Our main theme was animal enrichment. We chose three specific areas to implement within our shelter:
1. Clicker training: We purchased clickers (extras to go with the dogs at adoption), wrist bands for staff and volunteers to keep their clickers with them during their shifts, waist aprons to keep treats handy but leave their hands free, and treats (we cut the smallest treats in half so it is just a nibble).
2. Music enrichment: We purchased waterproof speakers, amplifier, and all the things we need to set it up. We received an MP3 player with pet-friendly music from Dr. Pamela Fisher.
3. Kennel enrichment: We purchased Kong supplies through the Kong Cares Shelter Program.
Before these projects were implemented, the dogs would bark non-stop when ever anyone came into the shelter. As you can imagine, this was a deterrent for many of them to get a forever home. Since implementing these projects, the animals sit quietly at their kennel doors, excitedly awaiting a human to come and give them their treat. The music brings a calming effect over the entire shelter. The Kongs have been a huge hit with both the animals and the staff! The staff are looking up and trying different recipes, all of which have been a huge hit. We also received several of their ice cube trays and are excited to bring a cooling treat to the dogs this summer. I have attached a couple of links to videos below so you can see the peace in our shelter. They can be found on our YouTube channel, Enid SPCA.
Music In Kennels
In the 2-3 months that we have had these projects implemented, 173 animals have benefited, but thousands will benefit in the future.
Missy (first and second photos) has been with us a little over a year. Although she is small, she is mighty. Rescued from our local Animal Control, Missy has always been happy with her new digs, but always prefers to be in control. Missy’s huge personality, in her bored state, came across as apathetic and disengaged. Since the implementation of the clicker training, she sits quietly at her door waiting to be treated by whatever human walks past her door. The music seems to calm her spirit and the Kong toys keep her mind on very positive things. We feel confident that our longest guest has blossomed into the most adoptable pet of all.
UPDATE: Missy has been adopted!
Buzz (third and fourth photos) came into our shelter a certified wild child. He had an enormous amount of energy and was unresponsive to basic commands. After implementation of the clicker training and the music, he has become a new dog. He waits patiently at his kennel door for his treat and has even learned the basic commands: sit, down and stay. Buzz also enjoys his kennel time with his Kong. The boredom that used to cause him to act out has been replaced with contentment. Last weekend at our adoption event, he got as small as he could to play with a 3-year-old little boy. (Video is available on our Facebook page.) Some family is going to be very lucky to make this guy a part of their home.
You can go to our Facebook page and see videos of both Buzz and Missy. http://www.facebook.com/EnidSPCA/
UPDATE: Buzz has been adopted!