Enlightened animal welfare on display at the Monterey County SPCA
(ed. Meet “Media”. (Named by Lisa Gilseck, Monterey County SPCA Humane Officer. The spelling has since been changed to Medea). This is the beginning of the story of how Medea started her new life, at last, as a real “Canis lupus familiaris”.
I adopted her on Friday, January 3rd, 2003. (I submitted my multi-page application on Christmas Eve. Hmm? No response until the New Year. Well done, SPCA!) This article appeared on Sunday, January 5, 2003 in The Monterey County Herald.)
Sadly we lost Medea to bone cancer on April 29, 2009. Rest in peace my brave little girl.)
⇐ Media (now Medea)
“Humane Officer Lisa Giesick of the SPCA oversees the American Eskimo dogs that were confiscated from an owner in north Monterey County.
“There's more going on in these photographs than meets the eye.
The dogs are among the 64 American Eskimo dogs recently rescued from the home of a terminally ill breeder. The woman is Lisa Giesick, humane educator and behavior counselor for the SPCA of Monterey County. In both pictures she is in the process of assessing each dog's temperament and gathering information about behavior that will be used to guide the people who adopt them.
Based on observing the dogs, Giesick knows both are highly fearful and will require a great deal of work. And patience. Beyond that the dogs are distinctly different.
The caged dog, Frodo, is among the most difficult and fearful Eskies. Even after Giesick has spent five minutes on bended knee talking to him in a soft voice, he won't budge from his corner behavior and shoots a look that says, "I dare anyone to touch me." Day after day it's always the same with Frodo, which is why she gave his temperament a D-minus rating and has concluded that the person who adopts him needs to have experience training difficult animals.
Frodo's mentor should be someone like Giesick, in other words. She handles animals so skillfully the only time she was bitten was when she was a teenager and tried to give a cat a bath.
The other Eskie, named Media by the staff, has a B-plus temperament Outgoing and friendly, Media is eager to be held, letting Giesick handle her tail, feet, ears and teeth.
“Recent research examining why pets were surrendered showed that behavior problems were to blame.
A decade ago when someone surrendered a pet, saying, “We're giving up Spot because we're moving,” shelter workers accepted the reason at face value. However, recent research examining why pets were surrendered showed that behavior problems often were to blame. Typically, Spot is relinquished because the new house has new carpet, and he isn't housebroken.
Behavior problems contributing to surrender include: barking (41 percent); hyperactivity (45 percent); chewing (24 percent) and house training accidents (21 percent), according to research sponsored by the National Council on Pet Population Studies and Policy.
The research has changed the way many shelters, including the SPCA of Monterey County, operate. It now focuses considerable effort on identifying behavior problems and teaching people how to mitigate them. For example, everyone who adopts an Eskie gets the SPCA's "Fearful Dog" handout which explains how to reduce the dog's fear by using desensitization and counter conditioning techniques. The handout is one of 55 related to behavior and training available at the SPCA: The staff also will provide a workshop expressly for people who have adopted the stranded Eskies.
Now that's enlightened animal welfare.”