The Institute for Shelter Dogs was created from a desire to bring together the latest research with the current best practices in sheltering. Our mission is to provide those that are on the ground with the best information and hands-on instruction & training in hopes of improving the daily lives of shelter animals. Together, we believe the craft and science of behavior can transform the welfare of shelter animals and the people dedicated to improving their lives.
ISD Founders & Facilitators
Erica Feuerbacher, PhD, MS, BCBA-D, CPDT-KA is an Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Behavior and Welfare at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Florida under the advisorship of Dr. Clive Wynne in the UF Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab and her Masters in Behavior Analysis under the advisorship of Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, has attended the San Francisco SPCA Dog Trainer Academy, and has worked as a shelter behaviorist. She has published a variety of scientific articles on her research on learning theory and the dog-human relationship. She has taught Principles of Behavior Analysis, Learning and Cognition, Basic and Advanced Canine Training, Companion Animal Handling, and Research Methods. She has earned awards for her behavior analytic research on dog behavior. Her research interests center on dog-human social interactions, improving shelter dog welfare, and assessing training techniques.
Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA is the Maddie's Fund Research Fellow at Arizona State University in the Department of Psychology and conducts her research in the Canine Science Collaboratory. Prior to earning her doctorate at Arizona State University in 2018, Lisa worked for nearly a decade with dogs, both in animal shelters and in homes with their owners. The goal of Lisa's research is to better the lives of dogs living in shelters. To this aim, she has investigated the perceptional influence of breed labels, what breeds and breed mixes are present in animal shelters, post-adoption interventions focused on owner retention, temporary fostering of dogs awaiting adoption, and identifying behavioral indicators of welfare for kenneled dogs. She has taught courses on Animal Cognition and Dog Behavior. Lisa has published her research in scientific journals, received popular press coverage (including Slate, Washington Post, Time, & PBS News Hour) and presented at numerous scientific and sheltering conferences. In addition to her research and the Institute for Shelter Dogs, she is also the co-founder and Head of Training for Wagfield Academy, an online training resource for dog owners.
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