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Tyson's Chance Animal Foundation: Grant Report

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

The grant we received was used for kennel enrichment. We have used it to purchase yogurt, canned pumpkin, peanut butter, treats, and beef bones. The dogs chew the beef bones until they are hollow and then we fill them with the items listed above and freeze them.

Our kennel enrichment now includes activities to stimulate the dogs' brains. We’ve researched the best brain stimulators for dogs in boarding and discovered it’s working their senses and motivating them to seek and find.

A few of our kennel enrichment activities include:

Fun Buckets
Frozen blocks of ice that include treats, peanut butter, water, chicken broth, and, at times, pumpkin. This frozen block provides at least an hour of "seek and find" for the dogs.

Interactive Feeders
For some of our longtime residents in boarding, we’ve started feeding out of interactive feeders like puzzle toys, homemade PVC piping, and Kong Wobblers. We’ve discovered these items take the dogs longer to maneuver, and in return work their brains to continue to move or shake the interactive feeder to receive more food.

Chews and Toys
Hard chew bones to chew are a necessity. They are also given soft toys to destuff and scatter.

Paper Bags
We have included feeding out of paper bags. Dry kibble is put into lunch bags and the dogs are able to rip and destroy the bag to get to the food. Our vet assured us this is 100% safe and very fun for the dogs.

Frozen bones and Kongs
Each rescue dog in our program gets a frozen bone each night at bedtime to occupy his or her time. Also, we use these bones in training, during their outside play sessions and throughout the day to keep their minds stimulated.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 40

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

Sherman (third photo) is a long-term resident of the kennel life. Over time, he had become bored, extremely mouthy and just a big 60-lb. goofball. Implementing these kennel-enrichment activities has allowed him to stay calm longer and focus on something other than the behavior he’s learned previously in his shelter life. Because he is so mouthy, we use Kongs and frozen bones to get him out of the kennel. He proudly trots through with his treat in mouth and it prevents him from jumping up and biting your arm or leash.

Over time, we have seen a drastic improvement in his behavior with and without kennel enrichment present. The kennel enrichment protocols we have implemented are keeping him from breaking down in the kennel and preventing us from facing a quality-of-life emergency with him. We also feed him with interactive feeders and his kennel is always full of antlers, toys and treats to find! Meet Sherman:

Further Reading