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Humane Society of Independence County: Shelter+ Challenge Grant Report

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

We are using the money to build agility equipment for each of our dog exercise yards. The cash went towards/continues to go towards the materials; all labor has been volunteer/donated. The first one (prototype) was completed in early summer, the second is under construction and we expect the other 3 will be completed this fall as funds become available.

The first piece of equipment went into an exercise yard that had very little shade and lots of active dogs. The equipment not only provided a shady area for the dogs to relax in, but also a means for confidence building and training. The dogs and volunteers use the ramp/platform and steps to get the dogs use to different challenges, teaches them simple things like going up and down stairs/ramps, and ultimately makes them much more adoptable. The dogs that use the exercise yard with the first piece of equipment have enjoyed it so much, and learned so much, that we are excited to have the second one completed and installed within the next couple of weeks.

How many pets did this grant help?

Estimate that at least 50 dogs have benefited from the challenge, the training and the volunteer interaction. Many of our shy, scared and withdrawn dogs became much more social when they were able to work with our volunteers and staff on the equipment.

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

Harlem and Harlequin were born in the wild, and we had to trap them just to get them off the streets. They had never been in contact with humans (other than probably being yelled at to get away and other things we can only imagine) and were the most withdrawn and unsocial teenage pups we had ever seen. Volunteers and staff worked daily to get them to the point where we could handle them. About the same time, the agility equipment was installed, and both dogs became very curious, allowing people to work with them using collar/leash. Within days they were walking up the ramp and down the stairs. Harlequin has subsequently been adopted (but is currently back at our shelter until the family can complete their fence–Harlequin was escaping). Harlem is doing great and we know it is just a matter of time before he finds his home as well!

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