Kits & Pits
Adopting Out Kitties with Colds
Last August, staff at Dane County Humane Society in Madison, Wis., noticed that there were more cats in isolation than in previous years. Although many cats were responding to treatment for upper respiratory infection (URI), they were still sneezing, and the isolation area was packed.
“We didn’t feel comfortable moving them into the available population, in fear of getting the healthy cats sick,” says Gayle Viney, the humane society’s public relations coordinator. “Yet the more cats we had in the isolation area, the longer they were staying sick.”
Something had to be done quickly—and the timing couldn’t have been better.
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Clicking with Pits
Finding time for dog training in a shelter environment can be challenging, but you can work it in by conducting it while dogs are kenneled. It’s particularly helpful to provide stimulation for dogs who may not be allowed out and about, such as those being held during court cases.
A clicker is used in place of words to mark behavior. For example, instead of saying “Good dog!” when a dog sits after being asked, you click when her bottom hits the floor.
The first step in successful clicker training is to give meaning to the clicker through association (what is commonly called “loading” the clicker). Loading the clicker is quick and lots of fun for the dog.