Humane Society opens animal behavior center

The San Diego Humane Society opened a behavior center at its San Diego campus Wednesday to help animals deal with challenges like anxiety, fear and overstimulation.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Humane Society opened a behavior center at its San Diego campus Wednesday to help animals deal with challenges like anxiety, fear and overstimulation.

The facility removes potential irritants like noise and unpredictability that animals would face in a normal shelter setting to help ready them for potential adoption. According to the humane society, the facility will support the only comprehensive animal rehabilitation program in the city.

“This is such a wonderful day for us,” Behavior Center Director Amanda Kowalski said. “It’s been a few years of really thoughtful planning and design to create a facility that really makes an environment where our animals can learn and overcome fears and phobias and we can get them ready for adoption to find new homes.”

The humane society held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the facility’s opening and received a proclamation from the city of San Diego, designating Wednesday as Pet Behavior Wellness Day within the city.

San Diego Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman said he won’t take for granted the organization’s ability to care for animals with the new facility and called it a “dream come true.”

“You see healthy dogs and cats and bunnies and guinea pigs and whatever else and they can’t get into homes because we can’t get them over that hurdle of not being terrified,” Weitzman said. “This building takes the terror out of those animals and lets us give them what they come to us for: homes and loving families.”

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