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Hardin Animal Relocation and Transition Team (HARTT): KONG Toys Grant Report

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

We received a grant of Kong toys on Jan. 11, 2016, for use with our foster dogs and puppies in our rescue. Since receiving the Kong toys, we have used them with over 300 animals who have passed through our rescue. When we received the physical toys, we shared a photo of them with our Facebook fans (over 45,000 likes) and let everyone know how excited we were that the babies would have great toys to play with for the New Year.

We were so excited to receive toys that could be washed and sanitized daily for our puppies to play with and chew on. As a rescue that deals mostly with litters of puppies that we bring into foster homes, vet, and then transfer to northern rescues who find them homes, we have many litters in puppy playpens and exercise pens who are really in quarantine from outside play or being with other animals. Since they don't get out of their pens except during cleaning periods each day, the time that they can play and entertain themselves is important. Of course, the toys get dirty and need to be cleaned. With Kongs, we can clean them and disinfect them easily with soap, water and bleach. We can also sanitize between litters to keep infection or disease from transferring between litters like we do with the puppy pens, water and food bowls. The puppies and big dogs loved having treats inside the Kongs as well. They have a great time following them around as they wobble across the pen. Once a puppy comes out of quarantine, they can play with their toys nicely on a hardwood floor while waiting for their adopter to come pick them up. ;)

How many pets did this grant help?

These toys have entertained and enriched about 300 dogs and puppies in just the last three months, and they will continue to help animals throughout the year.

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

We get litters of puppies who are scared and fearful due to having been dumped in the woods, or who are not being used to human touch for whatever reason. These puppies are usually so used to just survival that they have no idea how to play. Usually, the Kongs will sit ignored in their pens for a few days, but then in a day or two, one of them finds that it can be chewed on. Then another will play keep-away from a sibling and it becomes a fun thing that they enjoy playing with together. Then we find that they take it into their sleeping areas as a prize to keep safe. They look forward to getting their clean areas with their new Kong toys several times a day at that point. It is a pleasure to see them come out of their shells and just relax and play!

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