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Stray Hearts Animal Shelter: KONG Toys Grant Report

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

This grant allowed us to kick-start our new dog-enrichment program. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation and the Kong Product Grant, we are now able to provide a healthy, calming environment for the over 70 dogs living at our shelter.

Each dog receives, at least once per day, a Kong filled with peanut butter and dry food. The dogs can focus on this delicious treat. As stated by the Fun Times Guide For Dogs:

*Kong toys satisfy a dog’s inborne, natural desire to “work” or hunt for food. Stuffed Kongs can keep them busy and content (and out of trouble!) for long periods of time by encouraging them to get the food reward inside.
*A Kong is a unique dog toy that exercises a dog’s mind at the same time that it gives a dog the satisfaction of a job well done.
*Kongs are quite effective when used as a training device to break “bad behaviors” and teach “good behaviors.”
*For dogs who are living a sedentary life, a Kong toy will entice your dog to play more and be more active. The Kong’s unpredictable bounce lures most dogs into a game of chase, catch and chew — especially when it’s filled with food treats!

Our shelter dogs have realized all of these benefits. Our kennels are quieter, our dogs more socialized and relaxed, and our adoption numbers are up. Our average length of stay for our animal population has decreased from 49 days in August 2016 to 24 days in December 2016. We received the Kongs in September. Coincidence? We think not.

Thank you again so very much!
Diane Padoven
Executive Director
Stray Hearts Animal Shelter

How many pets did this grant help?

We use our Kongs daily for the over 70 dogs living at our shelter

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

Koko (first photo) is a loveable pittie-Lab mix who was brought to the shelter in March of 2016 as a public stray. He was assessed as being very high-energy, dog-aggressive and needing leash work. Despite his very friendly demeanor toward people, his kennel barking and jumping turned people off. We began providing a daily Kong treat to allow him to work off some of his energy. He fell in love with peanut butter and would immediately calm down, sit, and start wagging his tail as soon as he saw the Kong coming. This behavior made potential-adopter walk-throughs notice Koko and exhibit interest. I am so pleased to say that, after being here for eight months, Koko was adopted on Dec. 2, 2016. We believe major credit must go to the work we did with him using the Kongs.

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