Community Shelter Assistance and Consulting Program

from Dog-Harmony Life V2|Q1

Can you believe it’s almost been a year since we all shut down to help prevent the spread of COVID-19? It’s been a wild year to say the least, but I’d like to take a moment to thank our incredible supporters and volunteers for sticking with us through this challenging time. And, thanks to your continued support, it’s my pleasure to announce the newest facet in Dog-Harmony’s efforts to help dogs through education — Community Shelter Assistance and Consulting.

For years, we’ve been working with other rescues in the area assisting with volunteer training and animal behavior assistance, most of which was fairly informal. Through this work, though, we realized just how overwhelmed and exhausted shelter workers and volunteers are, especially in regard to conflicting messages on proper animal behavior.

So, with resources compiled by credentialed dog trainers and with three volunteer certified behavior consultants, we’ve developed a new community shelter assistance and consulting program with five methods of assistance:

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1. Live Educational Resources

We’ve started working with Amanda Rietheimer, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and 12-year veteran Animal Control Officer, of Behavior Focus of Houston to host monthly question and answer sessions to be streamed live at the Dog-Harmony building. Shelters can send their workers or volunteers to the event free of charge to receive accurate, science-based information and answers about dog behavior. The first session is on March 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. You can visit our Facebook page or website for additional upcoming dates.

2. Free Access to Dog-Harmony Life

As you read through this magazine, you’ll find that it holds a wealth of information for dog owners, both seasoned and beginners. So, we’re offering complimentary copies of Dog-Harmony Life to shelters and rescues between Bay and Escambia counties for their adoption packages. We’re also happy to ship copies to rescues and shelters outside of this market for just shipping costs.

3. Free Access to Enrichment Toys

Our volunteers have been hard at work crafting snuffle mats which is a brain game for dogs. These mats can be used for feeding or simply just enrichment time. They provide hours of stimulating entertainment to dogs, helping to alleviate stress and keep shelter dogs happy. We’re providing these tools to shelters and rescues in the area for free.

4. Access to Additional Resources

Dog-Harmony has a vast amount of educational and training resources on its website, but we know that situations can arise where rescues and shelters will have additional questions. So, if we can’t pair them with an online resource, we’ll do the research ourselves to be able to provide them with credible, fact-based information.

5. Complimentary Training

If a shelter or rescue has a non-aggression-related situation where a dog needs additional training in order to stay in a happy, healthy home, Dog-Harmony will provide a complimentary one-hour session at Dog-Harmony headquarters.

Again, all of this will be offered to shelters and rescues free of charge, as this program will be funded through grants and the generous donations and sponsorships from our supporters. We’re so excited to get started with this program, so if you know of a shelter or rescue that could benefit from this, or if you’d like to learn more, please email me at hello@dog-harmony.org.

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