Rethinking adoptable clair1

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Rethinking adoptable clair1

  1. 1. Redefining  “adoptable”     Saving  the  other  5%    
  2. 2. Is  adop3on  possible  for     “Nonrehabilitable”  Animals?       Please  note  the  quotes.   Nonrehabilitable.   Is  ANY  animal  truly  completely   “nonrehabilitable”?     Are  there  ways  you  can  sBll  help  dogs   and  cats  with  major  behavior  issues?   Ways  that  don’t  involve  killing  them?     This  seminar  will  examine  that   quesBon,  and  give  you  examples  of   how  to  place,  and  help,  the  more   “difficult”  animals  in  your  care.      
  3. 3. No-­‐kill    -­‐vs-­‐  Sanctuary   What  is  the  difference?   Nathan  Winograd  says:       There  is  only  one  legi-mate  defini-on  of  No  Kill.  It  is  where:   •  Healthy  dogs  and  cats  are  saved;   •  Treatable  dogs  and  cats  are  saved;   •  Healthy  and  treatable  feral  cats  are  saved.     You  can  not  call  yourself  a  no-­‐kill  facility  if  you  are    killing  animals  with  treatable  condiBons   such  as  ringworm  in  cats,  dogs  with  food  guarding,  kiOens  with  conjuncBviBs,  puppies  with   kennel  cough,  or  a  pet  with  a  broken  leg.    You  are  not  a  no  kill  facility  and  you  are  definitely   not  a  sanctuary.  
  4. 4. So,  what  is  a  sanctuary?   An  animal  sanctuary  is  a  facility  where   animals  live  and  are  protected  for  the   rest  of  their  lives.     All  sanctuaries  do  not  seek  to  place   animals  with  individuals  or  groups.  Some,   instead,  maintain  each  animal  unBl  his  or   her  natural  death.     In  some  cases,  an  establishment  may   have  characterisBcs  of  both  a  sanctuary   and  a  shelter;  for  instance,  some  animals   may  be  in  residence  temporarily  unBl  a   good  home  is  found  and  others  may  be   permanent  residents.  The  mission  of   sanctuaries  is  generally  to  be  safe   havens,  where  the  animals  receive  the   best  care  that  the  sanctuaries  can   provide.      
  5. 5. How  is  a  sanctuary  different  from  a   rescue  or  a  shelter?   •  Sanctuaries  oSen  house  more  difficult  to  place   or  aggressive  animals.   •  Sanctuaries  do  not  EVER  kill  animals     (excep-ng  medical  euthanasia  for  suffering  animals  with  no  chance  of  recovery).   •  Sanctuaries  are  challenged  to  provide  a  higher   quality  of  long  term  care  for  their  animals   (more  sBmulaBng  environments,  more  one-­‐ on-­‐one  help  for  their  animals).  
  6. 6. Responsibili3es  if  you  run   a  sanctuary:     When  you  choose  to  run  a  sanctuary  it  is   not  enough  to  provide  food  and  housing   for  the  animals  in  your  care.  It  is  criBcal   that  you  provide  for  ALL  the  animals   needs  which  include  emo3onal  and   mental  s3mula3on.     Our  responsibility  while  they  are  with  us   is  to  provide  the  highest  quality  of  life  we   can,  and  to  do  all  we  can  to  increase  their   chances  for  adopBon.  Some  dogs  do  well   with  the  normal  rouBne  of  of  care  and   feeding,  Bme  with  staff  and  volunteers,   and  walks  on  our  path.  Others  arrive  with,   or  develop,  behaviors  that  make  them   unsuited  for,  or  at  least,  unaOracBve  to,   many  potenBal  adopters.     Most  of  these  behaviors  will  not  improve   if  we  conBnue  the  same  acBviBes  and   interacBons  with  them.  Their  behavior  is,   in  part,  a  response  to  things  as  they  are.   Their  behavior  will  not  change  for  the   beCer  unless  we  change  our  behavior   around  them.  It  is  criBcal  to  help  these   animals  with  their  behavior  issues  so   more  people  can  interact  with  them  and   improve  their  chances  of  finding  a  home.    
  7. 7. Providing  for  the  needs  of   sanctuary  animals   Some  of  the  things  that  these  dogs  and   cats  may  need  are:     1.  Extra  Bme  with  trainers  or   experienced  handlers   2.  Extra  sBmulaBon  and  mental   exercises  –  this  can  be  an  agility   course,  interacBve  toys,  play  Bme   in  groups  with  other  dogs,  off  site   Bme  –  such  as  trips  to  the  ice   cream  parlor  or  overnights  with   staff  or  volunteers.   3.  Looking  at  and  evaluaBng  each  as   a  separate  being  and  not  lumping   them  in  and  treaBng  them  as   “status  quo”.   4.  “Warehousing”  animals  is  not   acceptable.   5.  If  you  are  forced  to  think  of  other   opBons,  other  than  killing,  you   WILL!  
  8. 8. Crea3ng  the  proper  “space”     It  is  our  belief  that  the  worst   possible  housing  for  dogs  is  a   kennel  system.  Many  dogs  that   already  have  “issues”  will   deteriorate  in  a  kennel   environment.         If  you  are  considering  running  a   sanctuary  then  it  is  important  to   also  consider  alternaBve  housing   and  enriching  environments  for   dogs  with  behavior  issues.       Be  creaBve!         Even  if  the  alternate  is  just  a  larger   area  outside  for  the  day,  and  the   kennel  only  at  night,  this  can  assist   a  dog  that  is  stressed  in  that   environment.     Housing  animals  compassionately  is  also  a  part   of  managing  and  running  a  sanctuary.    
  9. 9. Cat  Rooms   When  possible,  allow  your  cats  to  live  “cage  free”,   with  lots  of  things  to  do,  including  windows  to   watch!   •    •  You  can  make  your  rooms  as  “home-­‐like”  as  possible,   with  couches,  tables  and  lounging  areas  -­‐  keeping   cleaning  needs  in  mind.    This  helps  a  cat  easily  adjust   to  living  in  a  home  aSer  adopBon.   You  can  also  choose  a  “sanctuary-­‐style”  with  lots  of   climbing  structures  and  cat  furniture.   •  Toys,  toys,  toys!   •  Remember  to  consider  seaBng  for  potenBal  adopters   and  vistors/volunteers.   •  Quieter  rooms  away  from  the  dog  areas  are  ideal  and   can  relieve  stress.   •  Make  sure  to  have  an  area  in  the  room  with  the  cats   pictures  and  some  info  about  them!    
  10. 10. Cat  Rooms  with  cages   SomeBmes,  for  quaranBne  or  other   reasons  you  may  need  cages  for  your   cats….     •    •  •      If  you  are  forced  to  use  cages,  make   sure  there  is  plenty  of  space  for  the   cat  to  move  around  and  play.   Hammocks  and  shelves  add  levels  for   cats  to  explore!   Try  a  rotaBon  basis  where  cats  can  be   out  and  free  to  explore  the  room.  
  11. 11. What  animals  cons3tute   “sanctuary  animals”?     How  does  YOUR  rescue  or  shelter   “test”  animals  to  determine  their   suitability  for  adopBon  or   admission?     What  do  YOU  expect  from  dogs  or   cats  that  come  in,  and  are  put   before  you  to  be  judged?     How  fair  is  your  criteria  in   determining  their  placement…or   even  their  possible  death  in  your   facility?     Everyone  likes  to  THINK  they  are   fair  during  the  assessment  period,   but  ARE  you?  
  12. 12. Why  do  we  expect  so  much?   •  Incoming  animals  in  many  shelters  are  expected  to  NOT  be  terrified,  shy,   aggressive,  or  fearful.  Why?  Is  this  a  fair  or  reasonable  expectaBon?     •  It  is  unreasonable  to  expect  that  an  animal  that  has  been  a  stray,  possibly  hungry,   possibly  trapped  or  poled,  handled  by  strangers,  transported,  put  in  an  unfamiliar   and  strange  environment,  -­‐  to  then  behave  as  they  might  if  they  were  in  a  home   with  familiar  surroundings  and  familiar  people.     •  Many  shelters,  and  even  many  rescues,  s3ll  prac3ce  archaic  intake  exams  &  tests,   seLng  the  animal  up  for  failure.     •  Given  a  few  days,  or  a  week,  these  same  animals  that  snatched  food,  or  bit  the   evaluaBng  hand,  or  trembled,  clawed,  or  scratched,  -­‐  are  oSen  absolutely  fine  and   quite  redeemable.  No  animal  should  be  brought  to  a  shelter  and  be  judged  that   same  day.    Every  animal  should  have  a  chance  at  a  kind  and  quiet  environment,   with  people  that  act  caring  and  sympatheBc  toward  them.   HOW  ARE  YOU,  OR  YOUR  RESCUE,  DOING  EVALUATIONS?     EVALUATIONS  THAT  COULD  COST  AN  ANIMAL  THEIR  LIFE?  
  13. 13. “I’m  afraid.  Who  are  you?  Why  am  I   here?  I’m  hungry!  Don’t  touch  me!”   This….     Can  go  to  THIS  in  just  days.  
  14. 14. Every  animal  deserves   3me  BEFORE  evalua3on.   Providing  an  animal  with  some  Bme  to   get  to  know  you,  become  relaxed  in  his   environment,  and  become  familiar  with   his  rouBne  can  mean  the  difference   between  life  and  death.         Why  do  we  expect  more  from  animals   than  we  would  from  a  child,  or  even  an   adult  that  has  been  through  some  sort  of   trauma?     The  CACC  (Center  for  Animal  Care  &   Control)  in  NYC  rouBnely  kills  animals  for   temperament.  Yet  when  we  get  animals   that  they  claim  have  temperament  issues,   into  our  facility,  they  are  some  of  the   sweetest,  friendliest  animals  we  meet.   What  is  the  difference?     SomeBmes  all  an  animal  needs  is  some   paBence,  kindness,  or  even  just…                                                                                                          a  hug?  
  15. 15. Please  note,  we  don’t  advocate  pulling  a  dog  into  your  lap  that  is  this  terrified.  This   could  result  in  a  bite…  but  we  think  this  video  demonstrates  a  very  valid  point.   CLICK  BELOW  TO  PLAY  VIDEO  -­‐  hOp://www.dogwork.com/tear/      
  16. 16. Lose  “pre-­‐conceived”  noBons   •  How  many  shelters  do  you  know  that  would  have   “listed”  that  dog  as  irredeemable  based  on  the   first  minute  of  that  eval?   •  How  much  of  a  chance  are  YOU  giving  the  dogs   that  come  in,  to  show  you  who  they  really  are?   •  Many  Bmes  we  get  animals  in  that  rescues  and   shelters  have  deemed  UNADOPTABLE  -­‐  and  yet   there  is  NOTHING  wrong  with  them.    
  17. 17. Finding  home  for  “behavior  issue”  dogs.   Sanctuary  doesn’t  necessarily  mean  they  stay  with  you  forever.    You  must  be   creaBve  to  try  to  find  dogs  a  home.    Have  a  dog  with  severe  separaBon   anxiety?    Try  placing  him  in  a  nursing  home!    Have  a  dog  with  a  high  energy   and  prey  drive  –  call  local  agility  clubs  and  ask  them  to  help  market  him!     THINK  outside  the  box!  There  is  always  a  soluBon  that  isn’t  “death”.   If  you  choose  death  for  an  animal,  then  you  have  failed.  
  18. 18. Don’t  accept  “NO”.     YOU  may  be  all  they  have.  The  ONLY   one  that  can  make  a  difference.   Pets  Alive  had  a  dog  with  SEVERE  separaBon  anxiety.    Could   never  be  by  himself,  or  even  with  another  dog  with  out   harming  himself  and  property  very  severely.    What  sort  of   situaBon  could  he  ever  survive  in  where  people  would   always  be  with  him?     A  nursing  home  was  the  perfect  solu3on  for  him.  There  is   always  a  resident  there,  and  he  got  to  choose  whose  room   he  would  sleep  in  each  night.       •  Don’t  take  no  for  an  answer.   •  Start  by  gemng  the  dog  CGC  trained  and  his  other   behaviors  perfect!   •  Bring  him  regularly  for  visits  so  that  the  staff  and   residents  know  him,  come  to  love  him,  and  are  sad   when  he  leaves.   •  Convince  them  to  try  him  on  just  an  overnight.   •  Convince  them  to  just  foster  him  for  a  while.   •  Soon  that  perfect  dog  will  become  a  perfect  placement!     Instead  of  thinking  about  what  you  can  NOT  do,  think  about   what  you  CAN  do.  Change  the  way  you  think  and  opBons  will   open  up  to  you.  Focus  on  the  posiBve!    
  19. 19. Have  a  lot  of  senior  animals?   BE  CREATIVE!   Reach  out  to  your  city  ‘Office  of   the  Aging’  or  ‘Meals  on  Wheels’.     Develop  programs  such  as   “Seniors  for  Seniors”  where  you   place  senior  animals  with  senior   people  as  a  foster,  or  foster-­‐to-­‐ adopt  program.     We  had  such  an  overwhelming   response  to  this  –  we  RAN  OUT  OF   SENIOR  ANIMALS  TO  PLACE  and   had  to  pull  animals  from  other   locaBons!  
  20. 20. Don’t  be  afraid  of  a  dog  or  cat  that  is  a   challenge!    If  you  have  a  lemon…make   lemonade!  With  lotsa  “SUGAH”.   When  Pets  Alive  first  saw  this  dog,  it  gave  us   tremendous  pause.  Simng  in  the  CACC  (NYC   pound)  with  no  medical  care,  this  dog  had  a   broken  back  (hit  by  a  car).     Many  people  saw  this  picture  and  it  touched   them  all.    It  touched  us  too.  I  am  not  sure  what   his  face  says  here  –  you  decide,  but  to  us  it  said   “help  me,  I’m  not  ready  to  die”.     We  took  a  chance  on  “Robert”  and  took  him  in.     His  medical  care,  treatment  and  rehab  were   exorbitant  in  Bme,  commitment,  and  expense.   Over  $15,000  in  medical  care  and  treatment   alone.     But  we  made  lemonade.  Robert  so  touched  so   many  people  that  he  wound  up  bringing  in  far   more  than  his  medical  costs  -­‐  in  donaBons  to   our  sanctuary  through  social  networking  alone.   That  money  will  now  help  SO  MANY  MORE!!     We  weren’t  expecBng  that  reacBon  and  didn’t   PLAN  for  it  when  we  commiOed  to  Robert.     Robert  now  had  his  life  saved,  but  more  importantly  he   can  run  in  his  cart,  and  he  can  stand  on  his  own.    We   expect  him  to  conBnue  to  recover.     Take  risks.    Take  chances.    Not  only  might  you  save  a   desperate  life,  but  maybe  some  super  sweet  lemonade   will  fill  your  glass  as  well!  
  21. 21. TOOT  YOUR  OWN  HORN!!   It  is  ridiculous  to  be  humble  about   your  accomplishments.     When  you  do  something  great,  when   you  have  a  good  heart  warming   story,  when  you  have  saved  lives  in  a   special  way  –  BLAST  IT  OUT  THERE!     Call  the  local  press  and  invite  them   down  to  film  your  story,  take  lots  of   pictures,  post  all  about  it  on  your   Facebook  and  your  TwiOer  sites.       Take  joy  and  revel  in  the  good  things   that  your  organizaBon  does.     SPREAD  THE  WORD.    Create  a   following.         There  is  so  much  negaBve  out  there   that  people  WANT  to  hear  the  good   stories.  Post  the  HAPPY  pictures,   NOT  the  sad  ones!   Was  this  life  worth  saving?  Yes!  We  think  so!     TAKE  A  CHANCE  ON  LIFE!     When  death  is  NOT  an  opBon,  you  will  find  other  ways  to   accomplish  things  and  to  succeed  in  saving  lives!  
  22. 22. Commit  to  ALL  their  needs   Not  all  the  animals  you  save  will  make  you   lemonade,  but  you  will  never  regret   saving  a  life.     You  will  never  regret  giving  that  animal   another  chance  at  life.     Know  your  limitaBons!     Robert  was  a  life  that  we  knew  would  take   a  lot  of  Bme  and  effort  and  money  to   save,  but  we  decided  to  commit  to  it.         Sanctuary  care  is  not  about  taking  a  dog   like  Robert  and  pumng  him  in  a  run  and   considering  him  “saved”.     You  must  commit  to  not  only  their   physical  care,  but  emoBonal  as  well.     Choose  wisely  and  help  the  ones  you  can,   but  also  take  chances  to  help  even  if  it   might  be  “hard”.                                              (PLAY  VIDEO  –  RIGHT  à)  
  23. 23. Lemonade     Did  I  menBon  that  Robert  also  hated   other  dogs,  AND  cats,  AND  could  be   very  aggressive  with  people?       No?     Oh.   Well  he  could.     When  you  take  killing  animals  for   these  issues  off  the  table,  then  you  are   forced  to  come  up  with  other   soluBons.  Killing  a  paraplegic  dog  was   the  easy  answer.     Through  months  of  training  and  rehab,   Robert  is  now  ok  with  other  dogs,  and   is  great  with  people.     Cats?   Yeah.  Well.    Not  so  much.   We’re  sBll  working  on  it.    J   Robert  is  so  loved  and  his  story  is  now  so  well   known,  that  he  has  not  only  increased   dona-ons,  but  also  volunteering  and  tours  of   our  facility  –  everyone  wants  to  meet  “Robert   the  Celebrity”!  
  24. 24. Dogs  and  cats  with  issues   need  MORE  exposure  &   marke3ng!   If  you  have  a  dog  (or  cat)  with  behavior   issues,  you  must  be  creaBve  when  you  list   him  on  PetFinder  or  other  services.       Who  wouldn’t  come  to  look  at  THIS  dog?     Also  be  careful  with  your  descripBons  of   behavior  issue  dogs.       Phrases  like  “has  food  guarding  issues”  is  not   going  to  get  someone  to  come  and  meet  him.   Try  “Total  food  hog  and  hasn’t  learned  to   share  yet.”  This  implies  it  can  be  fixed  (which   it  can)  and  gives  you  an  opportunity  to  speak   to  the  people  in  person  about  the  animals   issues,  one  on  one,  while  they  are  on  site,   and  aSer  they  have  met  the  dog.     Being  creaBve  means  coming  up  with   markeBng  strategies  and  tricks  to  get  people   in  to  meet  your  animals.  There  is  no  shame  in   this.    Do  not  ever  be  dishonest,  but  the  first   step  is  gemng  people  in  to  SEE  your  dogs  and   cats.         Once  there,  if  this  is  not  the  right  dog  and   they  can  not  handle  a  dog  with  issues,  it  sBll   gives  you  an  opportunity  to  place  another,   easier,  animal  with  them!    
  25. 25. PetFinder  pics  of  animals  in  costumes,  with  children,  with  other  dogs,  with  happy  volunteers  –   THOSE  WORK!    Don’t  post  pictures  of  animals  in  cages!   THIS  ?     Or  THIS  ?  
  26. 26. Your  pictures  on  your  website  and  animal  search  sites  MATTER. THIS  ?   Or  THIS  ?    
  27. 27.   Actual  pictures  from  PetFinder.  Are  these  helping  your  animals  get  adopted?     Make  your  animals  the  ones  they  remember! THIS  ?   Or  THIS  ?  
  28. 28. Key  to  success  –  don’t   abandon  your  adopters  or   your  animals!       Get  the  person  to  make  a  connecBon,   then  explain  the  animal’s  issues  and   offer  help  to  them  when  the  dog  or  cat   is  in  their  home.  Let  them  know  you   will  be  there  to  help  them  overcome   those  issues.     Make  sure  you  have  a  GOOD   behaviorist  or  posiBve  reinforcement   trainer  on  your  staff.       Follow  up  on  all  your  adopBons  within   the  FIRST  week  and  again  in  a  few   weeks.     ANY  trouble  at  all  –  put  them  right  in   touch  with  your  trainer.    You  can  keep   animals  IN  these  homes  if  you  catch   the  issues  early  on  and  help  them  fix   it!    
  29. 29. A  note  about  trainers…   If  your  trainer  is  NOT  commiCed  to,   and  ONLY  using,  POSITIVE   REINFORCEMENT  training  techniques,     GET  RID  OF  THEM.     Shocking  dogs,  snapping  their  collars   for  aOenBon,  striking  them,  forcing   them  into  ANY  sort  of  posiBon  or   place,  is  NOT  the  answer  and   DEFINITELY  not  the  answer  for   BEHAVIOR  ISSUE  DOGS!     You  will  do  MORE  to  set  the  dog  back   and  MORE  to  increase  his  chance  of   biBng  again,  if  you  use  ANY  other   method  other  than  posiBve   reinforcement.     This  is  not  just  an  opinion.  This  is   supported  Bme  and  Bme  again.       (This  picture  of  Wanda  and  Clyde  has  nothing  to   do  with  training.  It’s  just  funny.)    
  30. 30. TAKE  RISKS,  DON’T  BE   AFRAID  TO  ACT,  TAKE   CHANCES  AND  “ASK”!   We  take  risks  when  we  adopt.     Take  risks  when  we  do  an  admission.     Much  of  what  we  do  is  really  a  risk.       UnBl  you  take  risks  &  step  outside   your  comfort  zones  and  stop  being   afraid  of  making  mistakes  -­‐  you  will   always  be  where  you  are  now.     YOU  are  the  leaders.  The  future  of  this   movement.  The  examples  for  others.       Step  outside  that  box.  Take  a  chance.     Accept  some  risk.  Lead  others  by   example.  Show  them  what  can  be   done.     Pets  Alive  took  in  108  kiOens  and   mother  cats  in  one  week’s  Bme.     Is  taking  in  108  cats  a  risk?  Sure.  But   when  the  shelter  that  has  them  is   killing  them  all  (and  you  know  how   adoptable  kiOens  are),  don’t  be  afraid   to  take  a  chance!   A  lot  of  work?    A  lot  of  expense?       Yes  -­‐    but  you  would  be  surprised  how  many  people  in  your  local   community  will  step  up  to  donate,  foster,  and  come  in  and  help   clean  –  IF  YOU  JUST  ASK!   JUST  ASK!  
  31. 31. Don’t  be  afraid  of  leLng   your  volunteers  take  risks   EITHER!   Start  volunteers  on  dogs  with  no   issues,  of  course.  But  so  many  will   surprise  you  &  WANT  to  help  and  work   with  the  “issue  dogs”.     This  dog  is  wearing  what  many  people   call  a  “muzzle”,  and  what  Pets  Alive   calls  a  “treat  basket”.  Teach  a  dog  that   may  bite,  to  LOVE  his  treat  basket  and   WANT  to  wear  it.    That  is  step  one.     Then  the  whole  world  opens  up  to   them.    Once  they  can  safely  be   interacted  with,  their  progress  will   move  much  faster.    Empower   volunteers  to  safely  interact,  train,  and   work  with  your  issue  dogs.     Don’t  be  afraid  of  using  posiAve  tools,   in  a  posiAve  way,  that  will  result  in  a   beCer  quality  of  life  for  your  dogs.        
  32. 32. Ronin  has  a  new  life!   Ronin  was  an  aggressive  dog  that  would  bite  when  excited.  Volunteers   couldn’t  walk  him  and  staff  Bme  is  limited.  By  training  him  to  love  his   treat  basket,  Ronin  now  gets  a  lot  of  Bme,  aOenBon  and  love  from   everybody!    Eventually  he  will  no  longer  need  his  treat  basket  and  then   he  will  be  a  candidate  for  an  adopBve  home!  
  33. 33. Predictable  or   unpredictable?   Aggressive  dogs  are  oSen  frightened   or  have  just  never  been  shown   another  way  of  responding  to  things   that  upset  them.       In  many  cases  aggressive  dogs  can  be   helped,  “cured”,  or  managed  safely.     Many  feel  that  dogs  with  aggression   issues  are  unpredictable.  We’d  argue   that  dogs  with  aggression  issues  are   MORE  predictable.  You  can  PREDICT   that  they  will  bite  in  certain  situaBons.     Wouldn’t  a  dog  that  has  never  biOen     actually  be  considered  more   unpredictable  than  one  that  you  know   exactly  what  he  will  do  (bite)  in  certain   circumstances,  and  can  address  that   before  it  happens?     A  dog  that  has  NEVER  biOen  could  sBll   bite!  Which  is  unpredictable?  
  34. 34. Don’t  believe  everything   you  hear.  If  you  do  believe   it,  don’t  believe  it  forever.   Sam  was  a  dog  that  lived  in  another   shelter  for  almost  his  enBre  life  –  eight   years.    No  one  really  interacted  with  him   and  it  was  well  known  that  he  was   aggressive  and  vicious.  To  humans  and  to   other  dogs.     Don’t  believe  things  that  you  hear  from   other  people.  It  is  amazing  how  liOle   people  really  understand  about  dog   psychology  and  it  is  amazing  how  one   minor  incident  can  label  a  dog  for  life.       Even  if  you  are  aware  of  a  serious   incident  with  an  animal  -­‐  animals  change   -­‐  and  who  they  were  five  years  ago  when   they  had  an  incident,  is  not  necessarily   who  they  are  now.     We  found  that  Sam  not  only  LOVES   people,  he  loves  other  dogs!         He  quickly  became  an  ambassador  dog!       No  issues  AT  ALL  –  a  dog  confined  to  a   cement  run  for  eight  long  years  was   quickly  adopted!    
  35. 35. This  is  “vicious”  Sam.  With  other  dogs.   (Play  video  below:)  
  36. 36. Evaluate  animals  properly,  tend  to  their  needs,     and  TRUST  your  volunteers  to  help!     Volunteers  can  oSen  be  your  biggest   asset  -­‐  and  your  biggest  liability  at  the   same  Bme.     Again  –  take  risks!       Step  outside  your  comfort  zone.   TRUST  THEM  TO  HELP  YOU.   Give  volunteers  guidance,  training,   help  and  support.  Set  them  loose!     This  is  Cam,  once  the  most  aggressive   dog  we  had  ever  met.  Cam  can  now  be   walked  and  handled  by  children,   thanks  to  dedicated  volunteers  that   didn’t  give  up  on  him.       THIS  is  what  volunteers  can  do,  with   your  help,  and  when  you  stop  pumng   obstacles  in  their  way.    
  37. 37. Stay  in  the  loop     •  Keep  in  touch  with  your  trainer(s).   •  How  is  the  dog  progressing?  What  are  the  issues?    What   tools  do  they  need  to  help  them  help  this  animal?   •  Once  progress  has  been  made  make  sure  it  is    made  over   all  and  NOT  just  with  that  one  handler/trainer!  That  is  NOT   indicaBve  of  how  the  animal  will  behave  with  others.   •  Many  dogs  and  cats  will  develop  close  bonds  with  their   trainers  or  care  takers,  but  that  does  not  mean  they  are   ready  to  be  adopted  yet.  
  38. 38. DON’T  BE  AFRAID  TO  ADOPT   OUT  YOUR  BEHAVIOR  ISSUE   ANIMALS!     Even  the  “aggressive  ones”.   (Everyone  has  suddenly  stopped   breathing  and  you  now  all  think   I’m  nuts.)     I’m  not.     Once  you  have  evaluated  a  dog,   goOen  to  know  a  dog,  and   understand  that  dog’s  triggers  -­‐   do  NOT  be  afraid  to  adopt  him   out  to  the  right  home.     Ideally  your  staff  or  volunteers   may  opt  to  adopt,  but  if  not  –  be   honest,  explain  the  animal’s   issues,  DON’T  abandon  the   adopter,  and  work  with  them  on   conBnuing  to  help  the  dog  past   their  fears  and  aggression  issues.       Kimmie  was  declared  a  “Dangerous  Dog”  by  a  NYS   court.  She  was  ordered  executed  un-l  Pets  Alive   stepped  in.  Is  THIS  is  a  dangerous  dog?    
  39. 39. “But  the  dogs  will  just   come  back!”   We  have  fearlessly  adopted  out   HUNDREDS  of  behavior  issue  dogs  and   dogs  with  aggression  issues.    The   percentage  of  returns  on  these  dogs?     5%.   (Percentage  of  returns  on  our  other  dogs?    6%  )     But  for  behavior  issues  dogs,  that  means   95%  of  dogs  most  shelters  would   euthanize  or  refuse  to  accept,  could  be  in   homes.     Out  of  the  5%  that  come  back  that  we   adopt  out  again,  how  many  come  back  for   a  second  Bme?     Less  than  1%,  -­‐  and  we  usually  can  adopt   them  out  again.  Some  Bmes  3x’s  the   charm!     Our  experience  is  showing  that  99%  of   dogs  stay  in  adopBve  homes,  that  most   shelters  would  never  consider  adopBng  or   fostering  out.  Why  not?   Bonesy  is  one  of  the  top  three  MOST   aggressive  dogs  we  have  on  our  property.   Here  he  is  with  volunteer,  Aimee.  If  she   wanted  to  adopt  him,  would  you  let  her?  
  40. 40. These  dogs  have  SEVERE  bite  histories:   Homer  would  not  tolerate  handling.   FOUR  people  rec’d  s3tches  from  him   before  he  was  accepted  at  Pets  Alive.     Rusty  has  severe  food  &  toy  guarding.   Three  people  had  been  severely  biCen,   one  requiring  s3tches.  
  41. 41. They  were  adopted…   Homer  with  his  “dad”:   Rusty  in  his  home:  
  42. 42. KaBe  has  such  severe  dog  aggression  that   she  can  not  even  SEE  another  dog   without  going  insane  and  trying  to  get  at   that  dog.     What  hope  did  any  shelter     have  of  adopAng  her?     The  shelter  that  had  her,  admiOed  she   was  truly  wonderful  with  people,  but  they   just  could  never  safely  adopt  her  out,  and   she  was  scheduled  for  exterminaBon.     Pets  Alive  took  her  in  and  adopted  her   out.    It  has  been  three  years.     Her  adopters  understand  the  issues,  they   call  ahead  when  they  have  to  go  to  the   vet,  they  are  cauBous  at  all  Bmes,  they   conBnue  to  work  on  her  dog-­‐to-­‐dog   issues.         She  is  a  PERFECT  lady  and  a  wonderful   companion  to  this  family.     DON’T  KILL  DOGS  FOR  FEAR  OF     WHAT  THEY  MIGHT  DO!!  
  43. 43. Did  this  dog  deserve  to  DIE?  
  44. 44. ExcepBons…     •  Yes  there  ARE  excepBons  such  as  dogs  w/unpredictable  rage  syndrome  or   animals  with  mental  issues    (everyone,  please  nod  &  shake  your  head  yes).   •  How  many  have  we  encountered  in  over  15,000  dogs  that  have  come   through  our  doors  in  the  past  years  that  we  could  not  make  progress   with?              NONE.   •  We  have  NEVER  failed  at  being  able  to  work  with  a  dog  and  get  them  to  a   place  where  they  can  be  safely  interacted  with.  NEVER.   •  Give  animals  a  chance.  Some  take  a  much  longer  Bme  than  others.                                        THEY  ARE  REDEEMABLE    -­‐    if  you  commit  to  them.   •  I  am  sure  there  ARE  such  dogs  out  there  and  I  am  sure  some  of  you   encountered  them  –  but  really  –  how  long  did  you  give  it?  How  much   work,  Ame,  effort,  training,  and  aYenAon  did  you  really  give  that  dog   before  declaring  him  unadoptable  and  unredeemable?  
  45. 45. Take  killing  off  the  table!   •  Dogs  that  hate  or  will  bite  children,  can  STILL  be   adopted  to  responsible  homes  WITHOUT  kids!   •  Dogs  that  hate  or  are  fearful  of  men  –  can  STILL  be   adopted  to  female-­‐only  households.     •  Dogs  that  have  a  bite  history  can  STILL  go  to  homes   with  responsible  adopters  who  take  the  -me  to  get  to   know  them  &  work  with  them!   •  Dogs  that  will  aOack  other  dogs  –  can  STILL  be  adopted   to  families  that  UNDERSTAND  this  and  don’t  HAVE   other  dogs.  
  46. 46. But  BE  RESPONSIBLE   •  You  can  not  simply  start  saying  “let’s  take  a  chance  and   adopt  out  this  bite  history  dog”  to  any  unassuming   family  that  walks  through  the  door.   •  It  may  take  bringing  the  adopter  down  many,  many,   Bmes  and  having  them  work  with  your  trainers  or  staff.   •  It  might  be  doing  extra  diligence  in  making  them   understand  the  ramificaBons  and  responsibility  that   they  are  taking  on.  
  47. 47. But!!!!     BUT!!!       BUT!   -­‐  -­‐    But  the  dog  might  BITE  someone!!   But  the  dog  might  aOack  another  dog!   So  might  all  the  other  dogs  you  have  adopted  out.     So?     Yes,  this  would  be  awful.     But  if  you  lived  by  “but”  then  you  wouldn’t  ever  adopt  any   animals  out,  or  have  any  volunteers  either  (they  could  get   hurt,  get  biOen,  get  scratched,  trip,  fall….sue  us!)     Maybe  you’ll  save  5,000  more  dog  lives  before  you  ever   have  one  that  bites  again.  Maybe  10,000.    Maybe  100,000.     Develop  a  good  posiBve  reinforcement  program,  stay  in   touch  with  and  help  your  adopters  –  you’ll  be  ok.  So  will   they.  
  48. 48. But  I’m  afraid  of  my   insurance  company!   We  hear  this  all  the  Bme  and  if  you   don’t  step  outside  of  this  fear  -­‐  then   your  insurance  company  will  run  your   shelter  or  rescue.     We  all  NEED  insurance.    We  all  need  to   abide  by  rules,  but  if  you  simply  abide   by  all  the  rules  that  insurance   companies  lay  down  for  you,  then  you   will  never  step  outside  the  box  and   your  growth  and  change  will  be   hampered  by  this  fear.     Consider  your  coverage,  consider  your   risks,  don’t  be  afraid  of  having  to  use   your  insurance  if  need  be.    That’s  why   you  have  it.     But  the  fear  of  ever  having  to  “use”  it   hampers  so  many  creaAve  ideas!   Don’t  let  that  stop  you!      
  49. 49. It’s  all  about  the  rela3onship!   Develop  posiBve  relaBonships  with  your  volunteers  (&   adopters).  The  odds  of  them  gemng  hurt  or  upset  or   suing  you  decreases  with  every  posiBve  experience  they   have  with  your  rescue  or  shelter!  Your  “friends”  rarely   sue  you.     Invite  them  to  be  a  part  of  your  organizaBon,  involve   them  in  plans  and  strategies.    You  don’t  have  to  take   anyone’s  advice  but  welcoming  opinions,  and  listening   to  ideas  and  thoughts  from  the  people  that  are  there  so   oSen,  and  working  hands-­‐on  with  your  animals,  is  a   win-­‐win  for  you  both!     Get  out  of  your  office  and  watch  your  volunteers  -­‐  are   they  acBng  responsibly?  Do  you  see  them  following   your  training  and  orientaBon  pracBces?    If  so,  then   empower  them  to  help  others,  take  a  leadership  role   and  take  on  greater  responsibility!     TRUST  the  public  to  help  you!    
  50. 50. “But  they  could  get  hurt!”   You  are  always  going  to  have  injuries,   people  that  get  biOen,  hurt,  or  their   property  damaged.     If  you  have  a  relaBonship  with  those   people  they  are  far  more  likely  to  take   care  of  things  on  their  own,  than  come   to  you  for  a  hand-­‐out  or  a  pay-­‐out.     Volunteers  can  be  your  best  source  for   assistance,  help,  donaBons,  supplies,   care,  foster,  and  affecBon  for  the   animals  you  are  housing.   Loosen  up.     Let  them  come  when  they  want  to,   don’t  force  them  to  Bmes  and  shiSs,   set  rules  but  make  them  reasonable.     The  goal  is  to  get  your  volunteers     to  come  back,  and  get  them     to  WANT  to  be  there.          
  51. 51. You  can  accomplish  more   and  save  more  lives  with   volunteer  help!   You  can  accomplish  so  much  with   volunteer  help.  If  you  had  more  help,   how  many  more  lives  could  you  save?     Volunteers  can  do  so  much  more  than   walk  dogs,  play  with  cats,  or  be  foster   homes.     Volunteers  can  help  you  with  data   entry,  running  errands,  handling   transports,  help  with  adopBons,  help   with  cleaning,  help  make  repairs,   facility  upkeep,  mowing  and   landscaping  –  the  list  is  truly  endless.     Collect  data  on  your  volunteers  –  what   do  they  do  for  a  living?    Now  you  can   reach  out  to  them  if  you  have  that   specific  need.     JUST  ASK!      
  52. 52. Children  are  a  wonderful   source  of  help!   Allow  children  (with  a  parent)  to  come   and  volunteer!       Parents  are  always  looking  for   inexpensive  things  to  do  WITH  their   children.  Why  not  also  teach  children   empathy  and  responsibility  at  the   same  Bme!     Children  can:   •  Walk  and  care  for  animals   •  ParBcipate  in  your  offsite  adopBon   events   •  Run  fundraisers  for  you   •  Rally  their  peers  &  schools  to   collect  donaBons  &  supplies     •  They  are  great  at  helping  to  clean   up,  poop  scoop,  fill  water  buckets!   •  You  can  “kid-­‐test”  your  dogs  and   cats!    J  
  53. 53. Summary     •  Take  risks  –  take  chances  for  success.   •  Provide  for  ALL  the  animals  needs,  not  just  food  and  shelter.   •  Allow  an  animal  to  have  an  opportunity  to  show  you  who  they  are,  with   no  pressure  or  fear.   •  Don't  get  too  distracted  by  an  animal's  history  (which  may  or  may  not  be   accurate).  Get  to  know  who  they  are  today  -­‐  give  them  a  chance  to  shine.   •  YOU  are  all  the  have  –  make  sure  when  you  promote  them  you  do  so  in  a   way  that  markets  them  posiBvely!   •  Think  outside  the  box  to  find  creaBve  homes  for  the  animals  that  may   have  extra  needs.   •  Embrace  your  accomplishments  and  promote  yourself  oSen.   •  Empower  your  volunteers!   •  Don’t  accept  “no”  or  “you  can’t”  –  YOU  CAN!   •  Don’t  be  afraid.  Fear  of  failure  stops  more  people  from  even  trying  than   anything  else.  You  will  fail  someBmes.  So  what?  You  will  also  succeed.   •  Run  YOUR  rescue/shelter.  Don’t  let  the  insurance  companies  control  what   you  do,  where  you  go,  or  who  you  work  with!   •  Take  killing  off  the  table  and  you’ll  find  other  soluBons!  
  54. 54. Contact:     Kerry  Clair   kerry@petsalive.com   @petsalive   Facebook.com/petsalive     363  Derby  Road   Middletown,  NY,  10940   845-­‐386-­‐5408  

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