Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. Recommended changes.
Dogs entering shelters face multiple challenges to their emotional and physical welfare; some of these issues stem from limitations of care available from the shelter organization, and some simply from the shelter’s environment. This paper will attempt to identify these issues and their impact on the dogs, and will discuss possible ways to mitigate these challenges to improve the dogs’ welfare while they are kept in shelters. This will conclude with possible ways of influencing the outcomes of their stays in these organizations.
This is a paper that I did for the Anthrozoology Program at Canisius College. It’s a review of available literature on the effectiveness of dog training programs in US prisons.
Despite their wide implementation in the United States, there has been very little substantive research done on prison dog programs (PDPs). Many of the existent studies suffer from inherent flaws in scope and methodology, but do consistently demonstrate that the programs aid participating inmates in developing and improving communications and social skills resulting from interactions with the dogs in their care. The available studies also indicate that participants show improvement in personal qualities such as empathy, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. These benefits are apparently related to a lower rate of recidivism for prison inmates who are directly involved in PDPs. The effectiveness of prison based programs in training and socializing dogs is not well documented, although service animal organizations report much higher than normal acceptance rates from prison programs. Recommendations are provided for further research that might serve to identify best practices and training approaches for both inmates and dogs.