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Saving Paws Rescue, Inc.: Perkins Enrichment Grant Report

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

Professional (Collective K9 Dog Training), one-on-one training to recognize the triggers that bring on the fear aggression and teach Tomas and his handler how to redirect his focus and make better, positive choices, rather than growling and biting.

This grant provided Saving Paws Rescue, Inc. (SPR), with the means to get professional training, which gave Tomas a good start. In addition to working with Tomas, it identified, to SPR, areas to be aware of and instructions as to how to address his issues. We are working on the following; using a high bed, "stay" position, and exercise, which is crucial for his anxiety. Even more importantly, we are constantly and consistently working with Tomas on accepting and dealing with strangers without aggression.

How many pets did this grant help?

one

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

Tomas was brought into [an open-admission] shelter in NYC as a stray. Saving Paws Rescue pulled Tomas literally 15 minutes before he was to be euthanized.¬†It was clear immediately that he had been neglected; we weren’t sure if he had been abused, but he needed time to decompress before we could figure out what was next. Tomas was timid and fearful. We had to move very slowly with him to gain his trust. He had, and still has, high energy and anxiety. Tomas was not a candidate for adoption because he would lunge at strangers — and it wasn’t just a warning; he would execute a bite if a stranger continued to move towards him. Housebreaking was a huge challenge. Slowly, Tomas learned to trust the people that were in his foster home, but no one else, and the anxiety was still very high. We weren’t qualified to get him to a point where he wouldn’t lunge at a stranger and we didn’t know how to work with his energy level.

With the one-on-one training, Tomas has come a long way in a short time, but he is still a work in progress. He is super cute and very loving with “his people” and he is good with the children in his foster home. Training has given Tomas the tools to make better choices, but he is still facing different challenges every single day. He doesn’t always make the right choice. A home is out there for Tomas but it has to be a home that is willing to work with him consistently, every day. He requires a lot of exercise and needs to feel safe.

Tomas is not yet listed on Petfinder, as he is still a work in progress. Because of his work with the trainer, we are in a better position to follow through with his training as he learns to trust people.

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