Charleston Animal Society Participates in ASPCA Learning Lab Program to Rehabilitate Behaviorally Challenged Shelter Dogs

Innovative training program at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center provides critical techniques to help homeless dogs nationwide
November 5, 2018


CHARLESTON, S.C.—Charleston Animal Society today announces its partnership with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and participation in the ASPCA Learning Lab program. Developed at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, N.C., the Learning Lab is an interactive educational program where select shelters participate in an intensive, hands-on workshop and discuss all aspects of advanced behavioral care in animal shelters.

In September, a team of shelter professionals from Charleston Animal Society visited the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center and worked alongside ASPCA behavior experts to learn effective protocols and best practices to integrate behavioral and psychological support for homeless dogs into their entire sheltering operation.

“The goal of the ASPCA’s Learning Lab program is to help even more shelter dogs transition into new, adoptive homes by sharing key methods and techniques that elevate behavior healthcare in shelters,” said Dr. Katherine Miller, Senior Director of the ASPCA Learning Lab. “The ASPCA has a longstanding relationship with Charleston Animal Society and we’re thrilled to partner with them in this newly launched program. Partnership with distinguished animal shelters such as Charleston Animal Society will help accelerate the spread of advances in behavioral care and rehabilitation throughout animal shelters nationwide.”

“Charleston Animal Society has led the way in the animal protection movement in the southeast and our partnership with the ASPCA has supported us in making tremendous progress,” said Joe Elmore, President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society. “This groundbreaking program is part of the continuing evolution of animal care, specifically focused on enhancing behavior protocols and practices in animal shelters. We intend to integrate the key learnings of the program to elevate our lifesaving strategies throughout our community and eventually expand to help save more lives throughout the state of South Carolina.”

The ASPCA Learning Lab launched in spring 2018 at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, the first-ever permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and study of extremely fearful, unadoptable homeless dogs. As the Learning Lab program evolves, the ASPCA aims to develop a national network of partner organizations that can share learnings and best practices and serve as established, specialized behavioral rehabilitation hubs in their communities.

The work of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center is showcased in an award-winning ASPCA documentary, “Second Chance Dogs”, which is available on Please visit for more information on the program.