College Pairs Animal Behavior Students with Foster Dogs

Many animal shelters across the country are in desperate need of more people to adopt and foster the animals in their care. Now a Wisconsin college has found a way to ensure that many local shelter pets receive the care they deserve while students are also enriched with a new type of animal care experience.

Photo: YouTube/NEWS CENTER Maine

The students in the animal behavior program at Carroll University are each paired with a dog from a nearby local animal shelter that is in need of a home.

The shelters provide for the animals’ medical care, but the students are otherwise responsible for their care and training, with the goal of readying them to go to their forever homes. Both the pets and students will learn from one another over the course of the semester.

Photo: YouTube/NEWS CENTER Maine

In some cases, the students will adopt the pets they’ve gotten to know so well in the program, but that’s not always the case. Faith Shaw, for example, is sad not to be able to adopt her animal partner, Mopsy, from the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, after the semester is over. But several of Mopsy’s counterparts have already gone to their forever homes, and she’s sure to find a good family to call her own as well.

Photo: YouTube/NEWS CENTER Maine

Faith is in the animal behavior program and intends to work in wildlife rehabilitation after graduation. She says considering Mopsy’s welfare and providing her with enrichment activities has taught her a lot of the skills she’ll need as a wildlife rehabilitation specialist.

Faith says other students think she’s lucky to get her own foster pet, but they don’t realize how much work goes into it. It truly is a job, albeit one the students have a passion for.

Photo: YouTube/NEWS CENTER Maine

Nonetheless, the program is an amazing learning opportunity for students in the animal behavior program and for these foster pets. The pets will now have the skills they need to be successful members of human families, and the students will be able to apply what they’ve learned in careers as veterinarians, animal trainers, and more.

See the video below to learn more about this innovative program:

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