Operation Kindness Blog

How our behavior team changes lives

Triscuit got the training she needed.

Some animals that come to Operation Kindness need more attention and training before they are ready for adoption. From shy and fearful pets to those who struggle around other dogs and cats, our animal behavior team helps thousands of animals every year overcome behavioral barriers and challenges.

When dogs and cats find their way to Operation Kindness, our animal behavior team quickly assesses what kind of training and assistance they might need. Animals are rated on a one through five-paw scale, with five paws needing the most attention from staff and seasoned volunteers.

How Triscuit beat her fearfulness

Triscuit, a timid and anxious pup, was one of the many pets at Operation Kindness that required a patient team to help her bloom into a confident and trusting companion.

After evaluating Triscuit as a five-paw dog, our expert animal behavior specialists worked hard to acclimate her to the shelter and introduce her to other dogs she could feel comfortable playing with. They worked with her daily to build confidence through food and scent enrichment and on walks with her favorite volunteers and staff members until she felt comfortable with more people.

“It’s definitely rewarding to watch our fearful dogs open up and learn that the world isn’t as scary as they think it is,” said Angelica Olmos, an animal behavior specialist here at Operation Kindness. “Like people, animals can develop negative associations with events and environments over time. It makes us happy and fulfilled to know that we are able to help them and that there is support available for these animals who struggle with big feelings.”

Happy training at home

Triscuit went on to live with a nurturing foster family to continue her training in a calmer, quieter environment. They all formed an instant bond! Her fosters, deeply enamored with Triscuit, continued her training at home. Thanks to special funding we’ve received, we were able to provide Triscuit with a private trainer who visits her foster home regularly. In early February, Triscuit was adopted by her foster family!

Do you have a pet that could use behavior help? Our resident behavior experts have created at-home resources you can use to help your pet become calmer and more confident. For more behavior and training advice, you can contact our behavior team by email.

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