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Ossining Cat Behavior Specialist Joins Initiative For Shelter Cats

Paula Garber
Paula Garber Photo Credit: Submitted

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.

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