Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

If you have questions about the Fear Free Shelter Program, check out our FAQ below. If your question isn’t answered below, feel free to send us an email at and our team will be happy to help.

Who should take the Fear Free Shelter Program?

The Fear Free Shelter Program is for all the individuals involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals—from medical and behavioral staff to intake, reception, kennel, and cattery staff to animal control officers, animal welfare consultants, adoption counselors, foster caregivers, and volunteers. Veterinary students and faculty may also take the Fear Free Shelter Program at no cost.

I am a Fear Free Certified Veterinary Professional. Can I take the Fear Free Shelter Program?

No, you cannot. The core modules are written for shelter and rescue professionals and volunteers who have never had access to this type of education before. It covers Fear Free concepts, body language, and basic behavior science – all of which is covered in the Fear Free Veterinary Certification Program. The additional content is specific to a shelter/rescue environment.

If you are both a veterinary professional and shelter professional, you are welcome to complete both.

Why should I take the Fear Free Shelter Program?

As a shelter, rescue, or animal welfare employee or volunteer, you are dedicated to looking after the wellbeing of pets. Fear Free will give you the opportunity to look after both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the animals in your care. Potential pet owners will see the difference in experience Fear Free provides for animals and will feel comfortable trusting you and your organization with the adoption process.

What do I get for completing the Fear Free Shelter Program?

In addition to a certificate of completion, you get access to a variety of articles that are 100% reviewed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, supplemental educational materials, and handouts that will help set your organization and potential pet owners up for success.

Can shelters as a whole earn the Fear Free designation?

Not at this time, but it is on our roadmap!

How much does the Fear Free Shelter Program cost?

The Fear Free Shelter Program is 100% free. We believe this valuable content should be available to all shelter, rescue, and animal welfare employees and volunteers who want to look after both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the animals in their care.

Who created the Fear Free Shelter Program?

The Fear Free Shelter Program modules were created by highly regarded experts in the field, including Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DABVP; Sheila (D’Arpino) Segurson, DVM, DACVB; Sara Bennett, DVM, MS, DACVB; Wailani Sung, DACVB; Staci Cannon, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, DABVP; and Meaghan Mielo, DVM.

Where can I learn more about Fear Free?

Learn more about Fear Free and our mission by clicking here. Veterinary and pet professionals can learn more about becoming Fear Free Certified at Pet owners can visit to access cutting-edge videos, articles, and more that will help improve the physical and emotional health of their pets right at home.

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