Skip to content

Humane Society of Northeast Georgia: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

This grant provided further training for our staff members to implement “every dog, every day” in playgroups, including “trickier” or more selective dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

This grant opportunity provided HSNEGA with better knowledge and resources to help dogs like Sapphire (first three photos), who was previously labeled as “not good with other dogs,” but who participated in playgroups every day, absolutely loving it.

Sapphire was an intake Humane Society of Northeast Georgia received from a county animal-control facility that had no knowledge of her history or temperament or any background information on her.

However, HSNEGA staff did quickly realize that she was dog-reactive to the extreme. Any time she was walked by another dog she began to bark and snarl and became hard to control. Her reactivity and aggression towards other dogs led staff to believe that she would probably never be able to live in a home with other animals.

This was very unfortunate news, as having to be the only pet in the household not only reduced Sapphire’s likelihood of being adopted by over 70%, it also meant a life with no outlet to express normal dog behavior through dog-to-dog socialization and playtime.

Because of this, HSNEGA staff made it a goal to introduce Sapphire to playgroups as soon as possible. At first, it was challenging, but staff tried to remain optimistic, trying new tactics. The behavioral staff continued to pair her with different dogs in hopes that they could find a match for her — and they did!

It was then realized that Sapphire was only comfortable with smaller, younger dogs at this point, and playgroups quickly became her favorite part of the day.

Over time, a wide variety of dogs were introduced into Sapphire’s playgroups. She became more comfortable and did absolutely amazing. Sapphire could finally go out with all different kinds of dogs and became less reactive towards them. Most importantly, she developed a higher likelihood of adoption, proving she no longer had to be the only pet in the home.

This fantastic outcome would not have been possible without the wonderful training from DPFL. Sapphire passed behavior training to become more adoptable and was adopted Oct. 22, 2022.

Further Reading