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Humane Society of Westchester (formerly New Rochelle Humane Society): Perkins Enrichment Grant Report

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

The funds from this grant purchased enrichment supplies that use scent, food and treats to create a more simulating environment for our animals. In addition, the grant allowed us to add staff trainer hours to hold enrichment workshops, training staff and volunteers in how to use the enrichment centers and the supplies we bought. We now have a scent of the day, a food puzzle of the day and scheduled playgroups for the dogs. Finally, we used the remaining funds to renovate our outdoor play areas. The renovations are almost complete.

We have established two enrichment centers; one for dogs and one for cats. The enrichment centers are a go-to place for our staff and volunteers to access the various treat- and scent-related supplies purchased by the grant.

Our trainer holds enrichment workshops for our volunteers and for our staff. The workshops teach our volunteers how to use the various enrichment items we have bought with the grant. In addition, seminars are held for several of our more-experienced volunteers enabling them to give these workshops for new volunteers. This way we can pass the education from one person to another for years to come.

How many pets did this grant help?

On an average day, we have 42 cats and 30 dogs in residence, all of whom benefit from what was done with this grant. What we’ve learned with this grant will help our pets now and in the future.

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

Lily (first photo), a domestic short-hair cat, arrived in June 2015 with an unknown animal bite. By law, we were required to hold her for a six-month rabies quarantine. Poor Lily was confined to a cage during this period and was unable to be taken out for playtime or shown for adoption. We used the Egg-cersizer Cat Toy to feed Lily her dry food, which kept her active and busy for large blocks of time. Lily finished her quarantine in mid-December. Just seven days later, Lily went home!

Molly, a border collie (second photo), and her puppies arrived at HSW in early 2015 from an overcrowded shelter. Her puppies were quickly adopted. Molly was a very active staff favorite and loved playing with staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, most volunteers come on weekends, leaving lovely Molly alone in her kennel between walks. Through our training program, Molly learned some very interesting activities, keeping her occupied through the week. She found her forever family just after Valentine’s Day 2016.

We added sand and pebbles (third photo) to our fenced dog play areas on the property. This renovation is doubling the amount of usable soft surface for all of our dogs to play on! Allowing dogs supervised time off-leash in a secure pen is critical to their mental and physical well-being while they are residing at the shelter.

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