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Sequoia Humane Society: Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

The monies that were granted for this project were spent on dog enrichment for our shelter dogs. We were able to establish a fight kit, should we need it, for group play in our outdoor field and enclosures. Windchimes have been purchased and installed in all of our outdoor kennels, and they seem to calm our dogs during the day while they enjoy fresh air, sunshine and exercise. And lastly, scent enrichment was purchased. We were able to buy and have been using oils and spices for our scent enrichment. Oils that were purchased are: vanilla, almond, coconut, banana, peppermint and eucalyptus extracts; spices are nutmeg, rosemary, parsley, cumin, cinnamon, and parsley; and lastly spray scents of ocean, lavender, cookie and Hawaiian mist.

This grant afforded us new opportunities to provide simple activities of enrichment for our shelter dogs. The scent enrichment allows the dogs to use their sense of smell and enhance their senses of smell through different scents throughout the week. The practice has been well-received by the dogs, both in the kennels as well as outdoor areas.

The fight kit was something that we have been needing to in order to engage in group play in our outdoor areas. Staff and volunteers have been trained on the proper use of break sticks, air horns, and blankets should the dogs involved in group play decide to not get along or the play gets too serious. Group play had not been used in our shelter previous to getting this gear so that all parties are safe with their interactions.

The windchimes tap into the dog's sense of hearing and is soothing to them outdoors in our enclosures. The sounds that resonate from them drown a little of the noise from the cars that pass which is wonderful for some of our more shy dogs learning to feel safe outdoors. It has been a very pleasant addition to our normal.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

This grant has helped several of our current dogs in-house. We have been able to engage in group play with several dogs, including Diesel (first and second photos), a large, full-grown doberman who took a liking to Vera (third photo), a cairn terrier mix; and Uno (fourth photo), a big Siberian husky-Pyrenees mix puppy. Having two of them out in the field playing together was fine, but adding the third to the mix created a little too much excitement and air horns stopped all activity so that the humans could return dogs to leashes and calm the situation.

Diesel was recently adopted.
Meet Vera here.
Meet Uno here.

Further Reading