Reports From This Organization

Kokomo Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To attend a Dogs Playing for Life mentorship

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

This grant helped us get a larger portion of our dog population out to playgroup or a social session at least every other day. This allows us to place dogs in homes that are more compatible with them, leading to fewer returned pets.

How many pets did this grant help?

50-75

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

The first dog this grant helped is Gator. Gator is a 3-year-old Cane Corso Mastiff mix. He was a returned adoption who was said to have attacked another dog while trying to attack a construction worker through a fence. We worked with Gator extensively on his barrier reactivity, did social sessions with him and a small female dog, and socialized him with as many human males as possible. Gator was eventually adopted out to a military man who had owned several extra-large dogs before. Gator had worked through his barrier reactivity to humans and dogs and loves his little 40-lb. friend, even though she is about 100 lbs. lighter than him!

The next dog is Moonie, a 2-year-old Coonhound mix. Moonie originally came to us as a stray and then was returned to us due to his ability to escape from anything. He started off wearing a muzzle in playgroups because he seemed to love playing with dogs, but also loved biting them. Moonie would easily tip over and try to fight the other dogs. He wore the muzzle to group and worked through this with many corrections from us humans and the dogs. After he’d been with us for around three months, we took off the muzzle and he did fabulous! He was even considered for an assessor dog a couple times. Moonie was adopted out about two weeks after we took the muzzle off and went to a home with a small dog!

Dexter is the third dog this grant has helped. Dexter was adopted out as a puppy and then eight months later was found as a stray a couple of counties over from where he was adopted to. He was extremely scared of people and would snarl and growl any time someone got near him. He went to playgroup through the dedication and determination of our runners and we gained his trust. He was mostly handled by our playgroup staff and volunteers and was used as an assessor dog for several months. Now Dexter is adopted and lives with me, Marissa, the head of behavior and medical. We are working through his fear of strangers, as he will lunge at people if they approach unexpectedly. This grant allowed me to gain knowledge and resources to get him through his issues and on to becoming a well-rounded dog. Since he was adopted, we go to dog parks to help associate strangers with dogs, which he loves very much.

Kokomo Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We received Kong toys for the dogs.

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

This is a great help in adding enrichment to the lives of the dogs while they are at our shelter. We conduct playgroups 6-7 days a week, but it is also nice to have an enjoyable activity for them inside the kennel.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far, approximately 500 dogs have benefited from having the Kong toys. We will continue to use them and expect to have 1,200 dogs enjoy them in a year’s time.

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

Luna is a 1-year-old pit mix. She came to us as a stray on Sept. 26, 2018, with a collar and tags, but the owner whose number was on the tag denied that she was his dog. Luna is a sweet girl; she is strong and very high-energy as well as a pit mix, which means her length-of-stay with us will tend to be longer. The bright side of this is that she was able to participate in our daily playgroups as well as take part in Kong toy enrichment. Having had her with us for so long enabled us to get to know her personality and temperament. She was adopted just the other day and we are so thrilled that she has gotten such a wonderful new home just in time for Christmas.

Kokomo Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used for a cat wall for our cat colony to provide vertical space for enrichment. The wall contains five boxes for cats to relax or sleep in and multiple shelves and a set of steps for vertical activity.

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

This grant has been extremely helpful and will continue to be for years to come. It has been beneficial on multiple levels. Foremost is that this is the first cat colony we have had and we have found that the cats are happier and healthier when they are able to spend the time they are with us free-roaming. The boxes provide a safe, private space for the cats to initially adjust to the new environment and then, once adjusted, continue to offer a secure space to relax. They also enjoy the vertical space and will spend time moving from level to level. They like having that height to see what is going on around them. The cat wall is also extremely attractive to potential adopters and draws them in to look at cats that they might not notice if they were in a cage or cat condo. The cats are able to express their personality more freely when they are free-roaming and we have found that we are able to adopt out cats who had been with us for an extended period of time.

How many pets did this grant help?

The cat wall went up right before we opened in our new shelter on July 18, 2018. Since then, 30 cats have been residents of the colony. Of those, half have been adopted.

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

Sunshine and Scrabble were two of the first cats to live in the cat colony and enjoy the cat wall. Sunshine was a 10-year-old, overlooked, overweight orange senior. We initially wondered how he would do with the vertical wall, but he was the first one to start exploring, climbing and getting cozy in the boxes. His image was instantly transformed from a fat, lazy old cat into a cool older dude who liked to climb. Although he wasn’t immediately adopted, people were drawn to him. He was more outgoing and looked so cute climbing around that he got quite a bit of attention. He got along well with all the other cats in the colony, and when Scrabble, a beautiful 2-year-old black cat, was adopted, the couple decided that they needed to take Sunshine home too. It was perfect in that they already knew that the two cats got along and they were able to add both a young cat and a senior to their family. Sunshine is shown in the first two photos.

Kokomo Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Scholarship for the Dogs Playing For Life mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, TX.

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

This program allows dogs to act like dogs should. They get the social interaction and enrichment they need but normally wouldn’t get in a shelter environment. We also learned quite a lot about dog behavior that will allow us to work with dogs who previously would not have been adoptable. The staff also loves either leading or just watching playgroups, so I think this program even helps with the morale of the shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

I would say 20-25 since returning from Austin, with more being added every day.

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

Liberty (the white dog in the photo) was found as a stray wandering out in the county. When she first came to us, she was terrified and spent her first few days here hiding in her kennel. We introduced her to the playgroups when she became available for adoption. She was apprehensive at first, but as she watched the other dogs running and having fun, she began to come out of her shell. It was wonderful to watch her go from hiding behind our legs to running up to other dogs to get them to play with her. Meet her: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40050711

Kokomo Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We received cat treats, and gave them to our stray and adoptable cats. For adoptable cats, we used them in conjunction with clicker training to train cats to come to the front of the cage so make them more visible (and desirable) to adopters.

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

We receive lots and lots of dog treats, but very few cat treats, so this was a great resource for our cat volunteers and for the staff to be able to reward, comfort and entice our cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

We recevied approximately 425 cats from the time we received the treats until today. Every one of those cats received Kong cat treats!

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

Van Gogh came to the Kokomo Humane Society in January. He was missing an ear (not an ear tip!) and because he was a stray, we had no idea of his history. But he was a beautiful long-haired cat and quite friendly, so he was placed on the adoption floor after his stray holding period. He was at the shelter several weeks, and in that time became more and more withdrawn. The Kong Cat Treats helped bring him out of his shell. He loved them! We found that he came to the front of the cage more often, hoping that visitors might have treats for him. He was adopted in late February, and we sent some Kong Cat Treats home with him. A recent report from one of the boys in his new family told us that he is happy and healthy, and purrs a lot.