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SPCA of Texas Chosen for Jackson Galaxy Foundation’s Cat Pawsitive Program

SPCA of Texas is one of nine shelters selected from a national pool of applicants

(DALLAS, TX) April, 14, 2016 — The SPCA of Texas today announced that it was selected by The Jackson Galaxy Foundation to participate in their Cat Pawsitive program, an initiative that will introduce positive-reinforcement training to shelter cats.


Developed by Jackson Galaxy and a team of animal behavior experts, Cat Pawsitive is a training program aimed at enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters, building social skills, promoting the human-cat bond, and improving “adoptability” by reducing stress-related behaviors.
Helena Kokes, a feline behavior expert hand-picked by the Foundation, will lead the pilot program at the SPCA of Texas beginning April 19. Throughout the three-month program, staff will participate in three webinars to learn the basics of feline clicker training, be mentored by Kokes, and will have direct access to the training team for consultations along the way.


“The SPCA of Texas is absolutely thrilled to be working with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation and the Cat Pawsitive initiative to elevate our shelter cat behavior program,” said James Bias, SPCA of Texas President and CEO. “With this programmatic support, our staff and volunteers will be empowered to do even more for the cats in our care and help us fulfill our mission to provide exceptional care and a loving home for all animals.”


“We at the SPCA of Texas are so excited to have this opportunity to work and learn with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation team to create a truly state-of-the-art cat behavior program at the Jan-Rees Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas and the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney," said Kellie Snider, Animal Behavior Programs Manager. "Our behavior specialists and volunteers are eager to get started. I can’t wait to see the impact it will have on the cats’ wellbeing while they are with us, and so importantly, on helping them move into their adoptive homes.  Thank you, Jackson Galaxy!” 


Cats who are exposed to reward-based training methods gain confidence and experience reduced stress through clicker training sessions; soon they are building connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters. Cat Pawsitive can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of the cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing "high five" to visitors to seal an adoption deal.


“We are thrilled to be working with the SPCA of Texas to show the world what can be done to step up the game and improve outcomes for cats in shelters,” says Jackson Galaxy, star of My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet and Founder of his namesake organization. “Our goal isn’t just to keep cats behaviorally and physically active—we’re also working to empower staff and volunteers to continue using these methods when the program concludes. This program will raise the public profile of cats, demonstrate their trainability and hopefully serve as a model for other feline positive reinforcement programs.”


ABOUT THE JACKSON GALAXY FOUNDATION
The Jackson Galaxy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that improves the lives of animals at risk by transforming the places they live and helping the people who care for them. JGF is led by the vision of Jackson Galaxy, who has developed an unwavering commitment to help animals at risk and the people who work tirelessly to get them homes through his years in animal welfare, as an animal advocate, his work as a behaviorist and host of his globally popular TV show, My Cat from Hell. The Jackson Galaxy Foundation focuses on programs that drive innovation; promotes improved shelter design and construction; and provides “Elevation through Education”—increased knowledge that inspires and empowers staff, volunteers, rescuers and adopters to continually raise the bar for animals at risk. More info about the Foundation’s programs and services is available at www.jacksongalaxyfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE SPCA OF TEXAS
The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home. The leading animal welfare agency in North Texas, the SPCA operates two shelters and three spay/neuter clinics located in Dallas and McKinney, and maintains a team of animal cruelty investigators to respond to thousands of calls in North Texas counties. Moreover, the SPCA of Texas serves as an active resource center for an array of services that bring people and animals together to enrich each other’s’ lives. The SPCA of Texas is a non-profit organization that is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other humane organization. For more information about our programs and services, visit www.spca.org.

 

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Jose

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"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

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