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Pet Behavior Help Line

FOMCA's Pet Behavior Counselor, Pia Cash, has been helping homeless animals for almost ten years.

Starting out fostering dogs as a hobby after her days working as a middle school teacher, it wasn't long before she was working in an animal shelter full time and helping create new animal behavior support programs. 

These programs not only benefited the animals in the shelter, they also offered support to all pet owners in the the community and newly adopted shelter dogs and cats.

Counseling the public on pet behavior problems through the behavior helpline was something that stood out to her as a very easy and effective way for pet owners to get the help they needed.

Pia noticed a need for a similar program in Madison County and has joined forces with FOMCA to provide Friends of Madison County's Pet Behavior Helpline, a free service to residents of Madison County.

"My dog barks constantly when we leave him in the yard!", "How can I stop our new kitten from scratching and biting when we play with her?" and "My puppy chews on everything but the toys I bought for him!" are just a few of the common complaints heard on the behavior helpline. We encourage people to call with any questions about their animals behavior, even if they are not experiencing a problem but are wondering how to manage a new situation for their pet, such as moving into a new home or introducing their cat to a newly adopted dog.

Pet owners can call the helpline at any time and leave a message. Their call will be returned within 48 hours, Monday through Friday. Some behaviors cannot be safely addressed over the phone, and in those cases we will recommend partnering with an area dog training professional.

For pet owners who are interested in learning how to train their dog to be a well mannered companion and strengthen their relationship with their pet FOMCA is also offering a four week dog training class starting July 19th. The cost to attend is only $25 for four classes. These classes will be taught by Cindy Waselesk of Good Dog Better Dog and will be located at the Marshall library.

Examples of Behaviors the Pet Behavior Helpline can help with:

  • Barking and excessive vocalization
  • Aggression towards Animals/Prey Drive
  • Chasing
  • Destructive Scratching
  • Destruction
  • Litterbox Issues 
  • Digging
  • Introductions and Multiple Animal/Species 
  • Households
  • Fearful Behavior 
  • Inappropriate Eliminiation/House training
  • Territorial / Guarding 
  • Escaping
  • Pets and Kids 
  • Tunderstorm Phopia




  • Improve the quality of life of companion animals through education on pet ownership and common behavior issues.
  • Support and strengthen the bond between pets and their owners, with the goal of keeping companion animals in homes that have the knowledge and ability to meet their basic needs. 
  • Continue to improve the pet retention rate in Madison County, and provide an alternative to surrendering or rehoming an animal.
  • Raise awareness of FOMCA and its mission.

To Contact Pia – please call 828-649-9798 and press 1 to leave a message for the Pet Behavior Helpline.