About the Collaborative

Collaborative for Shelter Dogs, an initiative of the Shelter Medicine Program and the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, is dedicated to improving the welfare of homeless dogs cared for by humane organizations, animal control facilities, and rescue groups throughout the nation. Rigorous science-based research and outcome assessment is the cornerstone of all efforts by the Collaborative. Drawing on the expertise of its staff, the Collaborative is able to incorporate clinical medicine and epidemiology into its strategies, establishing a world-class program on behalf of shelter dogs.

Our Mission

The mission of Collaborative for Shelter Dogs is to conduct research to improve the welfare and successful placement of homeless dogs as well as dogs at risk for homelessness.  Central to this mission is the dissemination of research results through the education of shelter professionals, veterinary students, and graduate students. Our research is focused in several areas, including:

  • Discovering ways to measure and reduce stress affecting shelter dogs
  • Developing improved tools for identifying and working with problem behaviors in dogs
  • Exploring reasons for surrender in order to increase retention of dogs in homes
  • Determining effective marketing and placement strategies for dogs
  • Serving as a resource for other shelters, organizations, and individuals by providing research-based information, tools consultations, and outreach opportunities

We believe each dog should be treated as an individual with a unique personality and behavioral needs.


Collaborative for Shelter Dogs was established at the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 2008 through a generous grant from the Frank Stanton Foundation. The gift was made possible because of the generosity of the late Dr. Frank Stanton, who served as president of CBS from 1946 to 1973. Besides being a pioneer in television and one of the most highly respected individuals in the broadcasting industry, Dr. Stanton believed in and appreciated the power and beauty of the animal-human bond. He had a particular love for dogs, and through the establishment the Frank Stanton Foundation, his legacy will advance the well-being of dogs throughout the nation. Through the continued support of the Stanton Foundation, Collaborative for Shelter Dogs moved to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to focus on research that will help dogs both in the shelter as well as in homes in the community.