Snowy is a gorgeous Alaskan malamute, but when he was first found at a local park, you would have barely recognised this beautiful breed of dog: His fur was matted, and he was severely malnourished to the point where you could see every rib. Fortunately, when Matt visited his local shelter looking for a new companion, he saw Snowy, who just looked so sad, that he had to take him home. From then on wherever Matt went, Snowy wouldn’t be far behind, they slept, ate, watched TV together – absolutely inseparable. However, when they became short staffed at Matts work, he found himself having to work longer and longer hours and although it was only temporary, Snowy began to behave very differently: Matt would come home and there would be couch cushion stuffing and toilet paper littering the floor and Snowy would be pacing and panting heavily.
APWF understands that Snowy was exhibiting classic symptoms of “separation anxiety” which has been identified as a key factor causing dogs to be relinquished and consequently euthanized. This is the exact reason why we are funding this unique study which can help us identify this trait in dogs. The goal is that the test being developed in this study, would then be incorporated into the current checks which animal shelters and pounds already do. And by doing that, we could save so many more dogs.
There is almost no funding available for research into pet welfare in Australia. No research means no new knowledge of ways to help these animals. And without research, these solutions won’t be explored and more pets will die unnecessarily. It’s estimated that Animal welfare and government agencies are spending around $250 million dollars every year on the “unwanted pet” problem, but tragically tens of thousands of treatable and adoptable dogs are still euthanazed. It’s simply not working. And it’s even worse for cats: the numbers euthanazed continue to increase. The Australian Pet Welfare Foundation is the only organisation dedicated to funding this important research. To tackle the problem of unnecessary euthanasia, we need new targeted strategies that are truly effective, and to do this we need the help of all animal lovers.
Read more about APWF research: https://www.petwelfare.org.au/index.php/2016/06/10/why-dogs-behave-badley/