What Is a Happy Dog? Improving Welfare of Dogs in Homes and Shelter Environments
with Dr. Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova
We are often tasked with making decisions that aim to improve dogs’ lives in animal shelters, pet homes, and working conditions. But our anthropocentric view of the world may mask what is truly important to a dog. In this talk, Dr. Protopopova will review research into the natural history of dogs as well as their perception of their environment in order to get an understanding of the “umwelt,” or inner-life, of the dog. She will use this information to guide us in clarifying which decisions do, in fact, improve dogs’ lives in various contexts. She will discuss a range of topics from improving adoptions in the shelter to considering therapy dog welfare, with many surprising conclusions. At the end of the presentation, we will have an introductory new look at what it means to be a dog and how we, as professionals and dog lovers, can be more effective at helping dogs live good lives with us.
Part of the funds raised will be donated to support UBC graduate students in financial hardship within the Animal Welfare Program. You can also donate or learn more about the fundraiser on their Crowdfunding page.
About Dr. Protopopova
Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova PhD CAAB (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia and the NSERC/BC SPCA Industrial Research Chair in Animal Welfare. Her research aims are to learn more about dogs, improve animal shelter practices, improve companion animal welfare in shelters, pet homes, and in assistance roles—all within a One Welfare framework. Recently, Dr. Protopopova has been shifting her research focus on connecting climate change and other societal issues to companion animal welfare. Dr. Protopopova earned an MSc and a PhD in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida with Drs. Clive Wynne and Brian Iwata. She spends her days conducting research, teaching university classes in animal learning and animal sheltering, going on hiking trails, and cuddling dogs.
If you have RSVPed for PACTA BC's AGM, you are invited to attend Dr. Protopopova's presentation for free and will have received a Zoom link for this event in your email.
Do you live in the Kamloops area? We are hosting an in-person gathering for this online event! Doors at the BC SPCA Kamloops Community Animal Centre, 2816 Tranquille Road, will be open starting at 12:30 to participate in the AGM and/or Sasha's talk. We'll reach to those with a Kamloops and region address with more details, so be sure to RSVP.