FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Allen County SPCA has been selected by a program started by an ‘Animal Planet’ star to take part in
a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to shelter cats.
The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a signature program of GreaterGood.org was started by Jackson Galaxy (star of the television show “My Cat from Hell” on Animal Planet. The Allen County SPCA will be part of the Spring 2018 Semester of Cat Pawsitive Pro, aSupported by the Petco Foundation. The innovative training program for shelter cats aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as educate the shelter staff and volunteers on how to implement it.
Highlights of the program include:
Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents
Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity
Promoting the human-cat bond
Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers
“The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the “AHA!” moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” said Jackson Galaxy. “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result, lives being saved, was the win-win I envisioned passing on to as many cats and shelters as I possibly could. So today I am filled with an indescribable mix of joy and anticipation as we enter the 2018 sessions of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Pro program.”
Cats who are exposed to reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress level and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters. The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal.
“At our shelter we really focus on enriching the lives of our animals while they await adoption; so, we are beyond grateful to The Jackson Galaxy Project for this opportunity to engage in a new way with some of our shyer, harder-to-place felines and help them finally make their ways home,” said Jessica Henry, executive director at Allen County SPCA.
Cary Munschauer, a feline behavior expert hand-picked by JGP, began leading the program for the shelter on February 21. Throughout the Spring, Allen County SPCA staff and volunteers will participate in weekly seminars with Munschauer and will have direct access to the entire training team for specialized consultations about the cats in their care.