OSSINING, N.Y. — A cat behavior specialist from Ossining has been invited to be part of a national initiative to improve the adoptability of shelter cats.
Paula Garber, owner of LIFELINE Cat Behavior Solutions, will join the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to be a part of its national Cat Pawsitive initiative.
The Jackson Galaxy Foundation began working with shelters across the U.S. on April 19 to implement Cat Pawsitive, an initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to shelter cats.
Developed by Jackson Galaxy and a team of animal behavior experts, Cat Pawsitive is a positive-reinforcement training program aimed at:
- enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters
- building social skills
- promoting the human-cat bond
- improving “adoptability”
The pilot program is being offered in nine shelters across the country, ranging from small, limited-admission private shelters to large, open-admission municipal facilities.
The shelters each participate in three training webinars and have direct access to the JGF Cat Pawsitive behavioral team for consultations.
Cat Pawsitive will run through mid-July and will conclude with a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the program’s impact.
Because of Garber’s professional experience with cat behavior, she was asked to be a member of the impact study team. Her role will involve transcribing and compiling the qualitative data collected during the three- month program.
“Our goal with Cat Pawsitive isn’t just to keep cats in the shelter behaviorally and physically active—we’re also working to empower staff and volunteers to continue using positive-reinforcement methods when the program concludes,” says Jackson Galaxy, star of TV’s "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet and founder of his namesake organization.
Garber is a Certified Animal Training and Enrichment Professional and Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist. She is also Certified in Low-Stress Handling for cats and dogs and holds a Master’s Degree in education.
She provides private, in- home cat training and behavior consulting services, and offers classes in kitten socialization and low-stress handling for cats.