Last summer, the NC biotech team at Kepley BioSystems launched Kepley K9® Strategic Scent Stimulant for busy pet owners wanting more quality time with their “dawdling dogs” (and less time wasted while “sniffing” on walks). Soon thereafter, the team embarked on a study to see if the product could benefit shelter dogs (and the staff) while at the kennel – and help orient them to ensure forever homes after adoption.
“It’s great if people can enjoy more exercise and play time with their dogs, instead of endless cajoling to complete the purpose of a walk before running out of time every day,” said Kepley communications director, Lee Robertson, “but if the product can help shelters socialize rescues while saving time and then enhance adoption success, Kepley K9 can ultimately save them from being relinquished and losing all hope thereafter.”
According to the ASPCA, more than 3.3 million additional dogs enter an already overburdened US kennel system with limited resources every year. Regrettably, one in five adopted rescues are returned to the shelter, too often due to house soiling. For those relinquished dogs, their odds of placement are then cut in half.
The Kepley team partnered with the dedicated staff of the SPCA of the Triad in Greensboro to evaluate Kepley K9 use in a shelter setting. The product reduced the kennel staff morning routine time by 50% and allowed for more play and socialization.
Continued use gradually shortened the dogs’ defecation times, and all responded as expected. Given that the product was used upon daily release from cages and enclosures in this study, such trends suggested improved canine awareness of “indoors” versus “outdoors” that could be reinforced after adoption with at-home use.
The study results have been published in a recent article, entitled, “Use of a Canine Gastrointestinal Olfactory Stimulant in a Shelter Setting” in the Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science.
“It was an amazingly rewarding experience working alongside the SPCA of the Triad,” said Abby Anne Williams, lead author and Kepley intern research coordinator. “A dramatic decrease in the time it takes to perform the daily routines allowed us to spend more individual time with each dog. My hope is that each of the pups will find the homes they deserve.”
"STEM internships provide unique opportunities for students and reflect a Kepley core value centered on scholarship,” stated Kepley BioSystems president, Anthony Dellinger. “These experiences are critical for the future quality of the regional workforce and enhance development of research, communications and entrepreneurial skills."
The original research behind this NC biotech innovation was previously published in the same journal in the work entitled, “Olfactory Mediation of Canine Gastrointestinal Neurobiology.” Kepley K9 Strategic Scent Stimulant is available at Amazon, and the company matches purchases with donations to shelters to fulfill their commitment to help orient shelter dogs for successful adoption into forever homes.