ACCT Philly was pleased to host Aimee Sadler, Director of Training & Behavior at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, for her nationally recognized presentation “Playing For Life! A Behavior Modification & Training Program featuring Play Groups” on November 30 through December 2. The presentations and play group workshops were open to all ACCT Philly volunteers and staff.


Aimee Sadler’s Canine Play Group program was developed to socialize, exercise, and enrich the quality of life of dogs in shelters. Based on her many years of shelter work and behavior and training experience at Longmont Humane Society in Colorado, Aimee Sadler was able to develop canine play group in which multiple dogs (sometimes up to a dozen!) are introduced to each other and play with trained supervisors! Dogs are matched by their play styles and are moved into groups depending on how they interact with others.

The training at ACCT Philly enabled staff to develop a play group plan and structure that accommodated the shelter’s outdoor space restraints and fluid population of dogs which changes from day to day. Staff and volunteers worked the entire weekend learning how to run play groups, picking appropriate dogs for each play session, and discussing the challenges and successes that come with play groups. This was a great experience for staff, volunteers, and dogs at ACCT Philly – but extra special for one dog in particular! Macho, a handsome blue and white pit mix who suffers from allergies, caught Aimee Sadler’s eye due to his amazing behavior during play groups! At the end of the weekend lucky Macho got to leave ACCT Philly to travel to the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation to join their adoption program!