The dedication of our volunteers continues to amaze our small animal shelter.  Here is a blog from a volunteer who dove in and provided enrichment for some of the dogs that need a little extra handling.

Written By Randi Yochim (Enrichment Volunteer)Randi

A couple months ago I saw a Facebook post requesting volunteers to help with the Humane Society’s new dog enrichment program. My husband and I both love dogs, so we decided to sign up and see what it was all about. After a brief orientation, we dove right in working with the dogs that were assigned to our enrichment team. Typically these dogs have a lot of energy and need help working on their leash walking skills, basic commands, and overall manners so that they can become more adoptable. Sometimes the dogs are on the opposite end of the spectrum and are very shy so they need help trusting people and coming out of their shells, which is hard for them to do in a loud shelter.

My husband and I try to go to the Humane Society a couple times a week to work with the dogs. Our time there typically consists of walking the dogs to burn off some energy, working with them in the agility course to build their trust, then giving them some off leash time where we play fetch and let them run around. One of our favorite things to do with the dogs is taking them to adoption events. We love getting them out of the shelter environment so we can see their true personalities start to shine. We recently took a sweet dog named Nyla to an adoption event. She went from being shy, timid, and fearful at the shelter to being calm, relaxed, and curious at the adoption event (and she got adopted a couple days ago!). Adoption events are also a great opportunity for the dogs to interact with the public and possibly find their forever home. There is truly nothing more rewarding than seeing a dog that we’ve worked with find a loving home. In fact, just this month my enrichment team has had six dogs adopted!

Thanks to the other wonderful volunteers and trainers I’ve been learning so much about dogs. I’ve learned how to get the dogs in and out of their kennels, correct unwanted behaviors, properly walk them using a Gentle Leader, and so much more. It has also been a true blessing getting to know the other volunteers because they are wonderful people with the biggest hearts.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering but weren’t sure how to get started, this is the perfect opportunity! If you’re interested in joining the enrichment program, please email SDK9Rehab@gmail.com or call 301-645-8181 and ask about the Dog Enrichment and how you can help.

Randi Yochim (Enrichment Volunteer)