Animal Behavior, Training & Enrichment Program

Shelter Animals

Just like people, the behaviors we see in our pets are the result of a combination of factors including:

  • their genetic makeup

  • what they've learned through a variety of experiences during their lives

  • their current environment


Animals that find themselves at a shelter don't understand why they are there, what's going to happen next, or how long they'll be there.  These unknowns can be extremely stressful, especially for adult animals and those who are generally fearful or anxious.

At Anderson, we recognize that shelters can be stressful. 

We know that emotional health is as important as physical health.  

And we're working toward a better future for our animals.  


For years, Anderson has been at the forefront of shelter animal behavior, ensuring that our animals stay emotionally healthy through playgroups, one-on-one interactions with staff and volunteers and individual and group positive reinforcement training sessions. 

Now, thanks to a generous donation from Mick and Sharon O'Bryan and the O'Bryan Family Foundation, Anderson's Animal Behavior Program Director, Dr. Andy Salis, is creating a formalized behavior program designed specifically for shelter animals that can be replicated by other animal shelters.  This program will incorporate:

  • A step-by-step guide that will ensure the program is implemented consistently and that will allow shelter staff and volunteers from other shelters to replicate Anderson's Behavior Program

  • Fear Free practices

  • Positive reinforcement training

  • Staff and volunteer training programs

  • Behavioral enrichment programs 

  • Special resources available to potential adopters of Behavior Program animals

  • After-adoption advice and follow-up care for animals adopted through the Behavior Program

  • Free Behavior Helpline for pet owners to prevent animals from being surrendered in the first place

Destructive dog.jpeg

Help for you and your pet


We recognize that problematic behaviors can impact the relationship you have with your pet.  In fact, the most common reason owners relinquish dogs over the age of 6 months to Anderson, is unresolved behavior issues.   We are committed to doing our part to support the bond between people and their pets, keeping pets in homes and families together.  To this end, we offer a variety of resources for pet owners struggling to manage problematic behaviors with their pets.



Anderson does not condone the use of aversive or punishment-based training methods, which are not effective long-term and can disrupt the bond between pet and owner, increase fear and anxiety and ultimately cause aggressive behaviors.  Research has shown that positive reinforcement training is the only effective training method, and it's what Anderson uses throughout all of our facilities.


We're proud to offer a variety of training programs to pet owners in the community. We also keep a list of trainers that we've worked with and endorse. 

Watch this space for our next training sessions.




Anderson Humane is proud to partner with A Sound Beginning, an innovative dog-training program designed for the newly adopted dog. When you adopt your new dog or puppy from Anderson, you will receive FREE enrollment in A Sound Beginning’s Introduction to Training class.



Anderson Humane is actively working toward becoming a fear free environment. The practice of fear free methods helps reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in the animals we care for at all of our locations. Committed to providing the best possible experience for all animals in our care, we keep the physical and emotional well-being of every animal at the forefront of all we do. From the way animals are handled, walked, and fed, to the type of cages and housing at all locations, we ensure that the animals. Many of our staff and volunteers are currently fear free certified.

Anderson Humane is continually updating training resources, best practices, local recommendations, and enrichment activities you can do at home. Check back often and follow us on our social media platforms to stay informed on ways we can thrive physically and emotionally, together.

Contact Us

Animal Behavior Program Director

Dr. Andy Salis, MS, CPDT-KA, FFAT, SBA

(847) 697- 2880 x44