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Humane Society of Southern Illinois: Dog Field Trip/Short-Term Fostering Grant Report

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

We purchased the following supplies for the hiking program and other outings:
- 14 harnesses (six "Adopt Me" and eight "Easy Walk")
- 14 "Adopt Me" leashes
- 10 slip leads

On top of all that, Friendly Dog Collars Worldwide, the company we purchased the "Adopt Me" items from, sent along an additional two "Adopt Me" leashes and three "Adopt Me" collars!

This grant helps our shelter by providing us with quality harnesses and leashes that not only ensure the safety of the dogs (and volunteers), but also boldly advertise their adoptability.

How many pets did this grant help?

We currently take out about five dogs/month and the items we purchased with this grant are helping keep the dogs safe (the slip leads have lowered our anxiety a lot!) and letting the community know that they are ready for their new homes. And we can now safely take out as many dogs as we have hikers! We have, at any given time, 10-12 dogs in our adoption program; the hiking program is growing and we hope to be able to soon be hiking with ALL of those dogs.

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

The dog who immediately comes to mind is Alfie. He’s a young yellow Lab with lots of energy and no sense of personal space. He is extremely excited in his kennel, a real handful on a leash, and generally just a LOT of dog.

One of our most experienced volunteers, Dawn, has worked with Alfie on multiple hikes and we are all amazed at the progress Alfie has made even in the short amount of time Dawn has been able to spend with him.

He used to yell in the car allllll the way to the hike and alllll the way back; he is now much calmer and shows improvement with each ride. On the hikes, he used to walk and pull and do his own thing, but he has recently started to stop and check in with Dawn (he still pulls, but has gone from pulling 100% to about 70%). He used to bark at strangers, but has backed off on that quite a bit since he realized that being quiet and paying attention earns him delicious treats!

We are so proud of the progress that Alfie has made and feel that he is a great example of why it’s so important to the health and future of these dogs to get them out of the shelter and into the world, even if just for a few hours a week.

Alfie is still available for adoption. You can meet him here.

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