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Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS): Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

Grant proceeds were used for the tuition cost to send Eric, our animal care-technician/trainer, to the Longmont Humane Society's Dogs Playing for Life mentorship program on Sept. 18, 2017.

This training opportunity via the DPFL mentorship program has enabled us to implement additional opportunities for our guests to interact. We typically care for high-energy and bully breeds due to our location, and having the skills to provide additional enrichment to increase their chances of adoption is priceless. Due to our elevation, we have limited volunteers who come to walk our guests during the winter months, and having the skills to run a playgroup to ensure that our dogs have the opportunity for enrichment and exercise will be beneficial.

How many pets did this grant help?

Eight so far!

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

Jade (first photo) is a 2-year-old female pit bull terrier who loves people and male dogs. She is not a fan of cats or female dogs. Playgroup has allowed her to interact with male dogs, and she will be progressing to introduction to females in a controlled setting. Jade is still available. Meet her:

Cheddar (second photo) is a 10-year-old male shepherd mix who was seized by Animal Control due to his owner’s failure to provide a safe and healthy living environment. The owner was offered humane-education opportunities and declined. Due to his past living environment, Cheddar needs additional socialization and proper interaction skills with other dogs. He still has a lot of energy for his age, and playgroup has been a positive step in increasing his adoption potential. Cheddar is still available. Meet him:

Gavin (third photo) is a 2-year-old male shepherd mix who has a lot of energy and separation-anxiety issues. Playgroup offers him the physical and mental enrichment that allows him to relax in his kennel for the night. He has been adopted.

Bubba (fourth photo) is a 1-year-old boxer/retriever mix who came to us via a rescue in Alabama. This organization rescues dogs who are left at abandoned textile mills. Because he came from a feral environment with more than 216 dogs, we knew that Bubba would need additional socialization. He becomes immediately attached to whomever he perceives as his person and feels he needs to protect them. Eric (the animal care technician who attended the mentorship program) is introducing him to playgroup to allow him the opportunity to learn from others that leaving your person to play is okay and safe. We will continue to work with his attachment and protective tendencies and hope to find him a loving home. He is currently in active heartworm treatment, so his playgroup activity is brief.

Chopper (fifth photo) is a 3-year-old male soft-coat wheaten terrier mix who arrived at TCRAS as a transfer and was immediately adopted. His was relinquished back to us several months later as the family did not have the time to devote to his enrichment. Playgroup was a little intimidating for him at first and we introduced him to only one other dog, Jade, to begin and he has really enjoyed the enrichment.

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