At Meridian Canine Rescue, we believe in giving dogs choice. And last year, after partnering with the ASPCA Northern Tier Shelter Initiative (NTSI), we realized that we could provide more opportunities for our dogs to decide what they want.
MCR received a grant by the ASPCA NTSI for a housing consultation with Denae Wagner DVM, MPVM, who is the Assistant Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program. Some of Dr Wagner’s suggestions were to provide alternative, low-stim housing; to offer more and different visual barriers; and to find creative ways to develop double-compartment housing.
After receiving her proposal, MCR implemented a series of housing modifications. Now we have several quiet spaces for our dogs, various visual barriers to choose from depending on the individual dog’s needs; and crates within kennels for dogs who like them.
It’s a work in progress, but we’ve already seen the results. Dogs are more relaxed. The kennel area is quieter. We strongly believe in offering a fear free shelter environment, and housing is one of the ways we can do that.
Thanks to the ASPCA NTSI, Dr Wagner’s consultation gave us a better understanding of the ways that we can modify our space in order to strengthen our Dog Care Program. We’re grateful for their help — and so are our dogs. Now, when they arrive at MCR, our dogs get to make choices about how and where they live.