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Questions? Contact: coordinator@pilot4pets.org

Welcome to PILOT for Pets!

What Is PILOT?

PILOT for Pets (PILOT) gives dogs in Massachusetts a chance at adoption by helping animal welfare organizations with limited resources transfer adoptable dogs to other Massachusetts animal welfare groups that have a better ability to find the pets a “forever home.” 

Click here to learn more about the PILOT program.

How Does it Work?

In a nutshell, PILOT’s process involves a few basic steps:  a partner organization in need posts a dog on our database, the post is emailed to partner organizations that might be interested in taking the dog, PILOT volunteers work to find an organization who can place the dog, and PILOT volunteers transport the dog to the new organization.

Click here to learn more about how PILOT works.

PILOT'S Behavior Observation Training

PILOT is currently providing Behavior Observation training for PILOT participating organizations, organizations considering becoming part of PILOT, and animal welfare workers wishing to volunteer for PILOT. The goal is to have all PILOT participating organizations use the same standardized, objective criteria when posting available dogs on PILOT's database so that participating organizations are able to make realistic decisions regarding their ability to help a particular dog.

Kelley Bollen* has been conducting the Behavior Observation training classes which consist of three modules:

  • Behavior Lecture - attendees learn to read and interpret canine body language and perform the PILOT Behavior Observation.
  • Observational Training - allows attendees to watch Kelley handle and evaluate several dogs using the PILOT Behavior Observation procedure. Attendees are asked to comment on the various body language and behavioral reactions displayed by the dogs during the observation process
  • Hands-On Training - Under Kelley's supervision, attendees have the opportunity to practice cage presentation testing and directly handle at least one dog in performing the PILOT Behavior Observation. The dogs utilized in this module have already been evaluated by the hosting shelter

To date 107 animal welfare workers in MA have participated in these training workshops and additional workshops are being planned. PILOT encourages participating organizations, organizations considering becoming part of PILOT, and animal welfare workers wishing to volunteer for PILOT to participate so we can all better serve the dogs of Massachusetts.

*Kelley Bollen, MS, CABC has a Master's Degree in Animal Behavior, is a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (CABC) and a professional member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is also a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Kelley served as the behaviorist for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and is currently Director of Behavior Programs for the Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, teaching shelter medicine residents, interns and veterinary students about animal behavior. Kelley is the owner and Director of Animal Alliances, LLC and she consults with animal shelters across the country in the design and implementation of comprehensive behavior programs to address the behavioral health of the shelter animals during their stay

Be a Part of PILOT:

Information for Animal Welfare Organizations

Massachusetts animal welfare organizations are invited to join our efforts!  Organizations that have a dog in need of placement (sending organizations) and organizations that can take in and place an animal (receiving organizations) are a part of the PILOT program.

Click here to learn more about requirements to participate and how to sign up.

Information for Volunteers

Come and be a part of this great team!  PILOT needs all types of volunteers: those with animal welfare experience, and those just getting started.  Do you have a reliable set of wheels and are willing to transport crated animals throughout MA?  We want your help!  Do you have regular access to the Internet and a phone?  We can use your skills!  Do you have animal handling skills that we can put to work?  Let us know!  We need people skills too: we are looking for some organized, outgoing folks to fill some key volunteer roles that may not involve animal handling.