The has announced a $3 million gift from the Stanton Foundation, the largest private gift in the animal welfare organization's 109-year history, to develop the first center for studying the behavior of shelter dogs.
Once completed, the Center for Shelter Dogs at the Animal Rescue League of Boston will work to develop a model for improving the welfare and eventual placement of homeless dogs in safe environments. In particular, the center will work to improve the screening, evaluation, and resolution of behavioral problems in shelter dogs; increase the understanding of the disruptive effects of homelessness and relocation on dogs' behavior; develop improved strategies for matching dogs with prospective adopters; and implement long-term follow-up programs to help validate shelter assessments and smooth the dogs' transition to adoptive homes.
"Rigorous science-based research and outcomes management will be the cornerstone of all the efforts of the Center for Shelter Dogs and the Animal Rescue League of Boston," said Gary Patronek, vice president for animal welfare and new program development at the organization. "Although anchored in our animal behavior program, the efforts of the Center for Shelter Dogs will extend beyond the discipline of animal behavior and will incorporate clinical medicine and epidemiology to develop a world-class program on behalf of homeless dogs waiting for adoption into loving, caring homes."