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Knowing Me, Knowing You: Reducing Stress in Shelters through EMRA - Dennis Baker, Wood Green Animal Shelters

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Dennis Baker, OBE, of Wood Green Animal Shelters explains the EMRA method for a safer, calmer animal shelter environment.

For more, see www.icawc.org

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Knowing Me, Knowing You: Reducing Stress in Shelters through EMRA - Dennis Baker, Wood Green Animal Shelters

  1. 1. Dennis Baker OBE Chief Executive Wood Green Animal Shelters EMRA – Emotion, Mood, Reinforcement Assessment
  2. 2. Rusty
  3. 3. Rusty
  4. 4. ‘ Knowing Me Knowing You’ There IS something we can do!
  5. 5. Today’s Talk Is About… EMRA and how Wood Green uses it to enhance the lives of the animals in its care .
  6. 6. <ul><li>What EMRA Means </li></ul><ul><li>How Wood Green Puts EMRA Into Practice </li></ul>
  7. 7. www.coape.org
  8. 8. EMRA – What does it mean? <ul><li>E = Emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion drives behaviour, so animals act how they feel. </li></ul><ul><li>M = Mood. </li></ul><ul><li>Like us, animals experience mood states and this can impact on the emotions they experience. </li></ul><ul><li>RA = Reinforcement Assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour is repeated if it is being reinforced in some way. Understanding what this reinforcement is, and if necessary modifying it, can solve certain behavioural problems. </li></ul>
  9. 9. M = Mood <ul><li>Foundation of the EMRA theory. </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively easy to regulate / manipulate. </li></ul><ul><li>Simple for people to understand. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mood State Assessment
  11. 11. Putting EMRA into Practice <ul><li>Full Staff Training Programme. </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Enrichment for all Species. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret Individual Animal Histories. </li></ul><ul><li>Use in the Rehoming Process. </li></ul><ul><li>Public Education </li></ul>
  12. 12. Staff Training
  13. 13. Staff Training
  14. 14. Staff Training <ul><li>As part of our internal Personal Development Programme all staff receive training in all the elements of EMRA. </li></ul><ul><li>COAPE have assisted us in ensuring that this training is current and to the highest standard. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Environmental Enrichment <ul><li>All animals have a need to perform certain innate behaviours. </li></ul><ul><li>We aim to provide the environment that allows them to do that. </li></ul><ul><li>By providing outlets for natural behaviour we are able to improve an animals over all mood state – a vital element of EMRA. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Environmental Enrichment
  17. 17. Environmental Enrichment
  18. 18. Environmental Enrichment
  19. 19. Environmental Enrichment with EMRA in mind <ul><li>The same principles should apply to sick animals = Blue Mood State </li></ul>
  20. 20. Environmental Enrichment with EMRA in mind <ul><li>The same principles should apply to sick animals = Green Mood State </li></ul>
  21. 21. Environmental Enrichment Pregnancy and Birth
  22. 22. Environmental Enrichment Pregnancy and Birth
  23. 23. Environmental Enrichment Pregnancy and Birth
  24. 24. Environmental Enrichment with EMRA in mind <ul><li>Species specific </li></ul><ul><li>Simulate natural behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Relieves boredom </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes good mood state </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances rehoming prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Fun and easy to do </li></ul>
  25. 25. Goats
  26. 26. Goats <ul><li>Mountain Dwellers, they need to climb! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Goats <ul><li>80% browsers, 20% grazers, they need to browse! </li></ul>
  28. 28. Goats <ul><li>Herd animals, they need to live with other goats! </li></ul>
  29. 29. Goats <ul><li>Not as hardy as they look, they need shelter! </li></ul>
  30. 30. Chickens
  31. 31. Chickens <ul><li>They need to scratch and dig for food. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Chickens <ul><li>They need access to dry dirt areas to bath and clean themselves in. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Chickens <ul><li>They need the companionship of other chickens. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Chickens <ul><li>They need somewhere safe to roost at night. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Chickens <ul><li>Sometimes they need a little help from their friends </li></ul>
  36. 36. Chickens
  37. 37. Rabbits
  38. 38. Rabbits <ul><li>They are group animals, they need the company of other NEUTERED rabbits. </li></ul><ul><li>They need soil to dig in. </li></ul><ul><li>They need access to grass or hay to keep their teeth in order. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Rabbits
  40. 40. Rabbits <ul><li>They need enough room to run, jump and play. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Rabbits <ul><li>They need bolt holes to hide in. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Rabbits <ul><li>They need a large hutch area for shelter. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>A Hutch is a Bed NOT a Home! </li></ul>
  44. 44. Prey / Predator <ul><li>It is easier to replicate natural behaviour for prey species. </li></ul><ul><li>Replicating the natural behaviour of predators can be more of a challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>If an outlet is not provided frustration can build and therefore result in either depression or aggression. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Cats
  46. 46. Cats <ul><li>Prefer to have plenty of personal space. </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer a quiet and stress free life. </li></ul>
  47. 47. Cats <ul><li>Feel safe if they can get up high. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Cats <ul><li>Feel safe if they can get up high. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Cats <ul><li>Feel safe if they can get in something and hide. </li></ul>
  50. 50. Cats <ul><li>Need to carry out hunting type behaviours. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Cats <ul><li>Barren Environment </li></ul>
  52. 52. Cats <ul><li>Enriched Environment </li></ul>
  53. 53. Cats <ul><li>Barren Group Environment </li></ul>
  54. 54. Cats <ul><li>Enriched Group Environment </li></ul>
  55. 55. Dogs - Breed Type Specific <ul><li>Humans have designed breeds to perform specific tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Different breeds have developed a preference for carrying out different behaviours. </li></ul><ul><li>If we don’t offer a simulated outlet for natural behaviours the average dog will find one. Nature will find way! </li></ul>
  56. 56. Dogs - Breed Type Specific <ul><li>Example = The Siberian Husky </li></ul>
  57. 57. Dogs - Breed Type Specific <ul><li>A working Husky is a happy Husky </li></ul>
  58. 58. Dogs - Breed Type Specific <ul><li>The Devil Finds Work For Idle Hands….. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Dogs – Generic Requirements <ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Food </li></ul><ul><li>Chewing </li></ul><ul><li>Companionship </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>Play </li></ul><ul><li>Relaxation </li></ul>
  60. 60. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – running </li></ul>
  61. 61. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – Grass gardens </li></ul>
  62. 62. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – flushing. </li></ul>
  63. 63. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – Sniffing / Hunting. </li></ul>
  64. 64. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – Digging. </li></ul>
  65. 65. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Exercise – Sand gardens </li></ul>
  66. 66. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Food – Kongs. </li></ul>
  67. 67. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Food – Foraging. </li></ul>
  68. 68. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Food – Activity Balls. </li></ul>
  69. 69. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Chewing – bones, chews, toys. </li></ul>
  70. 70. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Companionship – human. </li></ul>
  71. 71. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Companionship – Canine. </li></ul>
  72. 72. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Mental Stimulation – Training </li></ul>
  73. 73. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Mental Stimulation – Searching. </li></ul>
  74. 74. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Playing – Chasing. </li></ul>
  75. 75. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Playing – Catching. </li></ul>
  76. 76. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Playing – Shaking / Tugging. </li></ul>
  77. 77. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Playing – Gutting. </li></ul>
  78. 78. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Resting area – hard, soft, cool or warm. </li></ul>
  79. 79. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Resting area – Relaxed </li></ul>
  80. 80. Dogs – dependent on breed type <ul><li>Resting area – Safe. </li></ul>
  81. 81. Mood State Assessment
  82. 82. Interpreting Histories <ul><li>After taking a full intake history we look at it through EMRA eyes. </li></ul>
  83. 83. Interpreting Histories <ul><li>If natural behaviours are not given an appropriate simulated outlet, stress and frustration can build. </li></ul><ul><li>This can lead to behavioural problems. </li></ul><ul><li>By addressing these deficiencies an animal’s mood state ( and therefore its behaviour ) can be altered very quickly. </li></ul>
  84. 84. Interpreting Histories <ul><li>Crib Biting </li></ul>
  85. 85. Interpreting Histories <ul><li>Natural Behaviour </li></ul>
  86. 86. The Rehoming Process <ul><li>With EMRA in mind our rehoming staff are trained to discuss each animals natural drives and advise appropriately. </li></ul>
  87. 87. The Rehoming Process <ul><li>Staff are also trained to assess a potential new owner’s approach to pet ownership, their expectations and limitations, in order to ensure a successful relationship. </li></ul>
  88. 88. Educating the Public <ul><li>Providing the best food, best veterinary care and all the love in the world is a great start - but it does not necessarily result in that animal living an emotionally enriched and therefore stable life. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to help people make the right choice for their lifestyle. </li></ul>
  89. 89. Educating the Public
  90. 90. Summary <ul><li>The simulation of natural behaviour does not have to be expensive or time consuming. </li></ul>
  91. 91. In Short…….. <ul><li>‘ One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure’. </li></ul>
  92. 92. Conclusion <ul><li>The impact of our efforts to implement the MOOD aspect of EMRA may well go a long way to ensure that pets are happy and emotionally stable, thereby reducing or even eradicating behaviour problems. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to understand them to help them make our lives better! </li></ul>
  93. 93. Rusty
  94. 94. Thank You

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