Dogs arrive at the League for Animal Welfare for many reasons. Some come from overcrowded traditional shelters. Others are surrendered by owners who no longer can or want to care for them. And still others are found as strays, often abandoned by the side of a road or left behind when their family moved.
The stories of how they come to us are as varied as the dogs themselves…
Some are frightened and confused. Some are shy and withdrawn. A few need to learn basic manners – how to walk on a leash, how to sit and stay — while others may have health issues that require medical care. And some simply just need to find their “person.”
Many are adopted within days or weeks of their arrival. Others are not as lucky, and may require some extra attention.
The League’s Dog Enrichment Committee works closely with staff to identify each dog’s specific path to adoption, especially for those dogs that need a little help to show their true potential. With input from our kennel staff, volunteers and professional trainers, the committee seeks to identify individualized socialization and training experiences particular to the needs and challenges of each dog.
For one dog it might be foster care. For another, it’s structured obedience training. And sometimes it’s just trips to a park or shopping mall where they can learn to be comfortable around lots of different people. Or going for a ride in a car… accompanying a jogger on a daily run… spending the day with a family at home … or enjoying a scheduled “play date” with some canine buddies.
Just like dogs, learning comes in all shapes and sizes, too. It’s not just limited to our four-legged friends. Our volunteers also benefit as they grow in their knowledge and understanding of working with dogs. Whether it’s attending a session provided by a professional trainer or spending a “fun” night in the parking lot, helping dogs gain confidence in something as simple as climbing in and out of cars, there’s always something to be gained by all.
It’s a given that dogs thrive in the love and care of a forever home. The goal of the Dog Enrichment Committee is to help them get there.