Babes-Bolyai-University
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Connecting students with the needs of shelter animals through S-L

COVID-19 needs to be addressed

Identified needs: Several NGOs in Romania in charge with animal shelters and animal protection have communicated through social media their needs for persons to volunteer/ help them with the activities at the shelters during the pandemic periods (such as: socializing with the animals – dogs and cats, cleaning up the spaces, promoting the responsible adoptions, distribution of information about sterilization campaigns and fund raising events etc.). Also, it was noted that although the rate of animal adoption had increased at the beginning of the pandemic crisis in March-April 2020, the rate started to decrease later on, while the abandonment and the neglect of the animals have started to increase, thus resulting in overcrowded shelters.

Country: Romania

Year: 2020-2021

Institution: Babes-Bolyai University

# of students: 30

Person in charge: Alina Simona Rusu

Email: alinasimonarusu@gmail.com

Interaction with beneficiaries: Face-to-face

Academic Degree: Undergraduate

Discipline(s): Psychology | Biology | Education

Community Service Area & ODS: Good health and well-being

Brief description

Service-Learning activities:

Undergraduate students in Psychology, enrolled at the subject Animal Psychology, were given the opportunity to perform S-L activities at the animal shelters in the locations where they reside for the duration of one semester of the academic year 2020-2021, February – June 2021 (the S-L activities are still ongoing).

The S-L activities were connected with the curricula of Animal Psychology subject, School of Psychology and Sciences of Education, Babes-Bolyai University (coordinating teacher: Alina S. Rusu, PhD). The discussions and the preparation of the students took place online, during the seminars of the Animal Psychology courses.

The learning objectives were: a the S-L activities at the animal shelters will facilitate a better understanding of the body language in dog and cats, will offer the students the possibilities to be more aware of the benefits human-animal positive interactions, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of animal welfare, such as behavioral indicators of affective states in animals, and they will be able to use methods of behavioral enrichment in relation to animal quality of life.

Partners: Animal protection NGOs that are managing private animal shelters.