Thursday, November 8, 2012

My personal experience of Colt is that he loves loves LOVES people!  He would love to be your dog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Happy Tails of Two“Long Termers”


Two dogs that served long “sentences” at the LCHS shelter are now in their forever homes, due to hours of dedicated staff and volunteer training. Gypsy and Giselle are living testimonials to the creative persistence of LCHS trainers and to the ability of dogs to adapt and learn despite difficult backgrounds and a long-term stay in the less-than-ideal kennel environment.

Gypsy lived at the shelter from July 2010, when she was turned in as a one-year-old stray, until her adoption in December 2011. People often walked by the kennel of this generic black lab-cross without a second glance. Perhaps they saw her as “just another black dog” (a common misperception at many shelters).  Those who did consider Gypsy were put off by her excitement and the natural exuberance of a young. untrained dog.

Giselle was the LCHS’s resident Olympic contender. This three-year-old shepherd-cross could (and often did) jump almost six feet straight up from a standing position, nearly clearing the walls of her kennel. Despite several Pawsibility tries, her high energy and an unrelenting interest in chasing cats made adoption a challenge. She was at the LCHS shelter – a turn-in because of cat chasing – from September 2010 until April 2012.

It became apparent that that these two loving but challenging dogs needed extra attention.
Shelter trainer Tom Kandt began individual training with both dogs, focusing on impulse control and obedience commands. As the dogs’ behavior improved, he recruited LCHS volunteers to help teach Gypsy and Giselle proper behavior and command response..
Volunteer members of the shelter’s Outreach Program introduced Gypsy and Giselle to the public by taking them to participating Helena businesses, where the dogs met and mingled with customers and got a chance to practice their newly learned manners.

Months of training and outreach efforts first paid off when Gypsy attracted the attention of a woman with a 10-year-old beagle. The woman began visiting the shelter weekly, bringing her dog to play with Gypsy. The two animals quickly formed a bond. After 17 months at the shelter, Gypsy moved to her new home just in time for Christmas 2011, and now resides happily with her person and beagle companion.

Meanwhile, a local couple perusing the LCHS website read Giselle’s story and decided they had the time, resources and location that could provide a perfect home. After spending time with Giselle at the shelter and conferring with LCHS trainers, they took Giselle on the two-week trial run of the Pawsibility Program.  With her newfound manners and obedience training, Giselle proved herself
an adaptable companion. She now spends her time in a cat-free home, with people happy to provide the daily exercise this dog so obviously craved.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Dogs Are Worth More Than The Replacement Cost

Report: Denver Woman Awarded $65,000 For Dog’s Death

In a precedent-setting move a judge awarded a woman money for the emotional costs from her dog's death.   Ruthie the dog was only 18 months old when a maid service caused her dog to be hit by a car then failed to call a veterinary service. 

We are seeing precedents set in how our society treats animals in the legal arena.  Hopefully we will see some upgrades in the law where hoarding and puppy mills are concerned, as well as more timely trials.

Monday, February 6, 2012

National Responsible Pet Owners Month

One of Debi's photos from the January play groups!

I deleted a post with a video. The video was not one of my making and instead was something I found on Youtube. It was pretty heart-wrenching and I decided right after I posted it that it wasn't what we wanted to convey to people. We don't have to always go for shock and pity to get people involved. In fact if you go for shock and pity too often it gives people "compassion fatigue" which leads to people feeling burned out on so many please for help. Instead, I'm going to remind people that if you have any issues you need help with the Lewis and clark Humane Society has a certified behavior counselor and Knowledge-Assessed trainer, Tom Kandt, who, along with another trainer, does in-home counseling. The service is free for people having issues with their shelter dog.

Most people need help from time-to-time. Life and circumstances can be hard sometimes and we are there if you need help with any issues you are having with your dogs. The in-home counseling is free for people who are having issues with their shelter dogs. Others may be charged a fee that is appropriate to the circumstances.

I will give you more of Debi Beardslee's fantastic photos! As you can see it was right after we had a large amount of snow. The dogs had the best time playing in it!

As you can see from his cute butt Tiger is still with us. Hopefully soon someone will realize what a great dog he is and stop passing him by!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dark Times

It is that time of the year when there is less light and you want to wear turtlenecks and wrap yourself in an afghan, stay home, and drink hot cocoa.

Izzy and Bullett tried to keep Loki warm but he said, "You are doing it wrong!"

We don't have turtlenecks for the dogs so we improvise.

Loki's coat wasn't enough to keep him warm so while Izzy and Bullett had a rousing game of chase and wrestle, Loki got some relaxation and warmth in the arms of a volunteer.

Loki looks to be the next adoption project by volunteer Loreen Skinner.

You see, Loreen's last project was the adoption of Hercules! Well, it isn't quite a done thing yet. He's on Pawsability.

Loreen found non-traditional ways to advertise dogs for adoption when she put a magnet on her car. Hercules was already used to sitting in his foster mom's car so Loreen put him in her truck and advertised his availability by parking her truck by the front door of the shelter. Then volunteers began taping hand-made posters on their cars.

Posters appeared on a sandwich board out front and in a local city garage.

Magnetized versions began appearing on cars.

The word got out state-wide through Craigslist and a potential adopter saw our videos and photos of Hercules. She had been looking for just the right dog for a year. And Herc was the right one for her. Keep your paws crossed for him but so far so good.

A number of adoptions came through since Christmas. The shelter is at an unusual low in terms of numbers of dogs. It has been a blessing because a number of the staff are involved in dealing with the Malamutes.

Just as the light starts increasing and our moods begin to lift as we look towards Spring, everything seems sunnier. Seeing happy dogs play on Play Group Sundays is a huge boost for us.

Dogs like Bailey get happy-crazy eyes and flapping tongue from being able to run the entire parking lot. We get happy from watching them get happy. How could you not feel that warm and gooey feeling when you see this photo taken by Debi Beardslee, our action photographer?

So while we wait for it to get warm we aren't in our PJs and afghans, we are still in our Carhartts and out there with the dogs. Volunteer participation in dog-walking has dropped off dramatically but the Feisty Fido Crew and staff are out there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hercules Playing With Another Dog

As I said in a prior post, Hercules has surprised us by being able to enjoy the company of some other dogs. I think it is fair to say that the environmental stress of the kennel was a huge factor in his deterioration at the shelter. I hope someone will give him a chance at a home now that it looks he could live with another dog.

It has been said before and I will say it, dogs change over the course of their lives. They can, with guidance, improve their ability to get along with other dogs.