Animal shelter

Tails of a Canine Behaviorist: Life at Cheltenham Animal Sanctuary

Do you like dogs? If you do, Rosie Taylor-Trigg could have your dream job.

Five years ago Rosie joined the team at Cheltenham Animal Shelter, a shelter dedicated to the care and enrichment of animals big and small. As of this writing, they have over 57 furry friends on site, and they see over 650 of them come and go each year.

In addition to animal care, the center also runs an apprenticeship program for children that teaches compassion and animal welfare, as well as the services of a low-cost veterinary practice, to ensure that animals pets can get the medical care they need.

READ MORE: Urgent appeal made after Cheltenham shelter was inundated with stray animals

So what does a canine behaviorist do on a daily basis?

The first thing Rosie does when she arrives is have a morning meeting with all the staff who work at the shelter.

“We have a good catch-up and discuss which dogs need what that day. Then there are usually a few one-on-one talks each day, where we phone an owner and explain their new dog’s behavioral issues and how to deal with them. Then we will have a home visit where we take a dog to their potential new home so they can get used to a new environment, this is usually for the most nervous dogs we have. A typical day is the culmination of all of these things. She says.

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Rosie is part of a two-person team of behaviorists and life at Shelter means “no day is quite the same”. With the dogs being “signed” – given to the shelter – for different reasons each week, Rosie and her counterpart oversee the evaluation of the dogs for aggressive and nervous behavior traits and decide on the next steps in training and what kind of people might be the perfect match for the pet’s new family.

If after reading this you’re thinking, “I really want to do what Rosie does!” then you’ll probably have to start by volunteering. “I was going through a lot of anxiety and volunteering with rescue dogs really helped me. So selfishly, I wanted more of that. But I also wanted to give back.

But if you’re also thinking “I really want to adopt a dog!” Rosie has the questions you should ask yourself before committing:

  • Do you have enough time for your dog?
  • Do you have a flexible schedule for dogs that may be suffering from separation anxiety from previous owners?
  • Are you in the right physical environment? Do you have access to walking paths or a garden?
  • Are you likely to change your life in the next five years, for example having children, going on a trip?

Most important :

  • Do you consider it a lifetime commitment?

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Despite all of these things to consider when adopting a canine companion, Rosie still emphasizes adoption over purchases.

“With adoption, you get a bit of a complete package, in that you get support from the shelter you’re adopting from. You get behavioral support, the shelter vet will check the dog before they come home, you get ongoing support that you wouldn’t get buying from a breeder. But you also have the chance to give a dog a second life.

Although her job can be emotional, stressful and tiring, she says it’s worth it: “Seeing the animals come home and stay home. It is certainly what keeps me at work.

If you want more information about the center, its website has lots of helpful tips for adoption and after adoption. The center runs on donations, so if you want to donate, you can do so on the site. He also posted a video on his Youtube channel about the amazing work the Shelter is doing and what all the furry friends are up to.

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