Athenspets, Inc.: KONG Toy Grant
The Kongs are used as mental enrichment for the dogs at Athens-Clarke County Animal Control (ACCAC).
Through publicity, relationships with rescue organizations, and funding for medical and spay/neuter programs, Athenspets has reduced the euthanasia rate of dogs at ACCAC significantly in the past two years, but keeping the dogs mentally stable and engaged while at the shelter has increasingly become a problem as stay times have increased. The Kongs provided by the Petfinder Foundation provide the needed stimulation for the dogs by acting as a "puzzle" from which they need to extract moist food or peanut butter and a toy with an irregular shape which they must learn to control.
At least the 36 who were at the shelter when the Kongs arrived, but they will continue to help newly impounded dogs, so the final number will be many times that.
A few of the dogs helped have been Didi, who has since been rescued; June (www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38595940); and Beauty (www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38749886). From June's Petfinder profile: "Mama June is still carrying milk. Hopefully, her puppies are safe, and she can put her puppy days behind her. It’s time for June to enjoy her youth -- she’s only a year old herself! She was happy to leave her kennel and have some time for attention and treats. I tossed a ball for her, and she watched it roll and looked at me with an expression that said, 'You’ve got to be kidding!' She’s still carrying quite a load of milk, but that will change and June will return to her pre-puppy figure. She’s actually a petite girl. June wasn’t too sure about dogs in the adjoining interaction pen and wasn’t comfortable with those who were boisterous, but she was better with those who were calm. One thing is for sure: June likes being with people and is happy for any love you give her!"