If you’ve ever been to the shelter, you know that “Every Animal Matters” is our motto. Painted on a prominent blue wall in bold letters, the phrase reminds staff and volunteers of the commitment that guides our every decision and why this program saves animals who would otherwise be lost.
Behavioral issues are among the many reasons other shelters would categorize an animal as “unadoptable” and end that animal’s life. A guiding principle of the No Kill model is that No Kill is achieved by
“guaranteeing life to all healthy animals and to all sick, injured or vicious animals where medical or behavioral intervention would alter a poor or grave prognosis.”Winograd, Redemption, 2007, p. 192
Our motto sums up that language: “Every Animal Matters.”
Of course there are animals who cannot be redeemed. They are too ill, injured or dangerous. No Kill does not mean that every animal lives nor that we tolerate suffering. It means that every animal has the right to be treated as an individual and the shelter has the concomitant duty to provide opportunities for redemption where possible in the form of medical care or behavioral modification.
Just as humans are given tools and time to correct their issues, animals should also be given this right. We’ve found a partner that shares this same thought–Urban Tails. Urban Tails is donating this second chance at life to Andi. They share our belief in redemption and in the shelters’ duty to bring that about any time it is possible.
Through the “Urban Tails’ Second PAWportunity Program,” we will follow Andi, a Friends For Life adoptable dog, as she goes through training to correct behavioral issues.
A German shepherd mix, Andi was brought to Friends For Life after found tied to a tree. She has been in five different foster homes. Although each foster put in significant effort, she had to be moved because of her high energy level and lack of manners. Andi struggles from a combination of issues. She is a large dog with high energy. Also very smart, she not only needs an outlet for her energy but to stimulate her mind. Due to all the moves in puppyhood, although good for her socialization, she developed fear and anxiety. These things combined create a perfect storm for behavioral issues.
Upon her recent arrival at Urban Tails, trainers immediately noticed Andi’s very reactive behaviors (barking, lunging, growling, snarling and snapping) towards strangers and dogs on leash. She has a small threshold and will “alert” (stiffening, hard gaze, forward body and ear posture) to people as far as a block away. Andi also displays poor manners, including pulling and biting/tugging on leash, jumping up for attention, biting pant legs and shoes for attention/play, and jumping and barging through doors. The video below captures some of these behaviors.
Over the next four weeks, Andi will board at Urban Tails and work with the staff on her issues. Her curriculum will be comprised of three parts: Basic Manners, Exercise & Mental Stimulation, and Reactive Behavior. Follow her progress through regular blog and Facebook updates both on Friends For Life and Urban Tails sites. Our goal is to give Andi the tools she needs to be happy and compatible in a forever home.
Join us on this transformative journey. Because Andi Matters. Every Animal Matters.