Graduating ’Dog dedicated to helping cats – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2022-05-13 18:38:06 –

Valerie Guzman graduated with a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analytics in May. (Photo by Cary Edmondson)

Valerie Guzman’s childhood memories include taking a stray cat with his family in Santa Maria’s apartment.

“We accepted cats that no one wanted. Some cats were pregnant, had health problems, or were infected with fleas,” Guzman said. “We raised them well and found them a home.”

Guzman received a bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Long Beach State University in two majors: Child Development and Family Education. However, after working with a child with behavioral problems for four years, she was attracted to applying what she learned about her behavior to “unacceptable” support. Cat.

Despite the pressure from his parents to calm down and build a family, Guzman said he pursued his dream and decided to get a master’s degree. Applied behavior analysis In Fresno. This program generally focuses on behavioral analytics applications for children and adults with developmental disabilities. However, Guzman’s work is similar to her work on animal behavior.

“We are focused on behavior, and behavior is everywhere, including animals,” Guzman said. “In my dissertation, the assessments we use in humans show that animals can also succeed because they depend on behavior rather than population.”

Guzman congratulates him on his master’s degree from Fresno State University. Science and Mathematics University Graduation ceremony at Friday, May 20th, 5pmAt the Save Mart Center.

“On the other hand, my parents didn’t understand why I wanted to go back to school after I got my bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, I realized that further education would change the course of my life. I know, “Guzman said.

Guzman was excited when he was accepted into the Master’s program and jumped at the opportunity to study animal behavior with Dr. Stephen Payne of the Faculty of Psychology. Payne helped establish a partnership with the Valley Animal Center, a shelter that helps thousands of cats and dogs find their beloved homes each year.

“Since we started the partnership eight years ago, my lab has focused on improving the welfare of shelter animals,” Pain said. “Valery fits well with the mission of our laboratory and her research is at the forefront of the animal shelter literature.”

Guzman researched trial-based functional analysis tools to discover the motives behind “unacceptable” cat behavior. In her study, she collaborated with three cats that showed aggressive behavior, Friday, 11 years old, Sunny, 6 years old, and Princess Rosalinda, 2 years old.

“Everyone has heard of dog trainers, but never of cat trainers,” Guzman said. “”The key to successful training is to be able to understand what causes repetitive behaviors and what the cat will gain from exhibiting that particular behavior so that the conditions can be changed. “

Graduation Valerie Guzman studied animal behavior with Dr. Stephen Pain as part of a partnership with the Valley Animal Center.

Graduation Valerie Guzman is studying animal behavior with Dr. Stephen Pain (pictured above) as part of a partnership with the Valley Animal Center. (Photo by Cary Edmondson)

All three cats that participated in the study showed significant improvement in aggressive behavior. The behavioral methods used by Payne and Guzman are communicated to staff in the hope of helping more cats get the chance to be hired.

“The long-term partnership with the Valley Animal Center has yielded great results in research in the areas of animals, Fresno State University students, and applied behavior analysis,” says Payne. “We want to continue to help the animals of the Central Valley into the future.”

Guzman explains that there is a stigma of not being able to train cats. “I don’t want to end my research here. I want to teach others about these methods.”

Guzman’s ultimate goal is to set up a non-profit organization to train staff on how to act effectively. “I want to give every cat an opportunity to adopt.”

Celebrate the 2022 class
In the coming days, will highlight the story of exciting students graduating this spring. Eight college graduation ceremonies and some affinity celebrations will take place on May 20th and 21st.visit For more information.

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