The money we received was used to purchase dental treats, toys, bones, treats, interactive toys, and Kong treat-holder toys.
Our dogs are kept in a pet lodge, where they can play in doggy daycare every day to stay social with other dogs, and there are times when the dogs had to stay in their rooms (nap time and overnight). Some of the dogs, especially the bigger dogs and the dogs not yet spayed/neutered (who could not play in daycare until spayed/neutered) would get frustrated or bored having to stay in their rooms. We wanted to provide the dogs with activities and things to keep them physically occupied (such as chewing) and mentally active, to keep them from developing undesirable behaviors due to frustration and boredom. The dogs have been much happier, with less frustration, when they have things to keep them occupied in their rooms!
We had a small shepherd mix named Alaska in our rescue. We pulled her from a local shelter that was needing to get her out because she’d been there too long. She was a happy-go-lucky girl who loved to play and loved attention. After we had her for a bit, she started to develop some bad habits, such as being nippy and getting too rough with the other dogs. She had a less-than-perfect meet-and-greet where she did not get adopted due to her behavior, so we knew something had to change.
We started doing some basic training with her, and she proved to be incredibly intelligent! She learned VERY quickly and retained what she had learned from week to week. This helped with her behaviors some, but we still had some work to do. We received the Orvis grant from the Petfinder Foundation and knew we needed to focus on this girl first. We purchased a large chew bone and a Kong toy that we could put treats inside specifically for her. She LOVED them both and always had them during her nap times and overnights.
You could see a difference in her attitude pretty quickly. With just a little time with training and things to keep her occupied and mentally challenged, she again became the happy girl we’d first had. The next meet-and-greet was a SUCCESS! She was adopted by a gentleman who was planning on training her for security work as well as to be a great companion at home!