings to integrate behavioral and psychological support for homeless dogs into its entire sheltering operation. The WVHS team was chosen for the selective program after taking part in an in-depth application and shelter visitation process.

“We were honored to be invited to send six of our key staff to participate in a four-day Learning Lab retreat at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina,” said Dawn Davies, WVHS Executive Director. “The ASPCA Learning Lab demonstrated game-changing techniques in both a classroom and hands-on environment.   The ASPCA tailored private training to specifically address the challenges that we face as an open-door shelter in greater Wenatchee. We are excited to implement new tools to enrich shelter life not only for animals, but for our dedicated staff too, and ultimately, to increase our success rate of placing hard to adopt animals into forever homes.”

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“Wenatchee Valley Humane Society has a highly skilled, insightful, and cohesive team and we had impactful working sessions together over the course of the four-day retreat,” added Dr. Katherine Miller, Senior Director of the ASPCA Learning Lab program. “We’re excited that they are joining the Learning Lab’s network of shelter partners and we look forward to continued collaboration on methods to elevate behavioral healthcare in animal shelters.”

The ASPCA Learning Lab launched in 2018 at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, the first-ever permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and study of extremely fearful, unadoptable homeless dogs, most of whom are victims of cruelty or neglect. As the Learning Lab program evolves, the ASPCA plans to develop a national network of partner organizations that can share learnings and best practices and serve as specialized behavioral rehabilitation hubs in their communities.

The work of the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center is showcased in an award-winning ASPCA documentary, “Second Chance Dogs”, which is available on secondchancedogsfilm.com. For more information on the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, please visit aspca.org/BRC.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society
Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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NEW SHELTER PROGRAM HELP DOGS MAKE EASIER ADOPTION TRANSITIONS

WENATCHEE, WA- Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) has added behavior and obedience programs to their list of resources. The programs are a tool used to help some of the more rambunctious and untrained dogs at the shelter.  The goal is to reduce their length of stay at the shelter and increase their adoptability.

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“Dogs that come to the shelter with behavior issues have a difficult time being adopted,” explains WVHS Executive Director, Dawn Davies. “Long lengths of stay in a shelter setting are stressful for animals. Our goal is to give these dogs every opportunity to find their forever home, as quickly as possible. Adding a dog behavior program that teaches positive habits, confidence for good manners and basic obedience skills was the next natural step for us to take.”

All dogs entering the shelter are evaluated. Those who show signs of treatable behavior issues are placed into either the Canine Good Citizen-Ready (CGC) program or the Total Obedience Program (TOP) Dog program. Both programs give dogs a second chance for a happy home through training, diligence, and one-on-one development.

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In the CGC program, WVHS staff and volunteers work with the selected shelter dogs to train them on specific good behavior skills, with a goal of mastering them. Mastering these behaviors prepares them for the American Kennel Club CGC Test and once ready, shelter dogs are tested on ten real-world scenarios. If they pass, they are labeled ‘CGC Ready.’ Adopters of these dogs will be briefed on their dog’s skill set and are encouraged to work with an independent CGC Evaluator for CGC certification testing.

Dogs participating in the TOP dog program work on skills similar to the CGC-Ready Program but in addition to good behavior skills, TOP Dogs learn advanced skills specific to each dog’s needs. Adopters of TOP Dog participants have the opportunity to visit WVHS with their dog, where the owner can learn the training skills received during the program and earn a WVHS TOP Dog certificate.

About the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society

Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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