OSPCA launches online tool to help pet owners introduce new pets to the family

Desiree DeCoste
Beaver Staff

The Ontario Society of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and Humane Society has launched a new and exciting online tool for shelter professionals and pet owners to improve the behaviour health of animals by focusing on their mental and emotional needs.

This new tool can be found on the Shelter Health Pro website in the new Environmental needs & Behavioural Health section.

“Ontario SPCA animal centres incorporate the tools and resources found on the Shelter Health Pro website to reduce the stress and boredom of animals awaiting adoption,” expressed Melissa Kosowan, Associate Director, Communications for OSPCA at the Provincial Office. “The result is animals are happier, healthier and more likely to be adopted. Through the Shelter Health Pro website, we want to share these recommendations, which were developed by animal health and behaviour experts, to make them accessible to other animal shelters and rescues, as well as pet owners.”

The recommendations on the website were developed by animal health and behaviour experts and are presented in a user-friendly format which makes them accessible to all animal caregivers.

The website includes professional tips and tools on training and behaviour, enrichment, socialization activities and strategies to reduce stress in animals.

“By giving families with pets the tools and resources needed to prevent and modify behavioural issues as well as understand normal needs and behaviours, is helping reach our goal,” Kosowan told The Beaver. “And the goal is to reduce the number of animals that are surrendered into the care of SPCAs and humane societies due to unwanted or misunderstood behaviours.”

Content caregivers have access to on the website includes: enrichment activities for cats, dogs and small animals, animal training and behaviour modification, recognize animal stress and how to reduce it, and guidelines for ideal housing.

This content gives the tools needed to help keep shelter animals happier and healthier to increase their chance of adoption. The site also helps families with pets prevent and modify behavioural issues, as unwanted behaviours can lead to challenges and frustration.

“Our goal is to enhance the comfort of the animals in our care and ensure they have a humane and healthy environment – whether that’s in an animal shelter, or in a home,” says Dr. Magdalena Smrdelj, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. “We invite everyone involved in animal care at all levels to consider the emotional and mental well-being of our animal friends.”

The OSPCA and Humane Society are also in the midst of determining a schedule for the 2020 season of their mobile wellness & spay/neuter unit which is made possible through a grant provided by the Pet Valu family of stores through its Giving Back Project.


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