Rescue Village is selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, to participate in the 2020 class of Cat Pawsitive Pro, a life-saving initiative that introduces advanced, positive-reinforcement-based behavior training and enrichment to shelter cats. Supported by the Petco Foundation, this innovative training program aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as empower shelter staff and volunteers to maintain and improve cat “mojo.”
Jackson Galaxy (star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP) developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:
- Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents
- Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity
- Promoting the human-cat bond
- Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers
Cats who are exposed to the reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress level and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters. The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal.
“As a shelter worker in the early 90s, I found myself frustrated by the lack of resources and know-how afforded to the cats in my care. Unsocialized cats, traumatized cats, adoptable cats whose spirits were dwindling from lack of stimulation – were all being euthanized. Dogs, however, were being saved thanks in part to burgeoning enrichment programs geared towards physical exercise, confidence-building and the bond created with the humans participating in these programs,” said Galaxy. “With the help of a dog trainer, I adapted these clicker-based programs to cats – and the results were immediate and, at least in my eyes, profound. My overwhelming desire at the time was to bring the liberating effects of this approach to as many other shelters and rescues as I could, and in just 4 years we have already helped well over 1,200 cats in 174 shelters find their forever homes, with hundreds more receiving enriching training every day.”
A JGP feline behavior expert will lead the program for the shelter beginning February 2. Throughout the Spring, staff and volunteers from Rescue Village will participate in weekly seminars with their expert and
will have direct access to the entire training team for specialized consultations about the cats in their care.
“We can’t wait to see the positive impact this training program has on our shelter cats,” says executive director of Rescue Village Hope Brustein. “The skills we will learn will be invaluable and will help us to connect with cats who are behaviorally challenged, especially the very shy cats.”
Since 2016, more than 1,200 cats have been adopted during Cat Pawsitive semesters, with hundreds of more cats benefitting from being in the program and continuing their training on the road to adoption. To date, a total of 174 animal welfare organizations have participated in Cat Pawsitive programs and conducted over 20,000 training sessions, with over 1,100 staff members and volunteers taking part in the training of thousands of cats.
About Rescue Village
Rescue Village, formerly known as the Geauga Humane Society, has been saving animals from homelessness, harm and performing lifesaving work throughout Geauga County and Northeast Ohio for more than 30 years. Our mission is to bring together organizations, businesses, and individuals across Northeast Ohio to work toward our shared vision of a more humane community. The current 19,000 square foot center includes a full-service veterinary clinic, a state-of-the-art shelter, an outdoor barn and trails to exercise the animals in our care. We rely upon 100 percent philanthropic donations to serve our mission. For more information visit rescuevillage.org.
About The Jackson Galaxy Project
The Jackson Galaxy Project is a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2014 by leading animal advocate and cat wellness consultant, Jackson Galaxy, host and executive producer of Animal Planet‘s long running hit show “My Cat From Hell” and New York Times best-selling author, The Jackson Galaxy Project seeks to improve the lives of animals at risk and help the people who care for them through innovative programs that educate, inspire and empower staff, rescuers and adopters to continually raise the bar for animals at risk and reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters. For more information, visit TheJacksonGalaxyProject.org.
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 12 years, GreaterGood.org has given over $250 million in cash and in-kind grants to over 3,000 charitable partners worldwide. To learn more, visit GreaterGood.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $260 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 6 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.