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Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue: REDI Training Grant Report

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

We believe that this grant has helped us become more aware of the hidden bias's that can effect the interactions with adopters, volunteers, and staff. Having the ability to keep ourselves open to seeing the hidden bias's and how they can sway our decisions is a great tool for any organization to promote. Catching the hidden bias's is the first step to making changes within ourselves and our organization that will benefit any number of animals and people alike.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 10. There is no telling the exact amount of animals this will help in the coming year but we can imagine it will be a large amount. Even if it's only one or two, that's one or two more than would of been helped without the ability to catch a hidden bias that could interfere with a successful adoption.

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

One example of catching a hidden bias is the recent story of Willow. Willow was a white husky mix who came to us as a stray through the local police department.

As is our procedure, we scanned her for a microchip. An unregistered microchip was found and the shelter it was linked to was called to see if we could get the owner’s information.

After getting the owner’s information from the shelter, an employee contacted the family. To our surprise, we were told the dog had been either stolen or ran away from them more than four years ago. The family was in utter shock that the dog they had given up on ever seeing again was now in our facility over two hours away from them.

We offered them the chance to come see her and bring her home again. There was some hesitation on their part, since they now had two small children and had no idea how Willow was with kids. Willow was also now overweight and had some possible health issues.

A hidden bias that came up for us was: How could a family even consider not bringing their once-beloved dog home when they had been given this miracle?

We set these thoughts aside and let the family have some time to decide what they wanted to do. The end result of us not judging and pushing our thoughts on the family was a truly happy tale. The family decided to come and see Willow.

It was a heartwarming reunion for both Willow and the family. She almost instantly remembered the mom and dad and took to the two little kids with no hesitation. There were quite a few happy tears from all of us. Willow went home with them that day and is now happily enjoying her fur-ever home with the family that thought she was lost forever.

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