Pet Professional Guild Appoints New Shelter and Rescue Division Chair
K. Holden Svirsky Will Lead The Team and Take a Seat on PPG's Steering Committee
Holden is dog behavior consultant with a certificate in training and counseling from the Academy for Dog Trainers. She is also a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer through Malena DeMartini's certification program. She owns HoldenK9 LLC, where she focuses on helping dogs with fear and aggression, and separation anxiety, and she also lectures for a number of organizations, including the PPG, the Academy for Dog Trainers and Animal Rescue Foundation.
Previously, Holden worked in shelter and rescue for 12 years, beginning with the San Francisco SPCA. In her professional career, she has also worked with horses, mules, rats, rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, cats, crows, wolfdog and coydog hybrids, and even a tortoise. She is a lifelong teacher whose first introduction to learning theory was working with human students with neurodivergence as an undergraduate teaching assistant and clinician for a private tutoring organization. Holden currently splits her time between New England and the Bay Area, California. In her free time, Holden is a poet and visual artist interested in anthrozoological intersections of the arts, folklore and science.
Holden has been with PPG's Shelter and Rescue Division since 2019. The division focuses on developing tools and resources to help support those who work for or represent animal shelters and rescues, and PPG offers a discounted Rescue Membership level that provides access to all the benefits, educational resources, and tools of a professional membership, including materials to share with adopters. Holden helped author and develop the Pet Rescue Resource, an online toolkit for shelters and rescues to improve the adoption and retention rates of homeless pets, launched by the Shelter and Rescue Division in 2020. The website includes articles, step-by-step training plans, and videos designed to support staff and volunteers in addressing common behavior and welfare issues.
"At PPG, we recognize the critical work rescue and shelter organizations do daily, and the resources and support they need to assist them," said Niki Tudge, PPG founder and president. "PPG's Rescue and Shelter Division provides essential resources and support for those working hard to rescue and rehabilitate millions of animals who need sanctuary each year. Under Holden's leadership and guidance, this division will remain focused and continue to develop resources to support rescue and shelter professionals."
Added Svirsky, "It has been an honor to work with such an amazing group of shelter and rescue professionals over the years, and I look forward to collaborating with the Steering Committee."
The other members of PPG's Shelter and Rescue Division are Aaron Jones, Maria Karunungan, PhD, Kate LaSala, Kim Monteith, Dayle Pierce, and LT Taylor.
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