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Emily Weiss, MS, PhD, CAAB

Emily Weiss, MS, PhD, CAAB
Emily Weiss, MS, PhD, CAAB

Dr. Emily Weiss, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist joined the ASPCA in July of 2005 and is the Vice President of Shelter Research and Development.

A native of Long Island, NY, Dr. Weiss has focused her professional and personal life on improving welfare for animals. Dr. Weiss’ MS and PhD work focused on the selection of service dogs from shelters. Her work then branched off in two directions – welfare of animals in zoos, and shelter programs. 

For more than seven years, Dr. Weiss was the Curator of Behavior and Research at the Sedgwick County Zoo.  There she developed enrichment and training programs for many different species—from lions and Komodo dragons, to African hunting dogs and giant cassowary birds.  She developed training programs to improve husbandry and decrease stress for many zoo animals.

During this time, Dr. Weiss also continued to develop assessment tools for shelter animals, first developing the SAFER assessment, a behavior assessment used by shelters throughout the country, and then developing Meet Your Match™, Canine-ality™ and Puppy-ality™, now an ASPCA program. As an ASPCA member she has since developed Feline-ality™, the first research based adoption program for cats in shelters.

She is a section editor of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, and has published extensively in the field of applied behavior. She has traveled across North America lecturing on various areas of applied animal behavior, and has been featured nationally on radio, TV, and print.

She directed the development and use of the ASPCA Animal Stats Dashboard, the tool used by the ASPCA to measure progress in shelters and S/N clinics. Recently, Dr. Weiss’ work has focused on developing program and process to increase the Live Release Rate in shelters around the country. She designs and develops a variety of research in sheltering and S/N environments, including projects on feral cats, behavior modification, targeted spay/neuter, ID tagging and fee-waived adoptions.


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