Consultancy for optimal animal wellbeing

By acting with care, compassion and curiosity we can make a difference to the lives of animals everyday.

We provide consultancy services which do just that.

It’s no good getting reports or recommendations that you don’t know how to put into practice. Your work with us is a collaboration and we care about seeing improvements that come to life. Together we’ll troubleshoot challenges, find opportunities, and help you with the practical steps needed to guide optimal animal care, decision making and wellbeing. 

Our services

Audits 

 

Overseeing the care of animals and humans and how they interact is a big task. Everyone is busy doing all the things. But what is the big-picture story? What’s working, and what's not going so well?

We explore all the details - the people, animals, environment, time, tasks and more. We examine the interconnections and find opportunities for improved integration, all set within the realities of time, budget, and capacity.

Ultimately, an organisation's future and ability to action its purpose is intrinsically tied to the wellbeing of all within it. This is why we guide you in developing 'a way of being' so that you can sustain positive experiences for animals and people far beyond the scope of work required.

We will support you in fulfilling short-term goals so that you can build confidence and momentum in actioning larger-scale changes. Alongside, you will have tailored recommendations outlining how to implement improvements for the team, animals, and wider system. We'll focus on animal wellbeing programs, and building competent committed teams who trust one another and can effectively communicate, problem-solve, and plan for the future, for the benefit of your organisation and beyond. 

Wellbeing and enclosure assessments

 

Considering the lives of living beings and how they think or feel about what happens to them is a complex process that must be done with care and compassion. There are multiple layers to be examined whilst keeping the experience of the individual as the central focus. We evaluate what is happening right now, whilst also setting this into wider contexts to gain more meaningful insight.

We explore the individual's experience across the 24/7 period and throughout their lifespan, considering what opportunities and choices are available to them with a focus on animals as agents of their own lives. You'll get a comprehensive understanding alongside recommendations you can use to guide decision making. Together, we'll develop dynamic processes and clear plans so that you can take action to improve the lives animals in your care every day. 

Work with us

 

Holistic animal care programs

 

We don't just want to give you a list of tick box 'services' we provide because ultimately we do things a bit differently. 

We don't have a mission statement or an end goal, what we have is a purpose. A purpose to create a culture of care and respect, to engage with emotions and connect with each other as individuals so that the wellbeing of all can truly flourish.

This means our evidence-based approach is seamlessly blended with a compassion for animals and human caregivers to create interconnected and holistic animal care programs which benefit all. We focus on animals being agents of their own lives with their psychological and emotional experience being just as important as their physical one. We integrate this with the experience and wellness of the human caregivers that the animals rely so heavily on. People must feel able and be able to give optimal care to animals. They need practical tools and opportunities coupled with an evidence based understanding and compassionate approach. It's only with these ingredients that we will make meaningful difference to the lives of animals in our care and beyond, and demonstrate this to others.

So our approach focuses on each individual and that of the interconnections between us, meaning we can move beyond providing a simple scope of work and towards creating the conditions needed to support optimal wellbeing for all.

24/7 approach

 

The 24/7 approach to supporting optimal welfare for captive wild animals is a holistic conceptual framework, and has been adapted to additional contexts such as sanctuaries and research organisations since its publication in 2018.

It considers an individual’s life cycle needs and preferences influenced by a range of variations. It is an animal welfare assessment tool designed to raise awareness with 14 welfare criteria highlighting including the importance of habitat management, technology use and much more.

Through the 24/7 across lifespan approach we bring attention to an individual’s experience, particularly the times when animal caregivers are not present. What do they do for the 16 hours every day we are not there? Or when we are there, but busy with other tasks than direct care or interaction? What opportunities, choices and control do they have and what affordances does the habitat allow for?

Through the lens of this concept, we focus on supporting and increasing the possibilities for animals to be agents of their own lives which is crucial if we want to support wellbeing. 

 

 

Enrichment programs

 

To enrich is to improve or enhance the quality of something. But how? When? What do you want to achieve and how do you know if it ‚Äėworked‚Äô?

We consider natural history and behavioural goals, but beyond this, we explore the psychological experience of the animals. We evaluate habitat management, complexity, choice, control, an individual's agency and more.

We support you in comparing what is simply good care, versus what is actually enriching, so that you can make clear and confident decisions which demonstrate your commitment to the optimal wellbeing of animals in your care. 

We discuss the history, perception, and theory of enrichment so that the team can plan, implement, evaluate, and adjust enrichment programs that are effective and sustainable for all individuals and social groups. This not only benefits the animals but also their human caregivers, supporting people in taking action to enrich the lives of the animals they care so deeply about. 

Our collaboration with you is all done with careful consideration of safety and practicality, and with attention to what is possible. With ongoing support available to help you maintain momentum, inspiration and creativity it's not just the animals lives that you'll enrich through working with us.

 

Training programs

 

Learning takes place constantly; it is not exclusive to training sessions whether we like it or not.

Even within sessions, animals are learning about many things beyond what we intend to teach them. When we train, how it feels, and how it is done are the most important things influencing their experience, relationships, and activities with us.

It’s one thing to apply methods, theory, and reinforcement, it's another to interact with full awareness of this delicate process where you are influencing the wellbeing and brain of another being.

Positive training approaches are such a valuable tool in supporting good animal wellbeing and furthering goals such as education, conservation, research, public experiences and more. And so, we work to expand on your current knowledge of how to put science into practice with compassion, awareness and evidence-based practice.

We provide examples, training plans, reports, and clear steps so that the team learn how to think and not just what to do. Through collaboration with us, your training programs can bring benefit to animals and humans in the most effective way, with caring relationships at the heart.

Work with us

Subject specific training

 

Choose from a range of specific workshops and events which can be delivered as standalone subjects or as part of an integrated package. You can book single or multi-day options to suit your needs and budget, with online or in-person options too.

Our workshops and events help you explore new perspectives, expand understanding and find opportunities to take action so that you can take good care of animals and of yourself every day.

Topics include:

  • Animals as agents of their own lives
  • 24/7 across lifespan
  • Animal learning and training
  • Science and practice of environmental enrichment
  • Human-animal interactions
  • Back of house traditions and evolutions
  • Eating to save wildlife¬†
  • Systems thinking at the zoo¬†
  • And more...

 

See all topics

Research project guidance 

 

To maximise your positive impact, performance and public communications, we can also work with you to improve or establish research projects on a range of animal care and wellbeing topics, or other related subjects. These can be used to support your evidence-based programs and highlight positive progress, alongside improving the understanding, motivation and achievement of your team. By demonstrating what is possible on the national or international stage you will inspire others and benefit the wider community of animals, people and the planet we share.

Other services

 

Put plainly, there's no point talking about the care of animals if we're not also going to talk about the humans who care for them. And with that in mind, we must be extending the conversation to the planet we all share.

Human wellbeing
Planetary wellbeing
Career coaching

Organisations we've worked with...

Contact us

Send us an email and we will get back to you shortly!
You can also email us on info(@)animalconcepts.eu

Contact us