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Hill Country SPCA: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

This grant allowed us to send Stevie, our primary Animal Care Specialist, to a DPFL mentorship. Stevie already had a strong interest in behavioral care and enrichment, so this grant allowed her to expand on that and bring back knowledge to help the dogs in our care.

While we already had playgroups established in our shelter, not all dogs were eligible. Through the DPFL training, Stevie was able to expand the group of dogs eligible for playgroups, and help change those dogs' narratives to open up their adoption possibilities. So many dogs who had previously not been allowed in group play are now able to successfully socialize!

How many pets did this grant help?


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

One of our favorite success stories is Merida (first photo). This sweet girl has been in and out of our shelter three times. On the last return, she was labeled “dog-aggressive.”

However, thanks to the training Stevie received at DPFL, she was able to work with Merida and found out this girl is not dog-aggressive at all; she just needed a more-controlled introduction.

In fact, Merida was paired up with another one of our dogs, Zeke, who was also unable to go out in group play prior to the DPFL mentorship. We were all extremely hesitant, but they amazed us when they took off playing and had zero issues at all (second and third photos)!

We are happy to announce that, as of yesterday, Merida has been adopted! We are also able to provide post-adoption support for her adopters to help ensure this girl gets to stay in her new forever home.

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