Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region Participates in ASPCA Learning Lab Program to Help Behaviorally Challenged Shelter Dogs

Exciting changes happening in our Behavior Programs department! Earlier this month, a number of our staff members visited our friends at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center Learning Lab to work alongside behavior experts to discuss effective protocols and best practices. HSPPR will be applying key learnings to integrate behavioral and psychological support for homeless dogs into our entire sheltering operation! Although HSPPR is a local, independent nonprofit not affiliated with the ASPCA, we were so excited to learn from their programs. 

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.

“Our team is incredibly excited to be working with the ASPCA Learning Lab,” said Fernando Diaz, behavior programs manager at HSPPR. “Every year, we’ve grown our behavior programs to help more animals in need, and the Learning Lab will give us additional tools to treat those special cases and give pets and their people the best chance at success in their new home.”

“The ASPCA Learning Lab program was designed to enhance the sheltering community’s ability to prepare behaviorally challenged animals for adoption and ultimately save more lives nationwide,” said Dr. Kat Miller, Senior Director of the ASPCA Learning Lab program. “We’re excited to have the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region join this unprecedented network of shelter partners across the country. We look forward to collaborating with them to further elevate their behavioral healthcare program and get even more dogs into adoptive homes.”

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

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