Williamson County Animal Center Chosen for The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Life-Saving Cat Pawsitive Pro Program
WCAC is One of 11 Shelters Selected for Innovative Training Program to Increase Cat Adoptions
Williamson County Animal Center in Franklin, TN is selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a signature program of Greater Good Charities, to participate in the 2021 class of Cat Pawsitive Pro, a life-saving initiative that introduces advanced, positive-reinforcement-based behavior training and enrichment to shelter cats. Supported by the Petco Foundation, this innovative training program aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as empower shelter staff and volunteers to maintain and improve cat “mojo.”
Jackson Galaxy, star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP, developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:
- Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents
- Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity
- Promoting the human-cat bond
- Teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers
Cats who are exposed to the reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress levels, and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters. The program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat can learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high-five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal. Cat Pawsitive Pro is the advanced version of the JGP’s introductory training program, Cat Pawsitive.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since our inaugural class of just nine shelters went through our fledgling Cat Pawsitive Pro program. In my wildest dreams I never imagined that five years from then 168 organizations would have been part of Cat Pawsitive, Cat Pawsitive Pro, or both! That’s 168 animal shelters and rescues conducting over 4,700 hours of training for more than 2,650 cats, with over 1,600 staff members and volunteers reached!” said Galaxy. “It’s a humbling and beautiful process to witness – with each incoming class, our mission becomes more crystallized, our program more refined, and the ripple effect grows throughout our country’s animal welfare system.”
A JGP feline behavior expert will lead the program for the shelter through April 30. Throughout the Spring, staff and volunteers from the select animal welfare organizations will participate in weekly seminars with their expert and will have direct access to the entire training team for specialized consultations about the cats in their care.
WCAC Director, Ondrea Johnson, said “We are honored to be selected as one of the 11 Cat Pawsitive Pro shelters in the country. This program will allow us to better prepare the cats in our care for life in a home, and it gives our staff and volunteers the tools and training they need to modify and improve cat behavior. We hope our cats will soon be handing out ‘high fives’ to potential adopters.”
Since 2016, more than 1,800 cats have been adopted during Cat Pawsitive program semesters, with hundreds more cats benefitting from being in the program and continuing their training on the road to adoption. To date, a total of 168 unique animal welfare organizations have participated in Cat Pawsitive programs and conducted over 31,000 training sessions, with over 1,600 staff members and volunteers taking part in the training of thousands of cats.
The Jackson Galaxy Project is a signature program of Greater Good Charities that seeks to improve the lives of cats at risk and help the people who care for them through innovative programs that educate, inspire and empower staff, rescuers and adopters.
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About Williamson County Animal Center
Williamson County Animal Center is an open-admission municipal shelter serving the needs of the citizens of Williamson County, TN. The shelter is located at 106 Claude Yates Dr., in Franklin, TN, 37064. The shelter is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Learn more about the shelter and its programs at www.adoptwcac.org.
About Greater Good Charities
Greater Good Charities is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization, with a 100/100 rating on Charity Navigator, that works to amplify the good in the world to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Since 2007, Greater Good Charities has given over $300 million in cash and in-kind grants to over 5,000 charitable partners worldwide and funded projects in 121 countries. To date, Greater Good Charities has provided $18 million in support for COVID-19 disaster-relief, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support. To learn more about how Greater Good Charities is amplifying the good across the globe, please visit greatergood.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $290 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. We also partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 6.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visitpetcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.