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Humane Society of Marlboro County: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

The funds were used to send our kennel supervisor, Ashley Reed, to the Dogs Playing for Life Level II Mentorship Training in Florida at the National Canine Center. Ashley spent a week in Florida learning from the DPFL team!

Ashley returned from training armed with lots of tools and knowledge to help us at the Marlboro County Animal Shelter in not only basic kennel behavior and playgroups, but also protocols to help shut-down dogs (which we get a lot of from our community) and dog-reactive/barrier-reactive dogs. We now have a plan to move forward with these types of dogs which has decreased their length of stay and helped us make their days at the shelter more enriched and less stressful. Our general dog population is taught the kennel basics that Ashley learned, which helps us gain new rescue partners and move dogs out of the shelter more quickly.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far, this grant has been beneficial to 121 dogs!

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

Spade (first three photos) has been at our shelter since December 2018. He was both barrier- and dog-reactive in his kennel. We had tried to put him in playgroups on two occasions with a muzzle, but he chose to ignite a fight with multiple dogs and respond negatively towards the play yard handler when corrected. We had lost hope for a positive outcome for Spade. When Ashley returned from her training with DPFL, she immediately went to work with Spade. In two days, Spade learned his kennel routine — it turned out he was very smart and bored! He sits on his Kuranda bed now and waits quietly while he is leashed and muzzled. Ashley was able to successfully incorporate him into daily playgroups! Spade has transformed from a reactive, overly energetic dog to an easygoing boy who loves rolling on the ground in playgroups with both males and females. In fact, as I type this, he is out in the play yard with 11 other dogs! He is ready for the next step of playgroups without his muzzle.

Bennett arrived to our shelter in December of 2018 as a semi-feral, shut-down dog. When Ashley returned from her training, she focused on teaching Bennett to walk on a leash and be incorporated into playgroups. His confidence blossomed in a week and we were able to find a rescue group for him in New York!

Champ was an overly excited, 10-month-old dog with two broken legs. We had been having to sedate him twice a day in order to let his legs heal, but he all he wanted to do was jump and play. In his frustration, he became mouthy and started grabbing arms and shirts. The first dog Ashley worked with the morning of her return was Champ. She corrected his jumping on-leash, used several techniques she learned in training and worked on both his manners and his frustrations. He learned quickly and was able to finish healing without sedation and move on to a wonderful rescue group quickly!

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