The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

March 12, 2013

New center offers help for dogs consumed by fear



LOS ANGELES (AP) — People want their dog to be a friend, not afraid.

But sometimes, fear grips dogs so tightly they shake, cower, bite, growl or pee. It can be constant, painful and hard to overcome. Such dread can consume a dog when it's freed from a cage at a puppy mill or hoarder's home because that's the only life the dog has ever known.

Until now, it was up to animal shelters to ease the fears, knowing if they didn't, euthanasia was the likely alternative. But this week, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opens its Behavioral Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, N.J.

It's a two-year research project being financed by the ASPCA.

For now, dogs seized from puppy mills and hoarders will be the primary patients, said Kristen Collins, ASPCA's director of anti-cruelty behavior rehabilitation and director of the center. It will also include some dogs that have been confined for long stretches as evidence in court cases.

Dogs will come from shelters across the country as well as from seizures involving the ASPCA.

It's groundbreaking and exciting, Collins said. "It's the first ever facility that's dedicated strictly to providing rehabilitation for dogs that are victims of animal cruelty."

The research will also provide some numbers, Collins said. No one knows how many shy dogs are being placed in homes now. And little is known about how they fare after placement, so center staff will spend a lot of time following up on animals.

There are 27 kennels, an office, real life rooms, treatment rooms and common areas at the center.

The average stay for most dogs will be six to eight weeks, "but we don't have a hard and fast rule. All dogs are individuals. We will be flexible," Collins said.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee