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Naperville Area Humane Society: Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

The grant funds were used to purchase a variety of enrichment items for our shelter dogs. One of the newest forms of enrichment that we as a shelter are doing is canine nose-work. We have wonderful volunteers, one of whom is a trainer at a nearby facility, who have donated time teaching nose-work seminars. We had the knowledge of the sport, but we were lacking the supplies to really utilize the sport in the shelter.

This grant allowed us to purchase nose-work kits and supplies so that we are now able to have shelter dogs participate in the nose-work sport. We also used some of the funding towards our new ball pits that we have in our outdoor play areas. All dogs seem to jump on board with this new enrichment area. Even the more reserved dogs all let their curiosity get the best of them and they spend copious amounts of time investigating the ball pit. A well-worth investment for the dogs -- so thanks again!

Another major addition to our dog enrichment calendar included the purchase of fleece and rubber mats for snuffle mats. The material used to create these mats was purchased and then the children in our humane-education classes assemble the mats and hand them out to the shelter dogs. It is a wonderful project, and really gives the children a sense of fulfillment to see the joy the mats bring to the dogs. Lastly, the funding went to puzzle games and dog treats that are used daily and integrated in all the enrichment plans from the grant request.

This grant allowed our staff, volunteers, and humane-education students all to participate together to better the quality of life for our shelter dogs. We are so very fortunate to have had this grant awarded to our shelter, as it allowed us to improve daily enrichment for the shelter dogs. We work off a daily enrichment calendar that is updated regularly and provides the dogs with a variety of mental and physical stimulation. This was all made possible because of the Orvis Animal Care Grant; the funding has allowed us to improve our enrichment that we provide to the dogs. Everything purchased through this grant can be used multiple times and will continue to provide enrichment for shelter dogs for years to come.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant will help about 300 dogs/year and about 25 dogs/month.

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

This grant helped one of our longer-term residents, Jillian, who I am happy to report has been adopted. Jillian was beginning to experience kennel frustration, so it was imperative that our animal-care staff provided her with daily enrichment. In addition to walks and daily playtime, Jillian would eat each meal out of a puzzle. The puzzles were purchased with this funding as well, and continuous to help our dogs who are too smart for their own good. Jillian also loved snuffle-mat and nose-work time, two puzzle-like games that worked her brain. She also was a regular participant in the ball pit as well as a year-round Easter-egg hunt champion. We would hide plastic eggs filled with treats around the outdoor area that she would seek out and pop open. It was because of this regular enrichment that Jillian was able to remain here with a sense of stability until she found her forever home.

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