Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant

Los Angeles Animal Services: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant funds were used to cover the tuition cost for Thomas Kalinowski to attend a Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program.

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

This grant helped Animal Services with the costs associated with sending a kennel supervisor to attend a Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program and begin a playgroup program within Animal Services. Thomas has been conducting playgroups at the East Valley Animal Services Center several times a week when he has the staff and volunteers to assist. This grant has allowed more than 100 dogs to get our of their kennels and be exercised and socialized. https://youtu.be/FEWyl_ecSvA

How many pets did this grant help?

over 100

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

Marsha, a Siberian husky, came to the East Valley Animal Services Center on Sept. 15, 2018, as a stray dog. She was initially very mouthy and, when she was with a group of dogs, she would become overwhelmed, tuck her tail and try to escape. Eventually the escape behavior turned to chase with other dogs in the playgroup as she gained confidence and she would at times become the chaser. Marsha was adopted and the information gathered on Marsha during playgroups was shared with her new family.

People for Pets: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to send one of our regular volunteers to the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship program in Longmont, Colorado.

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

She came back with a lot of new knowledge that has really improved our confidence and ability to have dogs socialize and meet one another in a much safer fashion than what was previously done here. We have happier dogs during their stay, as most are now able to interact with others for play and socialization! The shelter dogs would normally have been alone when let out, which was done for safety, but was not necessary in most cases. It also allows us to observe dogs with one another and be better able to inform potential adopters on how the dog plays and what types of dogs it will interact better with.

How many pets did this grant help?

Endless. We typically have 15-20 dogs in the shelter, but this training will continue to help all the dogs that come through the shelter.

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

Jazzy was a Lab mix who came to our shelter from a domestic-abuse situation, where she was apparently very protective of her female owner. This created some issues with Jazzy’s trust of humans and other dogs, as she came off as aggressive based on the anxiety she displayed behind her kennel door and also her demeanor when outside. After implementing the training skills we had learned through Dogs Playing for Life, we decided it was time for Jazzy to interact with another dog and she completely opened up. She played and ran and was much less tense around the handlers at the shelter. We think this definitely helped in the lead-up to her adoption, as we had a happier dog, and the adopter felt good about letting Jazzy meet her own dog. The meeting ultimately went wonderfully and Jazzy now has her forever home!

Routt County Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Dogs Playing for Life mentorship training

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

Since we have implemented playgroups in our shelter, this program has helped decrease stress and anxiety levels in our dogs. It has provided valuable insight into how dogs interact with one another, allowing staff to find better adoption placements. This helps us better inform people as to the dog’s natural play style so that adopters can be aware of it and don’t mistake play for aggression. Playgroups also allow us to better assess each animal’s dog/dog behavior.

How many pets did this grant help?

35 since August 1, 2018 — the start of the program

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

This program has significantly helped one of our long-term residents, Kirby. Kirby came to us as a transfer from a rural shelter. He was adopted out and returned a while later due to his reactivity towards vehicles. Kirby has been in training during his stay with us and we are pleased with his progress and the role playgroups have played in it. The ability to socialize and interact with other dogs has given him an outlet to decrease stress and satisfy his social needs. Kirby gets along with most dogs and enjoys active play sessions. We have utilized playgroups after training sessions to help him retain what he has just learned. We have noticed that this is particularly helpful in Kirby’s case. Staff have noticed that regular play sessions with different playmates has reduced Kirby’s stress and increased his focus during training sessions. Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41100493

Napa County Animal Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Mentorship for Aimee Sadler’s Dogs Playing for Life training program.

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

Our lead person for DPFL had been bit pretty seriously in the face. This frightened some of my other volunteers and they would not assist him with playgroups. Since he went to the mentorship, we had added two more volunteers to the playgroups. We are striving to promote the playgroups in our volunteer orientation and going out to gyms and other businesses to see if we can gain some more volunteers to assist with DPFL.

How many pets did this grant help?

90 dogs since July 2018

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

Cali came to us on a bite quarantine in the beginning of March 2018. The owners did not want her back. We evaluated her and placed her up for adoption. At first, she was not comfortable with other dogs. We have had her in playgroups with large dogs and now we have found that her true passion is to hang out with all the little dogs, young and old. She is very kind and gentle with them, with no reactivity at all. She is a great dog. Meet her: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41289509

Humane Educational Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to pay the tuition for a Dogs Playing for Life mentorship in Longmont, Colorado.

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

This grant helped by allowing me the opportunity to attend the mentorship and learn the protocols of the DPFL program, thus giving me the knowledge and tools to implement safe and effective playgroups for the dogs at our shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

Since starting the playgroups in July, we have had approximately 150 different dogs come out for our playgroups. Each week, more dogs are added to the list of those approved for playgroups, so the number continues to grow.

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

Zane was a dog who especially benefited from this grant. For a while, he was labeled as a dog who could not be out with other dogs. He was at our shelter for several months hoping to find a forever home. Once we introduced him to playgroups, however, we found that he was one of the most playful, social, and dog-friendly dogs ever. In fact, he became a Playgroup Rock Star and helper dog. Because we learned more about his true personality through playgroups, Zane was able to go on a transport to Wisconsin and was adopted within a week of being there.

Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship 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 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 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 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 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.