Animals of all types and sizes come into the care of Ontario SPCA and Humane Society animal centres every day. From sweet puppies to frisky cats, we love seeing the different personalities that emerge when an animal is in our care. But sometimes animals arrive who need a little extra help coming out of their shell, or additional support to learn appropriate behaviours before they are ready to find a loving home.
This was the case for Silverado. When Silverado arrived at the Ontario SPCA York Region Animal Centre he was very nervous and anxious in the shelter environment. The stress was affecting him so much that he needed anxiety medication and was placed in the VIP program to give him more one-on-one support.
The Ontario SPCA’s VIP program, which stands for Very Important Paws, helps animals like Silverado who need a little extra help. Sometimes it’s a puppy who needs to learn new behaviours, a cat that needs more socialization, or and adult friend who is having challenges adjusting to major changes in their life. Whatever their needs, the VIP program is uniquely tailored to each animal.
Once Silverado was identified as a good candidate for the VIP program, our team of animal behavioural specialists created an individual plan using evidence-based training and Fear Free® techniques to help reduce his stress and build his trust. The team knew Silverado could overcome his challenges with appropriate enrichment and socialization.
With Silverado on the path to success, he was matched with a foster family who was committed to helping him be his best self. In his new environment, Silverado was given his own room and the space he needed to adjust at his own pace. After a few weeks, Silverado was exploring his new environment and starting to seek attention from his foster family.
With the help of the VIP program and Silverado’s foster home, he was finally able to be adopted to his furever family!
Silverado is now feeling like the king of the castle in his new home. He loves climbing up the 7.5-foot cat tower he shares with his feline family members where he claims his spot at the top of his throne. He spends hours perched there but still likes to come down for love and attention.
“Willow, one of the other cats, really helped him come out of his shell. They are a real pair those two,” says Jeff, Silverado’s adopter.
Looking back at Silverado’s journey, this once high-stress cat has come a long way to living his best life.
The VIP program has allowed Silverado to overcome his behavioural challenges and helped him put his best paw forward. Now he is enjoying the loving home he deserves.
Visit our website to learn more about the VIP program and how it’s changing the lives of animals. If you’ve been thinking of adopting, visit our adoption page to see animals waiting for loving homes – watch for the VIP icon to meet our most special furry friends!
Not in a position to adopt? Please consider donating to support the VIP program. As a registered charity that does not receive annual government funding, the Ontario SPCA depends on the generosity of donors to change the lives of animals. Please donate today.
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