In honor of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month in April, award-winning actress and animal advocate Bellamy Young visited the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC) near her hometown of Asheville, N.C., to spend time with canine victims of cruelty and neglect.

Bellamy Young visits the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center near her hometown of Asheville, N.C.

During her visit, Bellamy toured the first-of-its-kind facility, shadowed animal behavior specialists during treatment sessions and interacted with dogs in the program, many victims of abuse and neglect situations like puppy mills, hoarding and dogfighting.

“As an animal lover, I feel so lucky to have recently spent time at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center near my hometown of Asheville, N.C. The team of behavior experts there is doing such important work to prepare fearful dogs – often victims of cruelty and neglect – for their second chance at happy lives with new, loving families,” said actress and animal advocate Bellamy Young. “The work the ASPCA does to rescue, rehabilitate, and place animals who experienced some of the most horrific forms of abuse is so badly needed, and witnessing it first-hand was an honor and an inspiration.”

“It was such a pleasure to have Bellamy Young visit the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, and we are grateful for her dedication to animals in need,” said Kate Pullen, vice president of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center. “Bellamy immersed herself in the treatment and play sessions alongside our expert behavior specialists and showed the dogs in our care – many rescued from horrific situations – love, patience and comfort.”

Through intensive and specialized behavior modification techniques, the staff at the BRC work to move dogs from rescue to rehabilitation, and ultimately into safe and loving homes. The program supports shelters and rescue groups across the country by accepting homeless dogs whose fear is so severe that it compromises their quality of life and makes their adoption challenging or impossible. Many of the dogs who receive care at the BRC are rescued through the ASPCA’s national field response efforts, where they assist local agencies in the rescue of animal victims of cruelty.

In addition to rehabilitating severely fearful dogs, the ASPCA launched an innovative, research-based training program, called the Learning Lab, at the BRC for select shelters around the country. The facility includes a dormitory and space for shelter professionals to visit and collaborate with the BRC team so they can integrate specialized rehabilitation techniques and targeted sheltering protocols into their own operations. As the Learning Lab program evolves, the ASPCA has expanded its virtual learning opportunities to help even more shelters across the country integrate strategies for safeguarding the behavioral well-being of their animals.

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