Today, an estimated 13,000 sheltering organizations care for an estimated 6-7 million homeless animals annually—mostly cats and dogs. Organizations vary in size from those that are very large, handling tens of thousands of animals per year, to those that are very small, including grassroots groups and private individuals.
For some animals, the amount of time spent in the care of a sheltering organization is brief. Others, however, spend extended amounts of time, ultimately remaining in shelter facilities for months, years, or even for the duration of their lives.
Admission to any shelter or rescue is stressful for animals. The strange sights, smells, and sounds combined with the presence of unfamiliar people and animals cause uneasiness, thus almost all animals experience at least some degree of fear and anxiety following admission. Their day-to-day interactions may be inconsistent and unpredictable, making it difficult for them to learn what to expect and more difficult for them adapt.
This is why we have launched a free online program specifically for shelter, rescue group, and animal welfare staff and volunteers! The Fear Free Shelter Program provides training for all of the people involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals—from medical and behavioral staff to intake, reception, kennel, and cattery staff to animal control officers, adoption counselors, foster caregivers, and shelter volunteers.
You can learn more at www.fearfreeshelters.com, and be sure to let your local shelters and rescues know about this amazing new resource available to them at no cost!