To "enrich" is to:
supply an abundance of anything that is desirable
add greater significance or value
adorn or decorate
make finer in quality (as in quality of life)
Animal enrichment is the process of providing animals, in particular captive animals, things they desire, to provide activities that add value to their lives; to encourage natural behaviors, to encourage them to use their physical abilities and skills; and/or to adorn or enhance their living space with things that stimulate the use of their senses (touch, sight, smell, or sound).
Animal enrichment can be anything that encourages an animal to stalk, browse, explore, and/or manipulate in order to touch, tear, smell, explore, hear, taste, respond, eat, drink, etc. Enrichment can be something that changes in their environment from one day to the next. Enrichment can be simple, like stopping by and speaking to an animal, or complex, like re-propping an entire living space.
We encourage all who care about the quality of life for captive animals to engage in providing and encouraging animal enrichment - for pets at home and animals in captivity everywhere!
We can use a variety of items, including newspapers, paper bags, and other common items to make enrichment at the sanctuary. Check out our list of suggestions to collect and donate to help enrich the lives of our residents!