ASPCA Program in Weaverville Helps Behaviorally Challenged Shelter Dogs

A person helping train a dog.

Wayside Waifs recently announced its participation in the ASPCA Learning Lab, a program developed at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, N.C., to better serve behaviorally challenged homeless dogs.

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.

A team of shelter professionals from Wayside Waifs recently visited the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, where they worked alongside ASPCA behavior experts to discuss effective protocols and best practices. Wayside Waifs will be integrating key learnings and strategies to further integrate behavioral and psychological support for homeless dogs into their entire sheltering operation.

“Our team’s experience at the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center was transformative,” said Geoff Hall, President of Wayside Waifs. “Their team created an inspiring program and trusting environment where we could collaborate freely to share ideas and learn from each other. We are honored to be a partner with the ASPCA.”

“Wayside Waifs’ team is highly skilled, cohesive and forward-thinking. The ASPCA is thrilled to welcome them to the Learning Lab program and its vibrant network of shelter partners,” said Dr. Kat Miller, Senior Director of the ASPCA Learning Lab program. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Wayside Waifs to further elevate behavioral healthcare in animal shelters and get even more dogs into loving 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 aims to develop a national network of partner organizations that 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

Prepared by ASPCA.