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Kansas Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

The $1,000 awarded to KHS through this grant allowed us to send two of our animal-assessments staffers to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program. The knowledge gained was brought back to our shelter to implement and improve dog playgroups.

The experience brought back by the two assessments staffers who attended the mentorship program allowed for KHS to better understand dog social behaviors in group settings and safely implement dog playgroups. This enrichment is vital for dogs' socialization and mental and physical well-being while in the shelter setting. Thanks to this knowledge, the dogs in our care get to experience the benefit from playgroups on a daily and weekly basis. This increases the adoptability of these dogs, improving their chances of successfully finding their new forever homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

After planning and preparing, an estimated 15-20 dogs per day experience playgroups. We strive to provide playgroups daily.

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

Belle (first photo), formerly known as Jezebel, was surrendered by her owners, who could no longer care for her, earlier this month. This was her second time being surrendered to our shelter. While she was in our care, Belle participated in doggy playgroups run by our assessments staff (second photo).

This enrichment opportunity allowed Belle to socialize with multiple dogs and staffers, engage in normal dog-to-dog interactions, alleviate stress, and receive positive mental and social stimulation.

Belle was adopted, but unfortunately, due to concerns with her behavior towards other dogs in the home, she was quickly returned. Assessments staff brought her back into the doggy playgroups upon her surrender to KHS to assess her behavior.

Thanks to the training from the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program, staff had the skills, knowledge, and confidence to observe, recognize, and evaluate Belle’s behavior towards other dogs and make proper recommendations moving forward.

She has since been adopted into her new, and hopefully final, forever home. We truly believe that the doggy playgroups made a positive and lasting impact on Belle’s behavior and stay during her time at KHS.

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