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PAWS Atlanta: Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

Our staff at PAWS Atlanta was so excited to receive this special grant. We know how important it is to provide the dogs at our shelter with regular enrichment. Besides exercise in our outdoor play areas, engaging toys are an important part of that enrichment time. With our grant we purchased Benebones, a variety of snuffle mats, puzzle toys, flirt poles, licking mats, and plastic balls to refill our ball pit.

When our items arrived, we immediately gave them to our dogs. It was wonderful to watch them enjoy their new toys. One pup, Cash, was a big fan of the snuffle mat, and Cora and Daisy were excited about the new balls in our ball pit. Our Benebones also provide enrichment to pups in our medical area, which helps reduce their anxiety and promotes mental stimulation while they recover.

As with our own dogs at home, it has been a delight to see them have so much fun with these new toys. We are thankful to the Petfinder Foundation for this wonderful gift that will provide enrichment to the dogs in our care for years to come.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Our shelter manager’s office dog, Cash Money (first and second photos), loves the new toys! He’s a big fan of the snuffle mat, carrot puzzle toy, and lick mat. She said the toys keep him entertained for hours while she works, and she frequently has to pack the carrots back in the puzzle toy because he’s ready to play again. It warms our hearts to see him enjoying these special toys so much.

Cash Money is a Jack Russell terrier/mixed breed, and at 7 years old, he has been at PAWS for most of his life — over five years — except for a brief one-month break in an adoptive home. Cash is one of our longtime front-office dogs, and he’s also a bit of a self-appointed supervisor, giving us feedback on when we’re talking too loudly or coming up short on our treat-feeding duties (and now making sure his carrots get back in his puzzle toy!).

Cash lives for the short, sweet breaks from shelter life: riding in the backseat of the car, going through the DQ drive-through for a cup of whipped cream, sitting on a bench in a park together, feeling the sun and the breeze on his face. Those trips, and the one-on-one time he gets with his favorite humans on the PAWS Atlanta team, are the thread of happiness in Cash’s life that keep him going.

But we know it’s hard for him to see us say good night and head home at the end of the day, while his “home” is the shelter. He is a little man with a brash, sometimes rough exterior. But inside, Cash is just a little boy dying to be loved. He has friends, but he wants his own people, his own home. The real deal. The kind of love and acceptance we all crave.

Laura, our shelter manager, is Cash’s buddy. She writes, “Cash is smart and treat-motivated. He’s my guardian and he takes his job too seriously, but he will let me do most anything with him because we’ve established a lot of mutual trust, respect, and love. He is such a cuddle bug and is very affectionate. He loves plush toys and is a master of interactive toys and doggie IQ tests” — which makes the new Petfinder Foundation enrichment toys a wonderful gift to our organization.

You can meet Cash here.

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