We sent two kennel employees to the three-day Dogs Playing for Life mentorship session at Austin Pets Alive! to learn how to integrate our rescue dogs into playgroups safely.
We currently have a kennel facility that houses up to 30 dogs. Most of the dogs in our care at the kennel were not in foster homes due to either unknown or known restrictions with other dogs. They had outside time, but were unsocialized with other dogs. This grant allowed our two staff members to begin integrating rescued street dogs who were once thought to be “dog aggressive” into playgroups ranging from two to eight dogs. This has not only allowed us to reevaluate our dogs’ ability to be adopted into a home with other dogs, but has also increased each dog’s time spent outside his or her private kennel. We have seen destructive behaviors diminish as well as the dogs’ overall temperament improve! These playgroups have allowed us to better present our dogs to potential adopters and adopt out into multi-dog households dogs who before would have been labeled “only-dog.”
30-60 currently, but it will continue to help every dog we rescue going forward.
The most dramatic story is about Bo and Gypsy. Bo (the brown-and-white dog in the photos) is actually our rescue mascot. He is the dog on our logo. He was a solitary male out on the streets for over three years before he was rescued. We’d had two encounters with him going after another dog on a lead, so we had deemed him “dog-aggressive.” Gypsy (the black dog in the photos) was in a foster home initially and we were told by that foster when she returned to the kennel that she too was dog-aggressive. With the tools gained at the DPFL mentorship session, our two staff members slowly introduced Bo and Gypsy. To everyone’s delight, the pair hit it off very well and are now rowdy playmates. Both are still looking for their forever homes.
Meet Gypsy: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40619435
Meet Bo: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37029153