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Just Get ’Em Out? Investigating the Effects of Sleepover & Field Trip Programs on the Welfare of Shelter Dogs. Presented by Dr. Lisa Gunter

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020
  • 6:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 29, 2023
  • 7:00 PM
  • Recorded Webinar


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It is likely that social isolation contributes to reduced welfare for dogs living in animal shelters. One type of intervention that addresses this concern, human interaction out of the kennel, has been demonstrated to improve behavior and reduce physiological measures of stress for shelter-living dogs.

In this presentation, I will discuss research from the Canine Science Collaboratory & the Applied Animal Welfare & Behavior Lab that was conducted across the United States in which we’ve investigated the impact of two-nights away (sleepovers) from the shelter; and more recently, two-hour outings (field trips) on dogs’ stress, rest, and activity levels. We’ll examine their particular effects to better understand how these programs are impacting the lives of dogs awaiting adoption in animal shelters.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a better understanding of the impact of human interaction on the welfare of dogs living in animal shelters
  • Reference the different physiological and activity measures used to measure canine welfare

  • Differentiate the effects of these interventions and their overall impact on welfare

  • Utilize this information to develop enrichment strategies for dogs in your shelter

About The Presenter

Dr. Lisa Gunter

Lisa Gunter, PhD, CBCC-KA is the Maddie's Fund Research Fellow at Arizona State University in the Department of Psychology and conducts her research in the Canine Science Collaboratory. She currently leads the Maddie’s Fund Nationwide Fostering Study. Before beginning her graduate studies, she worked for nearly a decade with dogs in animal shelters and with pet dogs and their owners. The goal of Lisa's research is to better the lives of dogs. To this aim, she has investigated the breed labeling of shelter dogs, their breed heritage, housing and dog-to-dog interaction in the shelter, temporary fostering and short-term outings, behavioral indicators of welfare, and post-adoption interventions focused on owner retention. Under the mentorship of Clive Wynne, Lisa earned her Masters in 2015, and her PhD in 2018 as a graduate student in the behavioral neuroscience program at Arizona State University. She has published her research in scientific journals, presented her findings at numerous conferences, and received national and international media attention for her work.

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