Close to half the people who bring pets into the Roanoke Valley SPCA shelter for adoption do so over behavior issues. A new fund is now in place in hopes of reducing that number — by helping pet owners dealing with behavior matters and cannot otherwise afford the means to help correct them. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke, VA – Carol and Albert Prillaman have created the Judith Goins Behavior Assistance Program at the Roanoke Valley SPCA. This new fund will help financially challenged pet owners have access to behavioral resources in the Roanoke Valley. Nearly half of the cats and dogs relinquished to the Roanoke Valley SPCA each year are brought to the shelter due to behavior issues including anything from trouble housetraining to excessive barking or aggression. Many of the relinquishing owners simply cannot afford the training and behavior specialists who can help correct these behaviors and therefore, keep their pets in loving homes. “The Roanoke Valley SPCA is looking to be the first resource for those struggling in our community, not the last resort,” said Denise Hayes, Chief Executive Officer of the Roanoke Valley SPCA. “ The Judith Goins Behavior Assistance Program will allow us to keep more pets and people together while also helping to ease the stray population and space at the shelter.” Judith P. Goins was a lifetime animal lover and advocate. She worked tirelessly to rescue dogs and cats in need and help them find safe, loving homes so they did not have to spend time in the shelter. Judith’s family has created the Judith Goins Behavior Assistance Program in her memory to help keep more pets in their homes.