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CARRMISSOURI (Coalition for Animal Response and Rescue Missouri): Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

The grant funds will be used to have concrete and/or gravel poured, purchasing a large outdoor dog-kennel run, purchase a sheet(s) of hog fencing as a cover over the dog-kennel run, doghouse, indoor xx-large wire crate and any other equipment needed for this long-term project.

On Feb. 24, 2016, Director and Shelter Manager Tisha Jackson met with Sandy, a professional dog trainer, to inform her of the grant and Sandy was thrilled. Tisha and Sandy have discussed this project for years. The kennel will be set up on Sandy's farm at her choice of location. The project will allow Sandy to train one dog at a time from CARRMISSOURI. Sandy will ensure each dog has basic obedience skills and determine which skills the dog excels at and train the dog in that area.

Tisha and Sandy discussed the various skills most sought in the Midwest, which include:
1) Search and rescue with various specialized elements: scent-trailing (air and water)
2) PTSD therapy/assistance dogs
3) Contraband-sniffing dogs (possibly for TSA, law enforcement, etc.)
4) Farm assistance dogs (dogs trained to assist farmers with disabilities): These dogs not only assist in herding various livestock but have the skills to pick up and retrieve items for the farmer in addition to seeking another human for assistance in emergencies

Sandy will have full authority to decide what training each dog receives, as she will have the dog on her farm 24/7 and be better capable of determining the strong skills and aptitude of the dog. Sandy was thrilled to be able to make this decision based on the skill sets the dog excels at (in the past when training dogs for others she had strict instructions as to what the dog MUST do; we feel since she has 40 years experience and is the true professional in training dogs that this decision is hers to make. Needless to say, she was extremely excited.)

For 2017 we will plan for her to have one dog at a time and there will be no time limit, again, as she is the professional, not us. Each dog will be completely vetted prior to being sent to her. The dogs will be on preventatives for fleas, ticks and heartworms, for which we will provide the monthly medications. In addition, we will provide the food, treats and any other supplies or equipment that she needs to be successful in training the dog. Currently (this month) she is meeting with each of our foster homes and meeting each dog and by the end of the month she will select which dog she wants to work with first.

At the end of the month, Tisha will visit Sandy at her farm and Sandy will have selected where she wants the outdoor kennel set up. We are hoping (pending weather) to be able to start pouring concrete or gravel by mid-April. Tisha has asked Sandy to accompany her the first week of April to go look at some different-style kennels that are available in the KCMO area. Once Sandy has selected her preference, then Tisha will purchase them and have them moved to her farm; that way, when the concrete or gravel is done, the kennel can be set up. Once the kennel area has been set up, then a date will be selected that is good for Sandy for Tisha to go get her selected canine to start training.

Sandy estimates she will need 10-14 days to evaluate the dog on her property to determine which training she will be providing for that dog and then will let Tisha know. By having the dog at Sandy's farm, the dog will receive training every single day and throughout the day. There are elements that Sandy has requested Tisha help with, such as when doing a search-and-rescue real-world training (scent or air), volunteers will be needed who will follow Sandy's directions to a T and Tisha will provide the volunteers.

Sandy has also asked for access to property that has woods and water, and Tisha owns property that is 40 acres of woods and a 15-acre private lake. Sandy was thrilled, as this will help with water search-and-rescue. Sandy has also asked Tisha to sponsor her under CARRMISSOURI with the DEA for contraband samples when dogs are being trained for contraband searches; again, Tisha will provide this, and since Sandy and Tisha have both had DEA clearance in the past, applying will not be an issue. Sandy has also asked for a traveling plastic kennel when she needs to take the dog on car rides and Tisha will provide one (we do not need to purchase as we have many xx-large plastic crates).

The foster homes have been doing a great job the past year with following Tisha's requirements of basic home skills, socialization and interactions, so this will help Sandy tremendously with our current dogs in being able to focus on more-specialized training. This requirement will continue and possibly the skill sets will be increased as we move along.

We do not have one actual dog finished yet to truly spotlight, however, we know that having dogs that are professionally trained in careers will increase their adoptions into the appropriate industries, thereby taking these dogs who were homeless and giving them a true occupation. The long-term goal will be to bring on several volunteers or paid staff to work directly with Sandy so that Sandy can teach them her techniques so that her knowledge can live on and not be lost. Sandy is 70 years old currently and extremely active (she is retired but continues to operate her own working farm, occasionally assist the FBI with cold cases on search and rescue with her canine and demos of her trained dogs) but we both (Sandy and Tisha) agree that there will be a day that Sandy can no longer work with dogs and Tisha is determined to ensure that Sandy's awesome training techniques become a true legacy carried on for future generations. We will continue to provide updates this year on this project. We will also send you pictures once we have the kennel set up and pictures of training, etc. We truly can't thank you enough for giving us this truly awesome opportunity to finally make this dream of Sandy and Tisha's happen -- after all, it's the rescued dogs who are going to win big!

How many pets did this grant help?

We don't know yet, but hope at least five dogs this year.

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

Still to be determined. We will share pictures once we have officially started this project which is anticipated to be at the end of April, pending the weather. Pictured is Pete. From his Petfinder profile: “Pete, border collie-heeler mix. 62 lbs. Average energy. Thank YOU for checking me out. Loves car rides and going for walks. Needs adopter who will provide lots of activities and attention. Has been given successful home skills, leash training and basic obedience training.” Meet Pete:

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