We eagerly anticipate the positive transformations that these scholarship winners will bring to the lives of animals through their enrollment in and completion of the Shelter Training & Enrichment course.”
The 2023 Zoe Shelter Scholarship recipients are:
Sydney Colvin, Austin Animal Center, Austin, Texas
Sydney Colvin is the Enrichment Specialist at Austin Animal Center in Texas. While the shelter is large, with 120 staff members and hundreds of volunteers, Sydney is the only person working on animal enrichment—and her position is part-time! Sydney has ambitious goals that she believes the KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course will allow her to achieve, including expanding the implementation of life-changing routines for longer-stay dogs and programs that make new-to-the-shelter dogs more adoptable. She also hopes to persuade the shelter’s leadership team and the city of Austin to increase investment in the shelter (and make her own role fulltime!), based on what Sydney calls “the weight and value of her KPA education and knowledge.” Emphasizing the many positives of advanced enrichment and opportunities for shelter animals to express themselves in healthy and safe ways, reducing negative interactions, Sydney is passionate about building a framework that works to meet the emotional and mental health needs of the animals in the shelter’s care.
Stasia Orlowski, South Bend Animal Resource Center, South Bend, Indiana
Stasia Orlowski is the Animal Welfare Assistant at the South Bend Animal Resource Center in Indiana. She hopes that the KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course will help her realize her multiple goals: making shelter stays more pleasant for the animals in her care, implementing strategies for keeping animals busy and content generally (and teaching those strategies to adopters!), and sharing what she learns with her coworkers and the shelter’s volunteers. While the shelter staff members implement some enrichment strategies currently, including one-on-one play, Kongs, and simple behavior training like feet on the floor and quiet attention, Stasia is excited to expand on those efforts, especially with dogs that display problem behaviors. “I would love to be able to make our dogs more adoptable and to offer tips to adopters. What I learn during the course will let me help people get off on the right foot and bond with their newly adopted dogs.”
Arianna Papadopoulos, Scottish SPCA, West Dumbartonshire, UK
At the Scottish SPCA, Arianna Papadopoulos and other shelter staff members work hard to train the dogs in their care, as many of the untrained or mistreated animals present challenging behavior. Training helps the dogs adjust to both life in a kennel and veterinary care, and mitigates reactivity. Arianna is also looking for new ways to provide enrichment to the dogs; the often-inclement weather and the large volume of dogs necessitate inventive ways to keep the dogs distracted and busy. Arianna explains that, sadly, “most of the dogs only get out once a day” since staff resources are thin. “We are often stuck for enrichment ideas and default to Kongs and LickiMats.” The shelter’s goal is rehoming dogs as quickly as possible so that Arianna and others do not feel like they are “failing” healthy dogs whose behavior worsens the longer they remain at the shelter. Arianna hopes that the KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course will provide “new ideas and insight about the best enrichment for specific behavior, including heavy/destructive chewing.”
Stefanie Pickerd, Lander Pet Connection, Lander, Wyoming
Stefanie Pickerd, mom, pet owner, and animal care technician at Lander Pet Connection (LPC) in Wyoming, is the new volunteer coordinator at the shelter and rescue center. From October 2022 to October 2023, the shelter staff rehomed 799 pets successfully! Stefanie is especially eager to enroll in the KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course to assist the many animals that come into LPC with trauma. “They can't tell us what they need so we have to try to read their behaviors to help them. I would really like to be able to read them a bit better.” Stefanie looks forward to sharing what she learns in the KPA course with colleagues at weekly meetings where staff share observations about the animals in their care as well as any extra insights or knowledge they have obtained. “We are always learning!”
YuHwa Su, Sanzhi District Animal Shelter & Banqiao District Animal Shelter, New Taipei City, Taiwan
YuHwa Su is a longtime visitor to and volunteer trainer at several shelters in New Taipei City, Taiwan, including Sanzhi District Animal Shelter & Banqiao District Animal Shelter. S/he offers the many stray dogs, as well as the stressed and overworked employees and volunteers at the shelters, hope and encouragement, building positive dog-human relationships, teaching dogs cooperative behaviors, and offering enrichment activities. YuHwa is excited about the Shelter Training & Enrichment course, saying “I hope to gain knowledge and tools from the course, and from other international shelters, to improve the lives of shelter dogs.” S/he believes that if people understand dog behavior and know how to interact with dogs in low-stress ways, positive changes can be made in daily activities like dog-walking and in challenging situations like aggressive behavior, as well as in pre-adoption training.
Jessica White, St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, Lacombe, Louisiana
Jessica White, the Community Cat Program Manager at the St. Tammany Parish Government Department of Animal Services, is eager to learn more about improving the lives of the animals she works with at the Louisiana shelter. A former animal control officer and kennel technician, Jessica knows that the KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course will be significant professional-level support for her belief about the importance of enrichment in animal health. Her goals are to spread knowledge about the value of enrichment to animals in rescue environments and to find the best outcomes for each cat that comes through her facility. “We currently do not provide any formal enrichment activities, although I try to encourage kennel techs to at least put toys in the cages.” Completing the Shelter & Enrichment course will help Jessica help the cats maintain and improve their overall health. “I’m excited to get started!”
About Karen Pryor Academy
Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA) offers positive reinforcement-based courses for both experienced and aspiring trainers. KPA offers 16 courses as well as its flagship Dog Trainer Professional program, a combination of online learning and hands-on workshops. KPA is advancing the field of force-free training by certifying and promoting the next generation of skilled animal trainers and teachers. To learn more about Karen Pryor Academy courses, visit www.karenpryoracademy.com. To see an international list of KPA Certified Training Partners, visit https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer.
BETTER BEHAVIOR, MORE ADOPTIONS
Enrich the lives of animals in your care and solve common behavior problems with our online course, Shelter Training & Enrichment.
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Enrich the lives of animals in your care and solve common behavior problems with our online course, Shelter Training & Enrichment. Use coupon code TYD2024 and save $49!
Hurry, sale ends tonight at 11:59 pm (ET)