Pope Memorial Humane Society Cocheco Valley: Dog Field Trips/Short-Term Fostering Grant

What was the money or product used for?

We were able to purchase supplies for foster field trips, so field-trip bags are always packed and ready to go:

● 20 collapsible bowls
● 10 long leads
● 15 “Adopt Me” bandanas
● 6 “Adopt Me” leash sleeves
● 2 “Do Not Pet” leash sleeves
● 10 first aid kits
● 6 dog air horns

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

Being able to purchase supplies for field trips has been crucial in helping us to grow our Foster Field Trip program. We are now able to have several bags packed, allowing more dogs to go on field trips simultaneously.

Since implementing the foster field trip program earlier this year, our volunteers have taken over 35 foster field trips with 14 dogs. Of the 14 dogs taken on field trips, eight have been adopted, and the others continue to enjoy their breaks from the shelter.

Field trips have not only provided stress reduction for our dogs, but they have been important in helping our adoption staff learn about the dogs in our care. We learned, for example, that one of our dogs absolutely loves swimming! He is now happily living with his forever family on a lake. Additionally, our dogs have gained more “real world” experience and enrichment during their trips. They have been able to visit parks, hardware stores, outdoor cafes, and the homes of our volunteers.

Word has spread quickly about the Foster Field Trip program, and we have several new volunteers ready to start taking dogs on field trips. We are confident that this program will continue to gain popularity, and that we’ll be able to help many more dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

14

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

Loki (first photo), a large 5-year-old dog who came to us as a stray, was in our care for over 100 days. He had the opportunity to take several field trips with different volunteers during his stay. Loki went hiking, walked through parks, and visited several volunteers’ homes. At first, Loki was afraid of getting into a vehicle. With a little practice, a lot of patience, and the help of our field-trip volunteers, Loki learned that he had nothing to be afraid of; he gained confidence and became the best canine copilot in no time. Soon, he became excited to jump into the car for new adventures!

We learned that although Loki didn’t like walking around the shelter property, he absolutely loved walking, running, and exploring outside the shelter grounds. We also learned, based on interactions that took place at the homes of our volunteers, that Loki was able to peacefully coexist with cats.

It turned out that Loki, who was always stressed and anxious at the shelter, was quite calm and well-mannered on his trips. This information helped our adoption team to place him with his new family, where he shares his space with a feline roommate and spends plenty of time exploring the outdoors!

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