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EHS is Proud to Be Fear Free

Sunday, Apr 11
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Tens of thousands of sheltering organizations care for millions of homeless animals, mostly cats and dogs, on an annual basis. For some animals, the amount of time spent in a shelter is very brief. For others, that length of time can be months, years, or even the duration of an animal’s life.

Caring for shelter pets goes way beyond meeting a pet’s physical needs; they also need mental and emotional care and support. Short-term confinement in a shelter setting can cause severe feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress. These can have an even greater impact on long-term residents, leaving them feeling isolated and terrified, negatively impacting their physical & mental health, and ultimately lessening their adoptability.

"As a no-kill shelter...we are helping the pet...and our team to bond and create an environment of trust and comfort."

-Nicole Leone, Executive Director

What is a Fear Free Shelter?

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The Fear Free Shelters program trains shelter staff to recognize the signs of fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) that pets often experience when they enter a shelter environment. Adopting a fear free culture helps our staff master a variety of skills from understanding and eliminating FAS triggers, to enhancing mental stimulation through enrichment. These valuable techniques are put into practice at the Erie Humane Society, to not only reduce FAS in the shelter, but to also set our shelter pets up for more successful placement in a permanent home.

Executive Director, Nicole Leone shares, "As a no-kill shelter, we believe that by taking more time with nervous pets, we are helping the pet, prospective adopters, and our team to bond and create an environment of trust and comfort. This truly embodies the Erie Humane Society’s mission to Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Rehome pets in need."

Our Fear-Free Commitment

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The Erie Humane Society is proud to be the first and only shelter in the Erie, PA region to become Fear Free! The animals we care for are more than shelter pets...they are our family. Each day we have the pleasure of watching animals walk out the door with their forever families. While saying “good-bye” can be bittersweet, moments like this are the most fulfilling. Knowing that you made a meaningful and lasting impact on a homeless animal’s life is the ultimate reward.

Learn more about the Fear Free Shelters program at