Pawsitively Humane

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Free Dog Training in Miami Dade County continues

As you are probably aware, as many as 37,000 pets end up at MDAS  (Miami Dade Animal Shelter) annually, and over half of them (and as many as 20,000) are euthanized annually because there are just not enough homes for them.

It is difficult to watch these oftentimes healthy and adoptable pets walking into the euthanasia room, tails wagging from being so happy to get out of the house with their owners and explore, not knowing what fate awaits them on the other side of the door. This is the sad truth. It is not MDAS’s problem…it’s OUR Miami Dade Community problem. After all, it is the community that takes their pets there and surrenders them, not leaving MDAS any choice due to overpopulation of unwanted pets.

Behavioral issues are one of the top reasons for
pets being surrendered.

As Veterinarians, Vet Techs, receptionists, managers, etc., we have a VERY narrow window to recognize behavioral problems and be able to intervene, before these pets are turned into shelters.
Statistics show:
1)     Most people that relinquish their pets to shelters have seen a vet within the past year, but did not receive counseling for the issue.
2)     Owners that surrendered their pets were not aware there were “treatments” for their pet’s unwanted behavior; when they were made aware, they were more likely to seek treatment and decide against surrendering the pet.
So we still have work to do in the veterinary community to recognize problems early on, and let the client know that we are quite capable of assisting them in solving the behavior issue, not only by medications, but also through behavioral modification, which may involve working with a competent Positive Reinforcement trainer.

The MVC PUP E program was created to not only bring awareness of such issues to the veterinary community, but also, to develop initiatives and programs to target the most common reasons for pets being surrendered, to prevent, and eventually end, unwanted pets, and hence, unwanted pet euthanasia, in Miami-Dade/South Florida.

So, how can you help prevent unwanted pets, and unwanted pet euthanasia? One way is by becoming more versed in the newer “Scientific” Methodologies of Dog & Pet Behavioral Training, often referred to as Positive Reinforcement or R+ Training, which promotes a strong Human-Animal Bond.

What is R+ or Positive Reinforcement training? This training methodology is based on “Dog” husbandry and behavior, and not an extrapolation of wolf behavior, on which the “old school” dominant training methods are based. Dogs are not wolves! This R+ mode of training is very gentle, yet extremely effective, and promotes both the owner and the pet having “fun” and building positive relationships, thus enhancing the human animal bond and reducing and eliminating the chances of these pets ever being surrendered to a shelter. 

Who Can Participate: Vets, Techs, Veterinary Affiliated Staff, Veterinary Affiliated Students (prevets, pretechs, vet assistants), Rescue Groups

If you would like attend, you can become a Volunteer member of Pawsitively Humane, Inc. You must fill out an application, fax a copy of your driver's license and pay the $25 annual fee. Please indicate if you would like to foster cats or dogs, or both or become a trainer for foster dogs or cats with behavorial issues. Upon receipt of the above, we'll send you the location and address (West Miami) of the dog training. Please email us at


Session 2 this Saturday, June 16, 2012
(This is the first of 5 free classes. Makeup session #1 this Friday.)


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