BENEFITING: Dogs Playing for Life
Across the country, dedicated shelter staff and volunteers work tirelessly to meet the needs of the dogs in their care. Running to the shelter on their lunch break, staying after closing, and sacrificing other commitments becomes necessary to get every dog out of their kennel even once per day. The dogs repay the staff and volunteers with feverish excitement to smell the fresh air, stretch their legs, and get away from the barking that plagues them all day. Only minutes later, the handler has to drag the dog back to its kennel to give the next waiting canine a chance at serenity. Heartbroken, the caregivers lock up the shelter doors at the end of the day and hope that tomorrow there will be moments more for each dog to feel the grass on their paws.
Then, word spreads about an enrichment program that a neighboring shelter has implemented, Dogs Playing for Life™, where dogs don't just get moments to sniff and stretch, they spend much more time romping and playing! Hope is reignited to fulfill their dogs while at the shelter, and to help them find homes faster.
DPFL ensures that enrichment is prioritized to ensure that EVERY DOG is afforded time out of their kennel EVERY DAY in accordance with the ASV recommendations to attend to the Five Freedoms, particularly, the freedom to express normal behavior. Daily play groups must be considered a standard of care, commensurate with feeding and cleaning.
Providing daily play groups is the most effective and efficient way to attend to the most sheltered dogs by providing:
· time out of their kennels for larger populations of dogs
· the freedom to express normal, species specific behavior
· opportunities for staff to learn more about each individual dog’s behavior and unique personality
· adoption and transfer opportunities for more dogs
· the ability to meet the needs of many of the most challenging population of sheltered dogs; the larger, exuberant adolescents and adults
· increased life-saving
· decreased average length of stay, specifically for the larger dogs
· a safer shelter environment for care-takers due to decreased frustration, fear and distress (measured by dog-human bites on site)
DPFL’s primary objective is to increase lifesaving across the nation's animal shelters while dramatically improving the quality of life for shelter dogs and their caretakers through the implementation of daily play groups. DPFL's innovative behavioral programming provides one of the industry's largest safety nets for shelter dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors by focusing on scalable enrichment that meets the needs of the largest population of canines the most efficiently and effectively. Dogs live to play...we let them play to live!