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League for Animal Welfare: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

After having Dogs Playing for Life visit our campus in 2021, we were looking forward to staff having advanced training as part of DPFL's mentorship opportunity. The goal was to get staff even more comfortable with large-dog playgroups, and especially with dogs who, at first glance, may seem challenging in their dog-to-dog interactions.

Our playgroup program had stalled a little bit, with the most rambunctious dogs (the ones who need the playgroups the most!) often getting overlooked because they could be "sticky" in playgroups.

The mentorship opportunity reinvigorated our staff, and helped renew their confidence in their ability to work with all dogs. Immediately after Dawn, the staff member who visited Colorado and partook in the mentorship, returned, our playgroup rate (the number of dogs getting out to playgroups on a daily basis) increased by 20%.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Surge (first photo) is a very vocal, rambunctious, rough-and-rowdy dog in playgroups — she has SO much energy! And sometimes that energy landed her in hot water in playgroups. She didn’t necessarily start fights, but she did finish them — and earned herself a bit of a reputation. So Surge got benched: The staff wasn’t bringing her into playgroups anymore, and Surge was going kennel-crazy from the lack of enrichment.

When Dawn got back from her mentorship, it was exactly Surge (and a few other dogs like her) she was ready to focus on — and she got the entire team jazzed to do it, too. We revamped how we categorize dogs and how we match them in groups and got to work! Surge has been a central figure in playgroups ever since, and is doing far better in her kennel and is far calmer meeting people.

You can meet Surge here.

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