This is the Animal Rehabilitation Initiative’s (ARI) website and blog. We are an organisation using our interest in and knowledge of Animal Behaviour (ethology) and Behavioural Ecology to help address the unique social and humanitarian problems both posed by and facing free-ranging domestic-class animals in South Africa.

The current model employed by most of the Animal Rescue and Protection agencies in South Africa has been imported almost unmodified from Europe and the USA. These developed countries have a very specific set of circumstances that are in many ways very different to those faced in a developing country such as ours, especially considering that most street animals in this country are not strayed pets.

Through this website we will offer discussion, information (and advice where appropriate) that we hope you will find useful and possibly even challenging, as well as providing a vehicle to facilitate some constructive dialogue between the many people in this country who are passionate about this subject. So we encourage readers to use the comment section attached to each posting, and moderation will be kept at a minimum as long as contributions remain respectful and pertinent. Any abusive, potentially libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.



Current Bloggers:



Mike Wood DipCABT CABP.


Mike is currently Chair of the Animal Rehabilitation Initiative (ARI), and was one of the co-founders of this not-for-profit company. He is an Animal Behaviour Practitioner with over 13 years of experience in animal training and behaviour, has a certificate in Basic Companion Animal Behaviour from the Ethology Consultancy (now Ethology Academy) in Pretoria, tutored by Professor Johannes Odendaal and accredited by the then Pretoria Technikon (now Tshwane University of Technology).

He also holds an Advanced Diploma in the Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training from the Centre Of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE-UK), independently accredited by the Open College Network in the UK, and recently by the South African Veterinary Council. Mike was the first member of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers (CAPBT) in South Africa, and is a current member of the CAPBT-SA. In 2006 he was accorded Practitioner level membership of the CAPBT, also the first in the country.

As co-owner of the now defunct Cape Animal Behaviour Centre cc and Chair of ARI, as well as in his consulting work, Mike also introduced a number of innovative concepts to the field of Animal Behaviour Counselling in South Africa and offered additional education and training to a number of behavioural interns and trainers. A number of prominent Animal Behaviourists currently operating in South Africa came through the Centre and/or were members of ARI, and were beneficiaries of these resources.

Due in part to ongoing health issues, at the end of 2010 Mike elected to stop consulting with the public and concentrate instead on studying, writing and blogging. This is the first of these blogs, and the only one dealing with Animal Behaviour.