Penn Vet | Article
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Understanding Your Pet’s Emotions for a Better Life

By Hannah Kleckner Hall Published: Jun 7, 2019

[KENNETT SQUARE, PA] – With more than 100 million households nationwide owning cats or dogs, pets have become integral members of American families. But when “Fido” and “Fluffy” start to act in unusual, frustrating, or frightening manners, where can owners turn?

Join us for the Animal Lovers Lecture Series!On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Penn Vet’s Dr. Carlo Siracusa, Director of Penn Vet Ryan Hospital’s Companion Animal Behavior Medicine service, will share insights on his integrated approach to treating unsavory behavior to help owners offer a better life for their four-legged family members.

Our animal companions can face a full gamut of complex emotions, including anxiety, jealousy, compulsive behavior, and even depression. Pet parents, however, are frequently under-equipped to decipher the underlying emotions causing their furry friends’ unsavory actions.

Aggression, for example, is a behavior seen in nearly 90-percent of Siracusa’s patients. Often the outcropping of a physical pain or fear, it is repeatedly misinterpreted by owners as an attempt to “step out of line” and establish disobedience.

Other behaviors commonly treated at Penn Vet include destructive chewing of furniture and doors, obsessive behavior like tail chasing and ceaseless barking, eating fecal matter, and hypersensitivity to being left alone.

"There are a lot of misunderstandings about these behaviors in animals and why they express them," said Siracusa. “My job as an animal behaviorist is to understand the animal’s point of view and the mechanisms behind the behavior to create effective, personalized treatment plans that are safe for both the patient and their family.”

The lecture, which is a part of Penn Vet’s Animal Lovers Lecture Series, will be held from 6:30-7:30 pm at Penn Vet New Bolton Center's Alumni Hall, 382 W Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348. Free on-site parking is available.

Seating for the lecture is limited. To ensure a spot, please register online at



About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,300 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

Media Contacts

Martin Hackett
Director of Communications and Marketing

Hannah Kleckner Hall
Associate Director of Communications

John Donges
Communications Coordinator