What is the ‘Fear Free’ program all about?
Did you know the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society uses a special program called Fear Free at its animal centres across the province? The overall health, behaviour, and wellness of the animals in our care is our top priority, and Fear Free helps keep them happy, healthy and ready to find loving homes.
What is “Fear Free”?
The Fear Free Program was developed by Dr. Marty Becker, known as “America’s Veterinarian.” Dr. Becker has spent his life working toward better health for companion animals and the people who love them. His goal was to improve the experiences of animals by encouraging their families, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, shelters and rescues to always consider each individual animal’s emotional needs.
Fear, anxiety, stress and frustration are commonly experienced by animals in a variety of situations, such as going to the veterinary clinic, traveling in the car, or having their nails trimmed. Fear Free gives us a new way to interact with animals by applying key strategies and techniques to help reduce negative emotional states, changing scary situations into positive ones!
How does the Fear Free program work?
We do this by providing opportunities for enrichment and socialization, using low-stress handling techniques and applying proven stress reduction strategies. These include things like providing hiding places, playing music, reducing extraneous noise, using pheromones, giving plenty of food rewards, and providing enrichment targeting the five senses.
RVTs play an integral role in the development and implementation of the Fear Free program at Ontario SPCA animal centres. October is RVT Month and, to celebrate, they will take you behind-the-scenes to show you how we care for the animals at the Ontario SPCA. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing Fear Free approaches and helpful tips that can be applied both in the shelter setting and home environment.
Watch for upcoming blogs and accompanying videos:
- Fear Free Veterinary Visit
- Fear Free Nail Trims and giving medications
- Fear Free Halloween Tips
To learn more about Fear Free visit:
Learn more about our RVT program!
Hats off to you
To all kind-hearted and hard-working people at SPCA: hats off to you. I love animals and admire the work you do.