Baypath Is Officially Fear Free
Despite the loving attention and dedicated care shown to each dog and cat at Baypath, shelters are no doubt stressful temporary homes. Beginning with an abrupt change in their environment, animals in shelters experience loud noises, displeasing smells and unfamiliar people throughout a typical day. This combination of sensory exposure can become overwhelming, leading to stress-induced behaviors in our furry friends such as decreased appetite, increased vocalizations, reduced immunity and destructive, aggressive or repetitive habits, all of which negatively impact quality of life.
Always on the cutting edge of animal welfare, Baypath’s in-shelter team worked diligently over the past several months to become Fear Free Certified, a designation offered through Fear Free Happy Homes’ Fear Free Shelters Program. As of August 1st, all in-shelter staff are officially certified in this comprehensive protocol, having completed and demonstrated competency in each training module.
According to the Fear Free Happy Homes website, the goal of the Fear Free Shelters Program is to improve the experience of animals by educating animal welfare professionals about their emotional needs. The program aims to empower shelter personnel to apply key strategies and techniques designed to reduce the fear, anxiety, stress and frustration commonly experienced by rescue animals, while increasing enrichment opportunities.
Baypath’s work has been guided for many years by the fear free philosophy, as evidenced by our focus on creative enrichment, individualized care and positive reinforcement training. One of our most beloved partners, Dr. Rachel Geller, frequently utilizes the Fear Free Shelters Program in her work as a Cat Behaviorist, assisting our adopters with a myriad of behavioral issues and offering empowering resources. Rachel recently shared her expertise on the science of feline pheromones on Fear Free Happy Homes, in an article that won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association. Baypath’s staff – and all of the animals in our care – are pawsitively thrilled we are now officially a Fear Free Shelter!