Victims of animal cruelty are getting some extra TLC at the ASPCA’s new animal behavior rehabilitation center in Madison, New Jersey.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ state of the art new facility will house 150-200 dogs per year while they go through a six to eight week comprehensive treatment plan for severe fear issues. The dogs will come from animal cruelty investigations conducted by the ASPCA and other rescues and shelters.
“The animals we’ll accept will be the most fearful ones—the ones who will have the most trouble getting adopted or staying in adoptive homes,” says ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation Director Kristen Collins, who heads the new center. “Usually, those animals are afraid of a multitude of seemingly innocuous things. Imagine being afraid of absolutely everything in your daily life! Those are the kinds of dogs that we will accept.”
They will be exposed to a variety of different experiences including “Real Life Rooms” that simulate a family living room.
Dogs who graduate the program will then be placed within ASPCA’s network of Response Partner shelters to be adopted. The work done at the facility will be part of a study evaluating treatment protocol for under socialized and severely fearful dogs.
Collins explains, “Our goal is to not only rehabilitate the dogs we admit into the program, but to also collect data for our research study so we can share these findings with other animal shelters and rescue groups. We want others to be equipped to better treat those under socialized dogs in their care so they can save more animals.”
Some of the first lucky tenants are the Malamutes from the Montana puppy mill case that my colleague Lindsay reported on in her recent blog.