Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only)

Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant funded one volunteer to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Since training an additional person to help lead our playgroups, we are able to run more playgroup sessions than before. This means that more dogs get to participate and each dog participates more times per week than before.

How many pets did this grant help?

100+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Bosco was a long-term resident at our shelter. This beautiful dog was a total love bug; he just didn’t show well. He was a black, squared-headed boy with scars all over his body — not the first choice for someone. In playgroups, however, he was the star of the show. He loved to run and play with his doggy friends, and his goofy, affectionate, and playful personality was bigger than any of his scars. Bosco is adopted now and we hope having the time of his life!

Conway Area Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To attend a Dogs Playing For Life Mentorship training session

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It has helped us conduct playgroups with dogs to increase social skills and facilitate behavior modification.

How many pets did this grant help?

50

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Sierra (first photo) is a dog who had been at the shelter for several months prior to my attendance at the mentorship training session. After returning, I was able to use the skills I had learned to work with her reactivity and aggression toward other dogs. Slowly, we were able to progress from high arousal and reactivity just at the sight of other dogs to her being able to be off-muzzle and off-leash with select dogs in playgroup. One week after reaching this milestone, she was adopted!

Wilson County Animal Control: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Tuition for me to attend DPFL mentorship training May 21 through May 24, 2018 at Longmont Humane Society.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The DPFL mentorship was wonderful: I learned how to read the dogs, and how to put them together to play and have fun together. Socializing the dogs has also helped us to get more of them adopted. It is also a wonderful feeling to work with my employees and teach them what I learned and then see them with the dogs and everyone is so happy, playing and laughing.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have adopted out or sent to rescue several dogs since implementing DPFL who otherwise would have been overlooked or euthanized. I want to add that we have euthanized only three dogs since attending DPFL; two were injured and one was vicious. This was in June and July 2018. In April and May 2018, we euthanized 29. So this is an amazing turnaround for us.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Willow is an Australian shepherd-type who was picked up as a stray; she was unruly, jumped on you and was prey-driven with the smaller dogs and the cats, but she loved playing with the bigger dogs. With what I learned at the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship, my staff and I were able to work with Willow daily, and she progressed beautifully. No jumping, no leash-pulling; she learned how to heel and sit and she also learned that the smaller dogs were just as much fun to play with as the bigger ones. Willow just wanted to please you, and of course wanted all the love and attention you were willing to give her.

Several months ago, we had a young gentleman looking for an Aussie type; we would call him every time we got an Aussie in, but they were like Willow: jumpy and unruly and did not like small dogs or cats. When we called Cory about Willow he said, “No, I don’t think so,” but I said, “Please just come and meet her. I know in my heart she is the one for you.”

Cory came in and YES! They just fell in love with each other, and now they are inseparable. Willow goes everywhere with Cory, and gets along beautifully with Cory’s wife’s little dachshund, Lacy.

Thank you, Petfinder Foundation and DPFL, for helping me so I could help them.

Red Desert Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

$1,000 grant to attend the Dogs Playing for Life training in Longmont, Colorado, in May of 2018

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It was extremely useful to gain insight into behavior types and play styles of the animals. It has assisted us at the shelter to recognize behavior, and compose playgroups accordingly. Learning how to transition the dogs out of cages was very helpful as well. The training gave me more information on training volunteers to assist with playgroups.

How many pets did this grant help?

It has helped every dog in the shelter currently, and all those coming to us in the future! The training will be useful for years to come, and will benefit all our babies!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Samson (first photo) is learning his manners and not rushing in and out of his cage when we transition him. He is getting better with his eye contact and learning to behave on his leash. He’s learning to play with other dogs out in the yard. He is a great big boy who is difficult to handle if you don’t have the proper training. We are grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for the DPFL grant! Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41707414

Another dog who benefited from my training at DPFL was Sabbath (second photo). Sabbath didn’t do well with other dogs. So after training, and watching his style of play and interaction, we were able to discern the type and size of dog that Sabbath could play with. Sabbath was adopted into a family with smaller dogs whom he is able to get along with.

Humane Society of Southeast Missouri: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To send someone to learn to conduct dog playgroups

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We sent a staff member to DPFL mentorship.

How many pets did this grant help?

Hundreds

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Kayla is a shy gal who, in playgroup, is learning to do better with people and pets.

Second Chance Pet Rescue: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We were awarded a Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program Grant in the amount of $1,000. We used it to cover our attendance fee for the mentorship at Austin Pets Alive! from Feb. 27-March 2, 2018.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The grant gave us access to the training and experience we needed to build bigger and better playgroups for Corning’s shelter dogs. We now have the tools and skills to safely increase the duration, size and frequency of our playgroups; the confidence to recruit and train other playgroup volunteers; and most importantly, the skills to socialize our more selective dogs. We also now have a catch pen and a more secure yard for the dogs to play in.

How many pets did this grant help?

42 dogs have benefited from our playgroup training since March 3.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Sampson was brought into the Corning Animal Shelter as a stray over two and a half years ago. He is a quiet, gentle, slow-moving guy, but because of his size, appearance, and his description, which says he must be the only pet in the home, Sampson has had very little interest from prospective adopters. Hopefully that will change soon, because for the first time in over two years, he is now getting the chance to socialize with other dogs. We are taking it nice and slow, but so far, so good. Here are a few pictures of his first time romping around with another dog. For more info on Sampson, please visit http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38752037

MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant was used to send Shelter Manager Christa Brown to the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship from May 21-24 at Longmont Humane Society.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant trained our shelter manager in how to conduct large dog playgroups safely. This grant will allow MCPAWS to conduct large dog playgroups and provide more enrichment for the dogs in our care. Our shelter manager is training volunteers and staff members with the valuable information she learned during her mentorship.

How many pets did this grant help?

Nearly 300 dogs each year who come through our doors!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Before the mentorship at Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), Niko had no friends and was very dog-reactive. We were very concerned his dog reactivity was not going to go away. After DPFL and with the tools that Christa learned and was able to implement, Niko now has a play friend and his dog reactivity has been reduced! We are beyond excited for Niko and so thankful for this opportunity. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation! Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40531857

Ozarks Kat and K9 Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Money was used to send Debbie Cook to training in Austin. She attended a four-day class with Dogs Playing for Life.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Debbie received and passed on much-needed additional knowledge on group size and make-up, as well as general guidelines for dog playgroups.

How many pets did this grant help?

Short-term, 28. Long-term, undetermined

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Fernando was a sad story. He was surrendered to us because the family lived in a very cold area in South Dakota and their vet said Fernando’s feet had been injured to the point that he could no longer be in that severe winter environment. Fernando just couldn’t understand why his family had left him. His behavior changed for the worse. We introduced him to playgroups. Initially, he didn’t interact with or want to be a part of the group, but we did not give up. On his fourth day, the light switch came on and he started to pick friends and even become somewhat of a play leader with the other dogs. His previous family had such high hopes for him, even writing a letter to his future new family members. Finally, the day we’d all hoped for happened and the perfect family came along looking for big playful house dog! Fernando had struck gold!

Texas Humane Heroes: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant award was used to send our team member, Taylor, to the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program at Austin Pets Alive! in April.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped our adoption team gain confidence in its ability to safely conduct playgroups, greatly benefiting our adoptable dogs. Taylor learned a great deal about dog behavior, play styles and confidently running playgroups. She enjoyed seeing many dogs relax and show their personalities by being around other dogs. Taylor and the group worked on fancy footwork as well as dog assessments. One of the most important pieces of knowledge for her was to learn not to micromanage the different ways that dogs communicate with each other.

How many pets did this grant help?

Texas Humane Heroes adopts about 1,500 to 1,800 dogs per year (1,000 of them are adults), and the goal is to help them all. Taylor has already begun implementing more playgroups in smaller numbers, and she’s working on growing daily.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Blue (first photo) and Bob are two dogs whom Taylor recently paired together in a playgroup. Bob is a young pup whose sister was adopted, leaving him lonely and scared. Taylor paired him with Blue in a playgroup to open up his personality, but also to teach him good manners. A few days after Taylor started working with these two great dogs, Bob found his home (second photo)! Blue is still patiently waiting and being paired with different dogs to help them through their time in the shelter environment. Meet Blue: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41343769

Paws Ranch Rescue & Animal Sanctuary: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Tuition for DPFL Mentorship at Austin Pets Alive! from April 10-13, 2018

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We learned valuable skills and now run daily playgroups. Each dog gets out of their kennel every day and engaged with other dogs. This is very beneficial, both physically and socially.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far this grant has helped all 30 of the pets currently at our shelter.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Star came to our rescue as a 12-week-old pup. She was passed over initially due to the high number of purebred Lab puppies we had available at the time. While staying at the shelter for six months, her social skills suffered and she became barrier-reactive. While we were still at the mentorship, we began to asses Star for playgroup. Once back in San Antonio, we let her play with other dogs her size and energy level. A few days later, a couple came to see Star. They were so impressed with her social skills that they adopted her right away. She is very happy at her new home, actively engaging in appropriate play.