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A Professional Toolkit for Working With LGBTQ+ Clients

Being successful in animal training, sheltering, and behavior work requires much more than great training skills. Understanding the humans you work with as clients and colleagues is a vital part of setting yourself, the people around you, and your animal learners up to thrive. This toolkit is designed to help you do that.
People in the LGBTQ+ community have been, and still are, subject to systemic and individual marginalization, trauma, and violence. As a result, many people are constantly experiencing fear and hurt throughout their daily lives. As we know, persistent distress is not healthy for human or other-than-human animals! Whether or not you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you can make an overt effort to create spaces where shared joy, not anxiety, is the expectation. Being an ethical professional and IAABC member requires you to understand your obligations as a consultant, employer, employee, or colleague.
To prepare this toolkit, we surveyed LGBTQ+ IAABC members. We also undertook research into international and US-based LGBTQ+ rights organizations’ descriptions of best practices and current terminologies.
It is designed to give all IAABC members a better understanding of how to work with LGBTQ+ individuals. Becoming more explicitly inclusive gives you opportunities to connect with new people in deeper ways, which ultimately helps you develop your client base, your personnel, and yourself.

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This toolkit is provided with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. This means that users of the toolkit may share the toolkit under the following conditions:

  • Users must attribute the original creator (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
  • Users cannot change it in any way
  • Users cannot use it commercially