Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services selected for program to improve cat behavior

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FLORENCE, Ala. - A new program at Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services aims to improve the behavior of cats in the shelter.

When we asked Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services Director Cheryl Jones what is the most rewarding part of her job, she said, "It's working with those animals that people have neglected and not taken care of and then you can see them blossom and become somebody's beloved companion." That's why she's excited about the Jackson Galaxy Project selecting the shelter to participate in the 2020 class of Cat Pawsitive, a behavioral training program that aims to make cats more adoptable.

"People don't realize that in a shelter setting, cats get very stressed very easily," said Jones. "Either they're scared, just haven't been socialized, and so they have toys and treats and clickers."

Jones says as the cats progress, they can learn commands like "stay" and "come," and they can even be taught how to give high-fives. Jackson Galaxy refers to it as "cat mojo."

"They're not as secure as some dogs are so when they come here; they shut down," said Jackson. But thanks to Cat Pawsitive, they can move forward and reclaim their confidence.

Jones says volunteers are more than welcome to visit and hang out with the cats. The stimulation helps them practice what they've learned in the program. For more information on adoptions and volunteering, visit the shelter's website here.

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