To attend a Dogs Playing for Life mentorship
This grant helped us get a larger portion of our dog population out to playgroup or a social session at least every other day. This allows us to place dogs in homes that are more compatible with them, leading to fewer returned pets.
The first dog this grant helped is Gator. Gator is a 3-year-old Cane Corso Mastiff mix. He was a returned adoption who was said to have attacked another dog while trying to attack a construction worker through a fence. We worked with Gator extensively on his barrier reactivity, did social sessions with him and a small female dog, and socialized him with as many human males as possible. Gator was eventually adopted out to a military man who had owned several extra-large dogs before. Gator had worked through his barrier reactivity to humans and dogs and loves his little 40-lb. friend, even though she is about 100 lbs. lighter than him!
The next dog is Moonie, a 2-year-old Coonhound mix. Moonie originally came to us as a stray and then was returned to us due to his ability to escape from anything. He started off wearing a muzzle in playgroups because he seemed to love playing with dogs, but also loved biting them. Moonie would easily tip over and try to fight the other dogs. He wore the muzzle to group and worked through this with many corrections from us humans and the dogs. After he’d been with us for around three months, we took off the muzzle and he did fabulous! He was even considered for an assessor dog a couple times. Moonie was adopted out about two weeks after we took the muzzle off and went to a home with a small dog!
Dexter is the third dog this grant has helped. Dexter was adopted out as a puppy and then eight months later was found as a stray a couple of counties over from where he was adopted to. He was extremely scared of people and would snarl and growl any time someone got near him. He went to playgroup through the dedication and determination of our runners and we gained his trust. He was mostly handled by our playgroup staff and volunteers and was used as an assessor dog for several months. Now Dexter is adopted and lives with me, Marissa, the head of behavior and medical. We are working through his fear of strangers, as he will lunge at people if they approach unexpectedly. This grant allowed me to gain knowledge and resources to get him through his issues and on to becoming a well-rounded dog. Since he was adopted, we go to dog parks to help associate strangers with dogs, which he loves very much.