By Dawn White
As the staff and volunteers at Happy Tales Ranch and Rescue wrap up the Cat Pawsitive Pro (CPP) spring semester, they say they loved working with cats to make them more adoptable. One of their shining stars is McKenna. Upon her arrival to the shelter, McKenna was untouchable. Founder and Executive Director Cayla Bergan says her memorable moments in the program are with McKenna because she can now pet her. Bergen says, “My goal was to pet McKenna and that happened much sooner than I thought.” While in the CPP program, McKenna learned to high five, sit, and come when called.
Team Member Deb Miller “enjoyed watching cats master new behaviors” such as jumping through hoops, sitting, head bumping, and learning to high five. Miller found the clicker training to be very straightforward and easy to master. Even other cats in the shelter not designated to be in the program learned new skills as well. Miller shares that “it was neat to see other cats in the rescue want to participate based on watching the other cats.”
According to Trainer-Mentor Carrie Seay, the semester ended with some major successes for the cats at Happy Tales. “Shy cats were allowing people to pet them and be in the same space as them and others have learned to high five and jump through hoops.” Seay feels the team leaders really “understand the value of the program” and that the cats are truly benefiting from that dedication.
Bergen feels the greatest improvements and successes for the cats in the program are gaining confidence and mastering listening skills. “I learned many things [from participating in the program],” she says, “including to keep trying to find the cats’ motivation, [and that] the shy cats can learn and gain confidence, too.”
YOU can improve the lives of cats at risk. Donate today to The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Program and transform the places and people that support at-risk pets!