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Shelter Division

The aim of the Division is to create a place where current and future shelter workers can get quality education, information, community and support, with the goal of improving the lives of those working in shelters, as well as the animals and adopters they serve. We're extremely proud to have Trish McMillan and Katenna Jones serving as co-Chairs of the division.

The Division will offer 3 levels of membership, with two designations:

  • Supporting: Anyone can join
  • Shelter Behavior Affiliate (SBA): Must pass an application requiring fundamental knowledge of shelter work and behavior/training. This is a designation, not a certification, just as Supporting is a designation.
  • Certified Shelter Behavior Professional (CSBP): Very high level, in line with our other full certifications (This won't be available for about a year as we develop the application.)

A Shelter Library is being built and is available from within your user accounts. Shelter-focused handouts for professionals and clients, articles and videos will all be added on a continuing basis. Material from the library will be for distribution and public use for our members and their clients and organizations.

Shelters and Rescues may request the Shelter Discount by filling out an application with proof of their non-profit status. Once approved, each organization will be given a shelter-specific code, allowing discounts for IAABC membership. The shelter can then give out that code to as many employees and volunteers as they wish. Membership will thereafter belong to the individual, and go with them wherever they go. The Shelter Discount application is on the JOIN page here: http://iaabc.org/join

Currency adjustments have been made for Canadian and Australian shelters.

Individuals may also join the Shelter Division, but no discount will be applied.

We will be inviting shelters and rescues with proof of non-profit status to join, and we encourage all of our members to do the same . The more support and community we can create, the more we can have a chance of bettering the situation for all! The Shelter Discount application is on the JOIN page here: http://iaabc.org/join

Requirements for Shelter Behavior Affiliate Membership

  • We recommend a minimum of 200 hours experience working in shelters or rescues. These hours are a guideline representative of the experience needed for successful completion of the application. We will not verify your hours, and passing the application if not dependent upon hours.
  • Minimum high school diploma or GED.
  • A working knowledge of learning theory, training and husbandry, with additional knowledge about animal management skills related to shelter work.
  • Familiarity with dogs, cats, and other species if applicable

To apply for Shelter Behavior Affiliate Membership, you must:

  1. Provide three e-mailed letters of reference from shelter or rescue colleagues (may be from supervisor, veterinarian or other shelter staff and co-workers) within 60 days of starting the application.
  2. Pay an application fee, plus the first year of dues (welcome rates have no app fee). The difference in dues amount will be refunded if your application is not accepted and you are granted Supporting status. Dues are $75 annually after that for SBA
  3. Once your payment is received, you will have 60 days from the time payment is received to complete and submit your application.

The application will ask for:

  • Descriptions and definitions of learning science and application (quadrants and techniques).
  • Your approximate number of hours working in shelters and education (no requirement for specific hours)
  • Completion of questions regarding learning, behavior, and techniques specific to shelter work.

The applicant must score 80% or greater on the application for Shelter Behavior Affiliate status. Please note that application fees are non-refundable.

One does not need to be a member of the Shelter Division to apply for SBA or CSBP status - anyone qualified can apply.

Shelter Behavior Affiliate members pay yearly dues of $75 USD (country currency adjustments are indicated in the shelter-specific discount codes) and are required to log a minimum of 36 continuing education units every three years to maintain SBA status.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
SBAs are required to receive a minimum of 36 CEUs every 3 years to maintain SBA status. These CEUs may be in any related discipline or field. The IAABC offers many free or discounted opportunities for CEUs, and shelter and training conferences, courses and other outlets also apply. Please see "CEU Policy" for more information.

Trish McMillan

Trish McMillan

Division Co-Chair, Shelter Division

Trish McMillan is a certified professional dog trainer (through CCPDT) and certified dog behavior counselor (through IAABC) who holds a Master's degree in Animal Behavior from the University of Exeter in England. She specializes in training and behavior modification work with dogs, cats, and horses.

During her seven years with the ASPCA, Trish gained a wide variety of experience in the field of animal behavior. For three years she was the director of the animal behavior department at the ASPCA's New York City shelter, helping staff, volunteers, and adopters work with animals and make great matches. Trish has also helped assess and rehabilitate animals from cruelty, hoarding, and dogfighting cases, as well as pets rescued from natural disasters. In addition to writing for the ASPCA's Virtual Pet Behaviorist and other publications, she helped create and present several very popular webinars on dog and cat behavior and handling for the ASPCA Pro website.

Prior to her work with the ASPCA, Trish managed dog daycares, volunteered in animal shelters, taught obedience classes, and worked with board-and-train dogs in her home. She has also trained and shown horses in various disciplines, and has begun incorporating clicker training in her equine work. Trish has also worked with cats with behavior problems, and enjoys helping our feline friends have more enriched lives through clicker training as well. (Yes, cats can be trained!)

Trish has also spoken nationally and internationally on animal behavior and sheltering topics.

Trish and her husband Barry live in Weaverville, NC (near Asheville) and currently share their lives with three amazing dogs, two sweet cats, and a genius horse.

Dot Baisly, MS, CPDT-KA

Dot Baisly, MS, CPDT-KA

Division Co-Chair, Shelter Division

Dot Baisly, MS, CPDT-KA, Associate Shelter Member-IAABC is the behavior and enrichment manager of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, overseeing the behavioral care of all animals in 3 shelters. She has been working in animal welfare and behavior for over 17 years, both in animal welfare and rescue organizations in New York and New England, and with private clients as a consultant for dogs and cats.

When not working with shelter animals she also works with service dogs as a field representative for Paws With A Cause.

Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Shelter Division Contributor

Katenna Jones entered her first animal shelter in 1999 as a volunteer dog walker, was hired as a kennel attendant, and became Assistant Manager within one year. Eager to learn more, Katenna attended Brown University where she earned a Masters in Experimental Psychology. Her coursework was in animal learning, behavior, and cognition while her thesis focused on communication and relationships among dogs residing in shelters. During her time at Brown University, Katenna created and directed a program in which she taught over 700 undergraduates how to train local shelter dogs in basic obedience. She examined the impact of obedience training on adoption and retention, the results of which were presented at an American Psychological Association Conference.

After graduating, Katenna worked for the Rhode Island SPCA as an Animal Behaviorist and Cruelty Investigator. She developed behavior assessments for both dogs and cats, protocols for stress reduction and enrichment for multiple species, group obedience classes and behavior consultation services for the public, volunteer training protocols, and much more. She wrote the organization's first standard operating procedures and became its first female managerial staff since 1877. She also co-created a preparation program for new parents and their pets, which is now being taught in shelters across the country and Canada.

Katenna went on to work for the American Humane Association as a Humane Educator and Animal Behaviorist in their Human Animal Bond Division. While there, she provided professional development for animal care and control professionals across the country, co-developed a bite prevention program for children, wrote the "Getting Started in Animal Sheltering" guide, developed curricula for disaster responders, and contributed animal behavior and training content to educational curricula for four years. Katenna then worked for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers for four years as the Director of Education, where she oversaw the creation and presentation of quality, current, and well-rounded educational content both online and in-person.

Currently, Katenna owns Jones Animal Behavior and provides dog and cat behavior consultation and training services to pet owners as well as professional development for animal care and control professionals. She has fostered dozens of puppies, and works regularly with rescues and shelters, both locally and across the country and is experienced with both open and limited admission shelters as well as municipal animal control agencies. She has experience as a veterinary assistant, grant writer, adoption and relinquishment counselor, cruelty investigator, volunteer coordinator, humane educator and more. Katenna is also a seasoned disaster responder, and contracts with the ASPCA as part of their behavior team during dogfighting, hoarding, puppy mill and other cruelty investigations. Katenna is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, a Certified Cat and Dog Behavior Consultant, and a Certified Pet Dog Trainer.

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