By Mike Stoll
Special to The PREVIEW
The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs (HSPS) has been selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, to participate in the spring 2019 semester of Cat Pawsitive, a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to cats in shelters and rescues.
This innovative training program for cats aims to increase feline adoption rates and maintain cat “mojo.”
Galaxy (star of the television show “My Cat from Hell” on Animal Planet and founder of JGP) developed Cat Pawsitive with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:
• Maintaining cat “adoptability” and feline social skills by enriching cats’ day-to-day lives.
• Increasing adoptions.
• Decreasing length of stay.
• Engaging and empowering volunteers and staff.
• Showing potential adopters that cats are cool and can even be trained.
“The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the ‘AHA!’ moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” said Galaxy. “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result, lives being saved, was the win-win I envisioned passing on to as many cats, shelters and rescues as I possibly could. So today I am filled with an indescribable mix of joy and anticipation as we enter the spring 2019 semester of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive program.”
The Cat Pawsitive program is designed to keep adoptable cats mentally and physically active in a shelter or rescue environment. The focus is on fun, positive reinforcement-based training sessions that go beyond playtime as usual to help cats maintain their mojo and connect more quickly with potential adopters. From teaching high fives and head bumps to “sit” and “come when called,” caregivers at Cat Pawsitive participating organizations engage with cats in a brand new way to really help cats to “click” with adopters.
“We’re thrilled to have been selected by JPG to participate in the Cat Pawsitive program. Enrichment activities are very important for keeping our shelter animals physically fit and mentally healthy, and this program will add a significant new tool to our cat enrichment toolbox. Liz Andreas, our shelter manager, and Sommer Davidson, our Cat Pawsitive team leader, will be working intensely with staff and volunteers over the next 14 weeks to implement the program and enrich the lives of our shelter cats. They’re excited to get going and have some serious fun with the cats. This is a program that we envision as an ongoing part of our enrichment activities at the shelter, so anyone interested in learning more and becoming a future cat enrichment volunteer should contact Sommer or Liz at the shelter at 731-4771,” said Mike Stoll, HSPS executive director.
Galaxy will be sharing highlights of the program on The Jackson Galaxy Project Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
HSPS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that operates Archuleta County’s only licensed animal shelter. The shelter provides a safe haven for homeless and stray dogs and cats and provides community services through spay/neuter programs, financial aid for emergency veterinary care and pet retention programs that strengthen the human-animal bond and keep families and pets together. The organization has come into an alliance with Dog Gear so it can provide everything the animals to subsist.
The HSPS thrift store supports shelter activities through the sale of gently used clothing and household goods, new furniture and more. Additional information about programs and services is available by calling our administration office at 264-5549 or visiting www.humanesociety.biz.
The JGP, founded in 2014, is a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The project is the realization of Jackson’s long-standing dream of improving the lives of animals at risk and helping the people who care for them.
GreaterGood.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet. Over the last 11 years, GreaterGood.org has given over $175 million in cash and in-kind grants to over 3,000 charitable partners worldwide. To learn more, visit GreaterGood.org or follow it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
By Mike Stoll