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Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge, Inc.: KONG Toys Grant Report

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

We received a box of Kong toys. We used these toys for interactive play with staff, volunteers, and prospective adopters. Some of the dogs do get bored in their kennels. The Kong toys are wonderful to help alleviate their boredom. We also have a couple of senior dogs who have trouble with some toys due to dental issues and they love the toys with a bit of peanut butter for them to lick.

Our kennel has an attached one-acre play yard for the dogs. They take turns throughout the day in the yard. The Kong toys are great for everyone to play with the dogs. The variety of toys we received was wonderful. We have dogs of all different ages and abilities, and all of them are able to enjoy playing with them or working for the hidden treat. Staff and volunteers are able to have a good interaction with the dogs. We really love the fact that prospective adopters are able to have a much more productive interaction with the dogs through play. It really lets the adopters see more of their unique personalities while playing with them. Our dogs get excited when they see the Kong toys and it does make for a better experience for everyone. The Kong toys have really helped with socialization of the dogs: They see a toy and smell a treat and their curiosity is piqued. A curious dog is much easier to socialize. Our goal is to find as many of our animals loving, safe forever homes as possible, and the interaction of the dogs with the Kong toys gives us good insight as to how to best match a dog and family for a successful adoption.

How many pets did this grant help?

Every dog who has passed through our facility since we received this grant has been positively affected by the Kong product grant.

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

We have a dog named Romeo (first photo) who came to us from county law enforcement in December. He and two other dogs were chained to metal junk behind a house that should have been condemned years ago. All three were starved, neglected, and, we suspect, abused. When law enforcement became involved only two dogs were left; the third had frozen to death. Romeo and Reggie were thin and flea-infested, and both had terrible double ear infections. Reggie was adopted pretty quickly. Romeo is a Staffordshire terrier mix. With the negative reputation these dogs have gotten, we were having trouble finding him his forever home. He is the sweetest dog I have ever met. Using the Kong toys for interactive play with adopters, families are able to see how he interacts with their children and get a better idea of how he will behave in a more relaxed setting.

Romeo has a pending adoption. The family has been approved and they have been visiting Romeo so they can all get to know each other, and after a few more visits, he will be fostering with them. We are very excited about this adoption! Romeo has been through so much in his two short years. The adopter is a former police k-9 unit and will be a wonderful influence on Romeo.

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