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OAIC, Inc. Indian Summers Border Collie Rescue: Grant Report

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

We received a donation of various sizes of Thundershirts. The Thundershirts are being used and will continue to be used on the rescues in our facility. When we adopt an individual who is in need of a Thundershirt we send it home with them. We have sent home two already.

We have used Thundershirts in the past and were grateful to receive this grant because we know from past experience that they work. We have dogs here that as soon as they see the sky clouding up they go straight to where their Thundershirts are hung and they ask for them. We have used Thundershirts in many different cases; here are a few examples of how we have used them: Fear of riding in a car -- put on a Thundershirt and enjoy the ride! Fear of boat rides -- put on a Thundershirt and they become old salts! Fear of other dogs or fear of strangers -- put on a Thundershirt and the meet-and-greet becomes, "I want to adopt this one!" Of course we bring out the Thundershirt during a storm or for the July 4th fireworks or for hunting season and all the gunfire -- our rescue is a 60-acre plot in a farming community; there is lots of hunting and lost Beagles. We use Thundershirts every time we see unusually nervous behaviors. Our breed rescue is for Border Collies and they tend to be neurotic so putting on a Thundershirt tones it down and makes them much more comfortable and focused. I love it because there are no drugs needed and no side effects to achieve the desired effects of calmness. I advise and encourage all of our adopters to use a Thundershirt.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far 19 have been helped here directly plus two Thundershirts sent home with the adopters. Updates on those adopted states that the Thundershirt is working to end the stressful situations. They are using them when visitors come to call.

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

Sky was an owner turn-in due to fear biting. When he came in he bit several of the workers here. Sky had a problem that needed fixed. For most people, Sky would have been a candidate to euthanize. But ISBCR is a no-kill shelter and that is against our rescue policy. After observation and rehab with behavior modification, Sky was doing much better, but he was still noise- and pressure-sensitive and became fearful when the world created too much energy. Like many herding dogs, Sky wants only calmness and order in his world. Sky’s fear would build up until he was in such a state that he used his mouth “full of teeth” every time the “energy level” got too intense. Whether with other dogs or people, he would bite when excited and he would break skin, which is dangerous. So the director decided to try a Thundershirt to see what results might be obtained. To everyone’s surprise — including Sky himself — his Thundershirt became his security blanket and he could function and handle stress much better. Sky is still here at the rescue, still rehabbing and still relying on his Thundershirt to get him through those stressful situations that were once looked upon as hopeless. A simple gray Thundershirt gave Sky a new paw on life and the hope he needed.

Shasta’s family wanted her to enjoy rides on the pontoon because they were wanting to buy one but were afraid that Shasta would never be able to find her “sea paws.” We pulled out a Thundershirt and said, “Let’s try this.” With Shasta, Thundershirt and camera in hand, off we went to the lake to test our idea. Once again, Thundershirt to the rescue! Now the family has to buy a pontoon because Shasta has become an old salt and she loves feeling the wind behind her ears and the security of her Thundershirt — and it fits perfectly right under her life jacket.

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