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8/4/2016 - Mayor Ganim and Bridgeport Animal Control Kick Off City Emplpoyee Volunteer Dog Walking Program

 

Animal Control                   Mayor Joseph P. Ganim

Bridgeport, CT                                       Bridgeport, CT                                                       

For Immediate Release                                                                             For More Information:

August 4, 2016                                                              Av Harris (203) 814-7992     av.harris@bridgeportct.gov

 

-Press Release-

Mayor Ganim, Police Chief Perez, Bridgeport Animal Control Kick Off City Employee Voluntary Dog Walking Program

Dog walking program created to foster positive behavior and human interaction in preparation for adoption

 

Bridgeport, CT — Mayor Joe Ganim, Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez and officer with the Bridgeport Animal Shelter today kicked off a volunteer dog walking program for more than 5,000 city employees to foster positive behavior and human contact in preparation for pet adoption.  City employee volunteers will be able to visit the Bridgeport animal shelter up to six days a week to interact, play with and walk the dogs.  This is one of several new initiatives being launched to socialize and enrich the shelter’s dogs to help make them adoptable.  

 

“I am so happy we are bringing this program back,” said Mayor Ganim. “It breaks my heart to see these beautiful dogs without a home.  Anyone working for the city now has a chance to help them find a home and increase the placement rate for abandoned dogs in the care of the Bridgeport Animal Shelter.”

 

Bridgeport Chief Animal Control Officer Jennifer Wallace said, “I am dedicated to providing a safe, clean and enriching environment to our furry residents. My main focus is preparing them for their forever home – and we have so many wonderful, loving dogs in Bridgeport that need a new family.  The volunteer dog walking program is just one of a number of new strategies we are implementing to increase the positive interaction between dogs and people so it will be easier for them to transition to new surroundings.”

 

Along with the City employee dog walking program, Bridgeport Animal Control (BAC) is putting into practice the use of bio-acoustically designed classical music from “Through a Dog’s Ear” and “Through a Cat’s Ear” to provide environmental enrichment daily. Cats are provided with toys and catnip on a rotating basis, and cat feather wands are left in the rooms to encourage staff and the public to provide stimulating visual enrichment to the feline residents. Also, the shelter’s use of “Adaptil” and “Feliway” pheromone diffusers help to reduce stress using clinically proven pheromone formulas. Chief Wallace also applies “Treat for Quiet” training, which is in the process of being used to teach the canine residents how to greet the public as they walk by without barking.

 

BAC is the largest municipal animal shelter in the state of Connecticut with the capacity to hold 80 dogs and 50 cats. Within the last year the shelter has greatly improved the quality of life of the animals.  In the last year, BAC impounded a total of 1,248 animals including dogs, cats and wildlife.  During this same time period BCA found new homes for nearly 600 dogs and cats, in addition to more than 400 turtles that were also adopted.  BAC is now accepting applications for the dog walking program.  Volunteers will receive an orientation and continued training so that they can better help the animals.  Applications are available at the Bridgeport Animal Control located at 236 Evergreen street or by sending an email to animal.shetler@bridgeportct.gov

 

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