In order for animals to have a stimulating life, they need opportunities to engage in natural behaviors. At Baypath, our staff and volunteers prioritize this need on a daily basis. Our commitment to enrichment helps satisfy both the physical and psychological needs of animals and allows them to make choices.
Commitment to Enrichment
Enrichment can come in many forms, including altering the physical environment, modifying animal care, creating social groupings and increasing sensory stimulation. Our Enrichment Program includes:
- Feeder puzzles and treat dispensers for an engaging meal experience
- Vertical climbing structures for the cats
- Communal housing for compatible animals
- Play groups for compatible dogs
- Using scents around an environment
- Simulating predator/prey stalk-and-chase behaviors for cats
- Hide-y beds and quiet space for shy animals
- Auditory stimulation like books on tapes
- Human interaction – touch, play, even reading!
Meet our Director of Behavior & Training
Beth MacLeod, CPDT-KA
Beth MacLeod is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed. This is a designation that requires hundreds of hours of hands-on positive-reinforcement-based training work to earn and annual continuing education to maintain. For over 20 years she has taught classes, done in-home consultations and worked with Baypath – training staff, volunteers, adopters and working with challenging dogs.
As we look ahead to our future, as well as the future of animal sheltering, we know our ability to respond to behavior concerns both in shelter and out of shelter will be key. If we have strong programs with empowered volunteers and a robust foster network, we will be able to provide critical services and remain viable for years to come.
Some of the other ways Beth is enhancing our operation relative to dog behavior:
- She provides support to our adopters pre- and post-adoption, as well as our fosters
- She serves as a resource for people considering rehoming their pet, oftentimes providing alternatives to surrender
- She spearheads the creation of critical content for our website and adoption packets on topics like resource guarding, reactivity, fear, jumpy/mouthy behavior, etc.
- She holds training clinics for our staff and volunteers to further empower our team as it pertains to behavior, training, safe dog handling, etc.
- She creates videos for our burgeoning library of training and behavior how-tos for staff, volunteers, fosters and adopters