You’re not barking up the wrong tree – find your forever love at BARC Posted on June 17, 2022 The RSPCA NSW Behaviour and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC) has successfully rehabilitated a record number of pets, and adoption fees have been reduced this weekend for all dogs to help them find their forever homes and make space for more animals in need. Until Sunday 19 June 2022, pooches at the Central Coast facility can be adopted for a special price of $300, with seven charismatic and kind-hearted pups eagerly wagging their tails and ready to find love. Unlike other RSPCA NSW shelters, BARC is closed to the public. In October 2021, RSPCA NSW decided to turn its Central Coast shelter in Somersby into a rehabilitation oasis, to focus on creating a calm and quiet environment for dogs and cats requiring more intensive behaviour support and carefully controlled learning opportunities. Each prospective adopter is required to complete an expression of interest form for the animal they would like to meet. This individualised approach ensures that both humans and their potential pet will make a perfect pair. Through minimising the activity of regular visitors, RSPCA NSW has been able to create a peaceful, semi-rural environment for the animals at BARC. Capacity on the site has been capped, to ensure that each animal’s individual needs can be accommodated by a team of highly skilled animal behavioural and rehabilitation trainers. “There is evidence that a minimal stress environment is essential for both positive welfare outcomes and to enable effective rehabilitation, and it also allows us to gather information that accurately reflects how an animal is likely to behave when they transition to a secure and stable home environment, says RSPCA NSW Animal Behaviourist, Georgie Caspar. “A core focus at the centre is creating an atmosphere that represents a real-life setting, so that the animals can gradually acclimatise to what they are likely to experience when they find their permanent home. Cats stay in a home- like environment with views of the outdoors to help them adjust to social interactions with people and an indoor life, and dogs spend time relaxing with the staff in the BARC office, with kitchen, lounge areas and a fenced back yard. “We’ve also renovated the site’s exercise yards, to provide more opportunities for dogs to engage in social play sessions with other dogs, scent work and enrichment that focuses on human interactions. This is so important for giving them life skills they can use in their new homes, meeting their needs and encouraging rest and recovery.” Since BARC was established, over three times the number of high needs dogs have been through the facility. “We have a team of highly experienced animal behavioural trainers and veterinarians who use a range of behaviour modification techniques to reduce anxiety in the animals in our care. We regularly employ nose work for therapy, clicker training, cooperative care training and strategies that use classical conditioning techniques to change or build positive emotional associations”, says Ms Caspar. For those wanting to foster or adopt an animal from the centre, RSPCA NSW’s team of behaviour staff are always available to provide training advice, and can be contacted via email – firstname.lastname@example.org “Our team focus on teaching these beautiful animals how to re-trust the world, using science expertise and understanding. When they are ready to settle into a life with their new family, we are always here to provide additional support to the individuals and families who have adopted them, to ensure that the process is positive for everyone involved.” All furry friends available for adoption at BARC can be viewed here. To organise a time to meet your future companion, simply click on the ‘meet’ button to complete your details. Who knows? You may just fall in love!