Socialization & Behavior

MARL believes, “the quality of the wait,” can make all the difference in the future of an animal.

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Adjusting to the shelter environment can be challenging. The team at MARL makes every effort to welcome animals as comfortably as possible but the reality is that animals find themselves confined in an unfamiliar environment, in some cases separated from their previous families, and exposed to more unknowns that what they are likely used to.

These stressors can cause dogs and cats to suffer from anxiety, exhibit behavioral issues and have also been associated with reduced immunity and increased susceptibility to disease. This dangerous cycle can affect even the most socialized and well-adjusted animal, increasing his or her wait time for adoption.

MARL’s socialization program includes specialized behavior plans and training, exercise, play groups, off-site outings, enrichment puzzles, games and activities, introductions to a variety of people, other animals and experiences and one-on-one time with staff and volunteers.

The goal is to minimize stress levels by adding different kinds of training, human and animal interactions, and activities to each animal’s daily routine. In a typical day, dogs and cats should have mental, physical, environmental, and social stimulation, just as they would if they were in a forever home.

These activities are closely tracked to ensure that each animal is receiving what they need to ensure their comfort and well-being while they are at MARL as well as improve their adoptability and support a smooth transition into their new home.

IMPACT: Both dogs and cats benefit from the socialization program. All animals receive their own specialized socialization plan based on their specific needs. 




Meet Belle

Belle arrived at MARL today in the most deplorable condition imaginable after she was found alone, lying lifelessly in a nearby park. She is severely dehydrated and emaciated, suffering from painful eye ulcers, has severe anemia, and... Read More