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Boone County Animal Care & Control: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

Our staff member Matthew attended the DPFL mentorship in Austin, TX. We had previously hosted DPFL at our facility shortly before COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020. However, the playgroups just never really got off the ground. The staff constantly felt as if there were obstacles and time constraints that made it impossible to commit to every eligible dog getting into playgroup every day.

We sent Matt to Austin in the hopes that it would help restart our playgroup program, and it did! Matt came back energized and enthusiastic about playgroups, and with a depth of knowledge that he didn't have before.

His enthusiasm and belief in the power of playgroups was contagious, and caused all staff to not only believe in playgroups as well, but also lifted morale in the shelter among our employees and volunteers.

How many pets did this grant help?

Our dog intake is approximately 700 dogs per year. We strive to get every available dog into playgroup.

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

We had a dog come in as a stray whom the staff named Hattie. Hattie was nearly catatonic for several days during her stray hold. She would freeze, shake violently, and avoid all eye contact when people came near her.

After her stray hold ended, we finally coaxed Hattie to walk on a leash and join a playgroup. Her immediate relief at being around the other dogs was evident. She was still shy with humans, but she became more and more comfortable as a result of playgroups.

She was ultimately pulled by a private non-profit rescue after we were able to definitively reassure them that Hattie was absolutely bomb-proof with other dogs. She has since been adopted into a loving and patient home.

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