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Pet Helpers Kickstarts Behavioral Program with New Animal Behavior Manager

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Pet Helpers Adoption Center is proud to introduce new staff member Alexis Kaul (right) as their inaugural Animal Behavior Manager, as part of efforts to further develop the shelter’s behavioral program. 

“I’m proud to join the Pet Helpers team in putting together a program that puts the needs of animals first,” Kaul said. “Through proper enrichment and training, our animals will be able to leave our shelter as happy pets.”

Kaul’s arrival at Pet Helpers is a return to her roots, as she grew up fostering and volunteering after school at the shelter, and ultimately inspiring her career path. A graduate of Canisius College with a double major in Animal Behavioral Biology and Human Services, Kaul grew up volunteering and later working in shelters up and down the east coast. She brings a unique set of knowledge and experience to Pet Helpers that few other candidates offer, but are an integral part of creating an optimal environment for shelter pets. With a focus on education and enrichment, the behavioral program aims to not just increase the adoptability of shelter animals, but also to improve their overall quality of life during their stay.

“Many of our animals come to us from owner-surrenders and overcrowded shelters, with minimal background information on their personalities and past-behavior,” explained Judy Oswald, Director of Operations. “Having a well-built behavior program empowers us to better meet the needs of our shelter pets and ultimately find them proper homes. We are so excited to have Alexis on our team as we continue to raise the standard of animal sheltering.”

Enrichment is the centerpiece to the Pet Helpers behavioral program. Animal enrichment is achieved by allowing cats and dogs to experience each of the “Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare.” These freedoms, as acknowledged by the American Humane Society, include the freedoms from hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, and fear, as well as the freedom to express normal animal behavior. When allowed these basic freedoms coupled with a dedicated training plan, pets are able to live happy and healthy lives alongside humans.

Pet Helpers Adoption Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic is a 501(c)3 dedicated to serving the animals and community across Lowcountry. Since 1978, their mission is to end the euthanasia of all adoptable cats and dogs by keeping all animals until adopted, providing low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, offering humane education programs, pursuing animal-cruelty prosecution, and initiating animal-welfare legislation. For more information, visit www.pethelpers.org.

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