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Freedom Service Dogs of America: KONG Toys Grant Report

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

The Kong toy grant was used to replace our old, chewed-up Kong toys, which are given to our dogs each evening. We fill the Kongs with peanut butter and kibble, freeze them, and then distribute to each dog before they go to bed for the night.

We have found that by giving a long-lasting, high-value treat, we can increase positive associations with each dog's kennel. It becomes an enjoyable place to go because the dogs know that they will be receiving a treat when they lie down.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have between 30 and 40 dogs at our facility and each dog gets a Kong at night.

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

One of our more timid pups, Pemmy, had a rough time adjusting to the kennels. After some volunteer enrichment in her kennel and a few extra Kong treats, she was much more willing to lie down on her bed. She had been standing at the door and looking out, which was worrying staff, so once she began to associate her kennel (and Kong treats) with a positive experience, she was able to relax. She was adopted shortly after and went home with an extra frozen Kong treat to help ease her transition into her new life.

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