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Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

The money from this grant was applied to the cost of tuition for a staff member from the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA to attend a mentorship program through Dogs Playing for Life at the Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, CO.

The grant helped our organization and the pets in our care by teaching valuable enrichment and training techniques at a well-respected organization. Customizing that knowledge for our facility's needs by training our staff and volunteers helps to provide better, more consistent enrichment and training for the dogs in our care. By providing enrichment through well-managed playgroups and giving the dogs in our care basic training, we are able to meet their social and mental needs, which makes their time at our shelter until they are adopted more enjoyable and less stressful for them. Additionally, through playgroups and training, we are able to learn more about each dog's personality, which helps our adoptions staff communicate to potential adopters a dog's needs in order to match dogs with a suitable, long lasting home.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 40-50 dogs per week are eligible to participate in playgroups.

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

Tweedle and Reno are two dogs who have greatly benefited from the enrichment provided by playgroups. Tweedle (first and second photos) is 3.5-year-old bully-breed mix who was transferred to AAWL from a rural shelter in southwest Arizona. He had been returned twice through no fault of his own. This high-energy, goofy boy is a rock star in playgroups and it’s always the highlight of his day to frolic with his friends. Tweedle knows sit, lie down, and shake, and is learning door manners. Without playgroups and training, Tweedle would probably suffer from breaking down due to kennel stress. Meet him:

Reno (third photo and with Tweedle in the fourth photo) is a 2-year-old border collie mix who was transferred to AAWL after coming out of a hoarding situation in Nevada. Reno had had nearly no socialization with people and would panic and chew through leashes. After we gave him time to settle into the shelter environment, Reno learned to walk on a leash and quickly became a favorite dog to bring to playgroups. Being in playgroups has helped shelter staff identify a people-friendly dog to kennel with Reno, which has helped continue his socialization. Meet him:

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