Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant

Second Chance Pet Rescue: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship 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 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 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 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 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.

Humane Society of Harris County: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Tuition for DPFL mentorship

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

The mentorship gave myself and another staffer the skills and confidence to begin the evaluation process of our dogs and to start playgroups on a regular basis for the first time. In addition, it offered us the ability to create volunteer training specifically for playgroups that will help us reach our ultimate goal of “every dog, every day.” Unexpectedly, our time at Austin Pets Alive! also exposed us to their procedures and protocols, which, we discovered, offered excellent solutions to some of the shortfalls we felt existed in our facility.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have approximately 22 dogs at the Adoption Center at any one time. With only a few exceptions, we have gotten most of these dogs into a playgroup of some size. In addition, we have brought a few dogs from Animal Control over for evaluation.

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

White Walker is a pit-bull mix who had been at our facility for nearly six months. On leash, he presented as dog-reactive. He also had become more and more kennel-protective the longer he stayed with us. White Walker was one of the first “challenge” dogs we introduced to the playgroups on our return from APA. We discovered a playful and balanced dog with a mild selectivity to some male dogs. His intimidating kennel behavior also diminished after getting into playgroups. White Walker was adopted within four weeks of starting playgroups, and his adopter reported just two days ago that he is doing wonderfully at his new home.

Blue Mountain Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

A mentorship with Dog Playing for Life in Austin, TX, hosted by Austin Pets Alive!

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

The mentorship was to guide me to learn the Dog Playing for Life guidelines and playgroups. This has allowed me to come back to my shelter and implement playgroups almost daily. I came back and taught more staff members how to run playgroups so they can continue when I am unable to run a playgroup. Some staff members were here when DPFL came to our shelter, but many of us were not. Going to this mentorship helped me understand how a playgroup runs and how it benefits the dogs in the shelter. It has helped with adoptions as well. We have learned more about the dogs and helped them find homes with that knowledge.

How many pets did this grant help?

This will help at least 1,000 dogs as we continue through the year

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

Buddy was a pit bull who came to us as a stray. Pit bulls can be harder to place, as they are pretty common in most shelters. Buddy held out his stray period, was neutered, and then moved to the adoption floor. After healing from his surgery, he was able to be in a playgroup. He did great! After just two playgroups, a gentleman was watching the playgroup and decided Buddy was the dog for him. He adopted him! It was all thanks to the playgroup. The adopter had no dogs at home, and wasn’t even looking for a dog when he came by the dog park that day. The playgroup got his attention and Buddy found a home. It was a good day!

Corridor Rescue, Inc.: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We sent two kennel employees to the three-day Dogs Playing for Life mentorship session at Austin Pets Alive! to learn how to integrate our rescue dogs into playgroups safely.

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

We currently have a kennel facility that houses up to 30 dogs. Most of the dogs in our care at the kennel were not in foster homes due to either unknown or known restrictions with other dogs. They had outside time, but were unsocialized with other dogs. This grant allowed our two staff members to begin integrating rescued street dogs who were once thought to be “dog aggressive” into playgroups ranging from two to eight dogs. This has not only allowed us to reevaluate our dogs’ ability to be adopted into a home with other dogs, but has also increased each dog’s time spent outside his or her private kennel. We have seen destructive behaviors diminish as well as the dogs’ overall temperament improve! These playgroups have allowed us to better present our dogs to potential adopters and adopt out into multi-dog households dogs who before would have been labeled “only-dog.”

How many pets did this grant help?

30-60 currently, but it will continue to help every dog we rescue going forward.

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

The most dramatic story is about Bo and Gypsy. Bo (the brown-and-white dog in the photos) is actually our rescue mascot. He is the dog on our logo. He was a solitary male out on the streets for over three years before he was rescued. We’d had two encounters with him going after another dog on a lead, so we had deemed him “dog-aggressive.” Gypsy (the black dog in the photos) was in a foster home initially and we were told by that foster when she returned to the kennel that she too was dog-aggressive. With the tools gained at the DPFL mentorship session, our two staff members slowly introduced Bo and Gypsy. To everyone’s delight, the pair hit it off very well and are now rowdy playmates. Both are still looking for their forever homes.
Meet Gypsy: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40619435
Meet Bo: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37029153

Panhandle Animal Shelter: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 grant was used to pay the tuition for the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program held Dec. 5-8, 2017, in Austin, TX, at the Austin Pets Alive! facility.

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

The grant made it possible for me to attend the mentorship training. The training gave me hands-on experience in running playgroups from highly experienced trainers.

How many pets did this grant help?

We currently have 20 dogs available for adoption at our shelter. The training the grant provided will help these dogs and future dogs coming into our facility.

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

J.J. is 1-year-old hound mix (first and second photos) who has been with us since Nov. 10, 2017. By mid-December, his behavior started to change to where he tugged and pulled on walks and barked at anything and everything in his kennel and outside. When he was first introduced to playgroup, he’d nip at and grab at the other dogs in the group and they’d respond by correcting his behavior. The training taught me to let that happen. Lots of teeth, lots of noise, then lots of play. Staff and volunteers have commented on his behavior improvement in and out of his kennel. He is becoming a much more adoptable dog because of participation in playgroup. Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39960634

West Feliciana Animal Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Mentorship with Dogs Playing for Life.

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

Training to have our dogs playing together in the play yard. Meeting potential adopters or fosters in the play yard with other dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

39

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

Meet Louise, a whippet mix with lots of energy. At first, we thought Louise might be deaf. She did not have interest in anyone or respond to anyone. Once she was introduced to other dogs in the play yard, she changed into a playful young pup. Her personality was lovely. Louise found her forever home in another state and was transported with a rescue group.