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Homeward Animal Shelter: Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

The money we received from the Orvis Animal Care Grant was used to purchase supplies for our new dog-enrichment program. Items purchased included a CD player (to play soothing music), baking extracts (to create unique smells in the dogs' kennels), treat and food puzzles of various types and sizes, silicone molds to make ice-cube treats, and balls for a ball pit to be set up in our outdoor play area.

The grant has allowed us to start a formal enrichment program for our dogs, including scheduled activities each day, as well as daily scent changes and soothing music. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to create an enrichment schedule that gives our dogs something to look forward to each day and provides them mental stimulation while they are in their kennels.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Trooper (first photo) came to us a little over a month ago. He was extremely malnourished, weighing only 34 lbs. upon arrival (as a pointer, he should have weighed easily 50 lbs. or more). We had him fully checked out, and found that there was no reason for him to be so skinny, other than that he wasn’t being fed enough for his energy level. Within 10 days of arriving, he gained 11 lbs. and his ribs and hips were no longer protruding under his skin (second photo). Due to his high energy level, keeping Trooper calm in a kennel was difficult and walks did nothing to tire him out. We had just implemented our enrichment program and Trooper thought the food puzzles were the absolute best. They would keep him busy for quite a while each day. Thankfully, Trooper received a clean bill of health and was adopted after less than two weeks in our care, but the enrichment supplies allowed us to keep him busy and entertained while he awaited his forever home.

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