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Spokane Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

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

I attended a DPFL Mentorship in Longmont, CO.

Because I won this grant, I was able to propose that the executive director approve two staff members to attend with me. This was hugely beneficial in terms of building strong staff-volunteer relationships, having the three of us experience the mentorship together and come back with a strategic plan. We have been able to implement a policy change and expand to another day of the week because of the mentorship. We also came back with more confidence and our playgroup sizes grew in size naturally.

How many pets did this grant help?

It has helped all the dogs we have gotten into playgroup.

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

Violet (the brown dog with a black mouth pictured) was initially muzzled in playgroup — not for any worry of aggression, but because of her extreme leash-biting. We were worried she would grab other dogs’ leashes or collars and play too rough, or that she would just be too mouthy in general. She represents a common issue with some of our young dogs: She’d had zero basic training as a puppy, and was mouthy, energetic, and under-socialized. Yet she was SO eager to please and learn. Her muzzle came off pretty quickly after a few groups and she did so well, we started using her to assess new dogs! Playgroup gave her an outlet for her energy, but she’s also so smart, it provided great mental stimulation for her too. We were all so proud that an unpredictable, overgrown puppy in a muzzle had a few weeks of playgroups and then became a greeter for us. She was soon adopted!

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