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Welcome to Shelter Life at the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

We began as the Oakland SPCA in 1874. Today, the East Bay SPCA includes two animal shelters and three clinics in our community.

This is our day.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Don't talk to strangers...

Blog entry by: Jessica, an Oakland, Customer Care Associate...

In the shelter, we actually prefer the opposite of our dogs. We want them to talk to strangers. So long as they do it politely.

A lot of people come in and out of the shelter on a daily basis to look at our dogs and cats. This, as you can imagine, can be a little overwhelming. In order to help with shyness, timidness, or just plain fear of strangers we have to do "Stranger Desensitizing." What that means is that we have the dogs meet different people so that they can be more prepared for whatever may come their way in their future.

For example, our dogs work with the same trainers day in and day out. So it isn't uncommon for the dog to become comfortable with a particular employee. To spice things up a bit for the dogs the trainers will alter their appearances to see how the dog fairs.

In these pictures, CW and CH have dressed up a bit to become more 'stanger-like' for a dog they are working with. While it may look silly, it does, in fact, serve a purpose.

"We try to expose them to everything they might experience in real life. We try to make the experience positive for them by reinforcing the meeting with treats. " - CW

The dog in the picture is Darrin. He is up for adoption but not actually the dog they were working with. He just wanted to show what a party animal he is! :)

So next time you're in the shelter, please stop by one of our "Kennel Enrichment " treat jars and give a friendly, treat-accompanied " Hello!" to some of our dogs. Even by saying " Hi " you're helping a dog find a loving home!



This is one of the reasons why people think animal lovers are a little odd. But it's all for the dogs!!!

 

Well, now we know that SPCA dogs will not be afraid of mariachi musicians or purple Christmas trees. I think next to the bin of treats, we should have Groucho noses, gorilla masks and fake beards to totally mess with the dogs' minds. It reminds me of the Monty Python skit about a company called "Confuse A Cat."

 

I'd be cool if all the dog volunteers dressed up. If we did it on the "closed" days it would be okay. Days when the shelter's open, well, that's another story. I can just imagine some of the public's thoughts about us! :)

 

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