Delta Is Discriminating Against People with Disabilities and Their Service Dogs

Delta Is Discriminating Against People with Disabilities and Their Service Dogs

Delta Is Discriminating Against People with Disabilities and Their Service Dogs
21
June, 2018
Delta announced that it is no longer recognizing what they call “bull type dogs” as service dogs. Make no mistake, this regulation discriminates against people with disabilities who need service dogs. It denies them access to travel and access to living the same lives as everyone else.

This decision doesn’t make any scientific sense either. According to hard science, there is no inherent difference between one dog and another dog. All dogs are individuals. For Delta to single out dogs based on an arbitrary label is a practice based entirely around a fallacy.

It’s also against both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

 
Depending on the situation, laws around service dogs aren’t always governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the case of air travel, these situations defer to the ACAA, although in some cases, like in airports themselves, the ADA still applies. (View a full chart of the how these regulations differ.) Delta’s service animal policy falls under the ACAA, which does give them a bit more freedom to adopt their own policies – but not much.

The ACAA states that all service animals must be permitted except if they:

– Are too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin
– Pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others
– Cause a significant disruption of cabin service
– Are prohibited from entering a foreign country

None of these things makes it acceptable for Delta to ban dogs based on an arbitrary label, in this case, “bull type dogs” or “pit bull type dogs” – Delta uses both terms interchangeably.  The airline, which calls these discriminatory policies “enhancements,” states:

The enhancements include introducing a limit of one emotional support animal per customer per flight and no longer accepting pit bull type dogs as service or support animals. These updates, which come as the peak summer travel season is underway, are the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten.”

Delta’s regulations cite “bull type dogs” as the only canines on their list of banned animals. Other animals on this list include, hedgehogs, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, and animals with horns or hooves. Science says that dogs are dogs and there’s no scientific reason anyone should ban an arbitrary group of dogs from anything.

It’s terrible that people were bitten by dogs on a plane. It’s also terrible that many break the law and commit fraud by faking a disability so that they can bring their pet on a plane. These two things are likely connected.

What isn’t connected is what this has to do with “pit bull” dogs or why it should result in the further discrimination of people with service dogs.

And yes, that’s what we’re talking about here. People with disabilities have service dogs of all shapes and sizes who perform all different types of jobs. Because there is no legal definition of what makes a “pit bull” dog, countless people with disabilities will buy their tickets, show up at the gate, and be turned away. Some people have already purchased tickets through Delta and now need to cancel their flight and possibly their entire trip because of discrimination.

While it’s tempting to say “don’t like it, don’t do business with them,” we need to look deeper. Sure, people can fly on another airline, but why can’t they fly Delta? Because Delta is discriminating against them. We aren’t comfortable letting discrimination stand and you shouldn’t be either.

Not only is Delta being discriminatory, they’re also breaking ACAA regulations. As we mentioned, there’s nothing in the regulations that permits the airline to deny “pit bull” dogs (or whatever label someone subjectively wants to assign to them) as service dogs. We’ve contacted Delta and the Department of Transportation for more details so that we can help them develop non-discriminatory solutions, but we have not heard back.

If you have been discriminated against by an airline, you can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.

The DOT is considering making revisions to the Air Carrier Access Act. They are requesting comments from the public prior to making any changes. You can leave your thoughtful comment on regulations.gov before July 9, 2018.

Below are some bullet points to help you draft your response:

  • The purpose of accessibility policies to make the world accessible to everyone. Policies banning dogs who look a certain way creates a more inaccessible world.
  • Delta’s new policy discriminates against people with disabilities.
  • There is no standard definition of what makes a dog a “pit bull” or a “bull type.” These are arbitrary terms based on subjective visual identification. They have no basis in science. 
  • In fact, science says visual identification of dogs is highly inaccurate.
  • Research shows that looks don’t equal behavior. Genetics are only part of what makes a dog who they are. 
  • All dogs are individuals and we must view them as such.

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“Pit Bull” K9 Helps Bring a Boy with Autism Back Home to His Family

“Pit Bull” K9 Helps Bring a Boy with Autism Back Home to His Family

“Pit Bull” K9 Brings Boy with Autism Back Home to His Family

14

May, 2018

You’ve heard all about our “pit bull” detection dogs. You know that they keep drugs off of the streets. What you might not know is that that’s only part of their job.

The dogs and the police officers with whom we place them help their communities in all types of ways – including keeping children safe.

On May 12, K9 Colt and Officer Bri Mecca reunited an autistic boy with his family.

 

After receiving a call that the boy had run away, something which is common for people with autism, multiple officers attempted to talk to the boy and get him to ride in their car back to his family. They were all unsuccessful.

But Officer Mecca knew she had something the other officers didn’t – a dog.

She asked the little boy if he liked dogs and the child gave an enthusiastic yes. 

Officer Mecca told us:

“I [asked him], ‘would you like to see mine? He’s in the car’. The child perked up and walked with me as if nothing was going wrong.”

When K9 Colt got out of the car the boy was so excited. His presence broke through the barrier none of the other officers could find their way around. Officer Mecca asked if Colt could walk the boy home. Again, his response was an enthusiastic yes!

The three of them walked to the boy’s apartment building. Colt gave the boy kisses on the elevator ride up to his home!

Officer Mecca’s quick thinking and K9 Colt’s gentle personality reunited a boy with his family.

Our “pit bull” detection dog program isn’t just about fighting crime, it’s about communities and family.

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It’s Time for Animal Welfare Organizations to Value Dogs Over Corporations

It’s Time for Animal Welfare Organizations to Value Dogs Over Corporations

It’s Time for Animal Welfare Organizations to Value Dogs Over Corporations

11
May, 2018

It’s a common thing for people in animal welfare to speak out about breed-discriminatory policies, whether they be at the county or state level, or even housing restrictions. Yet, people largely remain silent when it comes to companies with discriminatory policies.

In fact, many animal welfare organizations routinely partner and promote such businesses. That has to stop.

We all need to ask ourselves if justice matters more than a business deal.

The silence surrounding United Airlines’ latest banned “breed” list is deafening. While individual animal welfare workers have spoken out, organizations as a whole have not. Many are actively supporting United’s business – which means they either condone or don’t care about doing what’s right.

Here’s what we know

United Airlines’ list includes nearly 50 “breeds,” as well as any mix thereof.

Some of the breeds were included for health reasons, as brachycephalic (stubby nosed) dogs overheat easily and already suffer from breathing issues. The airline is also halting pet reservations to some locations during the summer months due to high-temperature risks. We can’t throw any shade on them for science-based policies designed to protect pets.

Dogs United refers to as “strong-jawed” make the list. There is no scientific basis to refer to a dog as “strong-jawed.” This is based on the myth that some dogs bite differently. It’s been debunked. The use of the term and the inclusion of dogs based on the idea are discriminatory.

Many of the supposed breeds on the list don’t actually exist.

We all need to ask ourselves if justice matters more than a business deal.

Here’s what we don’t know

Who determines the breed or breed mix of someone’s dog? Many people don’t know their dog’s heritage. Does United administer genetic testing? Even if they did, it doesn’t change the fact that “strong-jawed dogs” aren’t a thing. Plus, how can they determine that a dog falls under one of the breeds on the list when said breed isn’t considered real?

We’re confused and we bet a lot of United customers will be equally confused and denied access.

Here’s Something else we know

Animal welfare organizations are supporting fake science and discriminatory policies.

The Humane Society of the United States names United as their airline of choice for their Animal Care Expo. For 10% off, you too can support discrimination against dog owners! Then you can attend a conference where people talk about animal welfare, including the science that all dogs are individuals and that how breed or breed mix doesn’t make a dog inherently dangerous.

Again, we’re confused. How does HSUS reconcile these opposing views? Who knows! They’ve yet to make a public statement on their partnership with a discriminatory company.

We know that as animal welfare workers your funds are probably limited. A 10% discount on your flight might make a difference in whether or not you can attend a conference. But HSUS has a choice. Right now, they’re choosing to support injustice.

We also know that American Humane is working with the airline on creating healthier travel regulations for pets. This is a good thing. What’s not a good thing is that it’s crickets from American Humane when it comes to the banning of dogs based on stereotypes. Does their advocacy end at protecting the wellness of brachycephalic dogs? Based on their lack of response, it doesn’t include equality for all dogs and their owners.

To be trite, we have to talk the talk and walk the walk.
It’s not enough for individual animal welfare workers to stand up to the injustice of breed-discriminatory policies. Animal welfare organizations must do it, too. It’s not enough to throw out general statements about how discrimination is wrong and not based in fact. We have to address specific instances. That’s the only way change happens. As stewards of animal welfare and keeping pets with their families, it’s literally our job to challenge these bullshit restrictions.

Let’s all do better. Stand up. Speak up.

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Stealing One Photo Can Help Shelter Pets Find The Home Of Their Dreams

Stealing One Photo Can Help Shelter Pets Find The Home Of Their Dreams

Does Your Shelter Dog Look Like An American Hero?
30
MARCH, 2018

It’s no secret around here that we love Sgt. Stubby. He’s the perfect example of how ALL DOGS ARE INDIVIDUALS. 

While it’s true not every dog can go from the streets of America to heroically saving lives in a world war, all dogs can become heroes of the heart – and that’s what really matters to adopters.

One of the best ways to convey a dog’s heroic heart is with a catchy visual. Let’s be real though, not all of us are talented Instagrammers. Staging? Backgrounds? Aperture? (Ape-what-now?)

Take a deep breath because you don’t have to know any of that to give your dog adoption marketing efforts star power. You only have to do one thing:

 

⇓⇓ Steal this photo ⇓⇓

Well, okay, you have to do more than one thing. You have to take a photo of your shelter dog or this is never going to work.

Snap a few pics of one of your tan and brown shelter pups and super-impose your favorite image onto the left side of the above image.

Share it on Facebook and then tag Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.

Why tag them? Because Sgt. Stubby is happily sharing many of these photos on with their more than 240,000 fans!

We know what you’re thinking: “But Stubby was a blah blah blah<insert inaccurate visual breed identification here>! People can’t nominate dogs just because they’re brown and white!”

NOPE!

No one knows what type of dog Sgt. Stubby was! He was a dog! He was a hero! He loved humans and humans loved him!

(Can we use more exclamation points to get our point across?!!!??!!!!???!!!)

*ahem*

Next question: “But I don’t have a dog who looks anything like Stubby.”

Rules are made to be broken, friends!

 

Like, really, really, really broken…

 

Okay, maybe don’t break the rules that much…

But have fun! Embrace the joy of Sgt. Stubby’s heroic heart and share that with your community, fans, and potential adopters. Don’t forget to download the photo!

You can snag presale tickets to the film at AMC Theaters right here.

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A Dog Died On A United Flight. Here’s The Problem No One’s Talking About

A Dog Died On A United Flight. Here’s The Problem No One’s Talking About

A Dog Died On A United Flight. Here’s The Problem No One’s Talking About
19
March, 2018
The tragic story of a beloved family dog dying on a United Airlines flight went viral last week. There were lots of conversations about what the incident says about the way people treat dogs. That’s only the surface of what happened. In reality, this isn’t a dog-related incident at all. This is a people related-incident.

In fact, all canine discrimination and the disregarding of the human-canine bond boils down to us – to humans. There’s an underlying thread that connects this instance with breed-specific legislation, housing restrictions, discrimination against people with service dogs, and a myriad of other injustices that aren’t related to dogs at all.

These things happen because of the pervasive view that if something isn’t directly happening to you, it isn’t your problem. There’s no need for you to care for someone (human, canine, or otherwise) that you aren’t directly connected to. This is known as the bystander effect.

All canine discrimination and the disregarding of the human-canine bond boils down to us – to humans.

Were there people on the flight that have warm fuzzy feeling about dogs, sure. Were there people that felt uncomfortable about the situations, absolutely. The problem lies in that because it wasn’t their dog going into that overhead bin nothing was directly effecting them. Pair that with the fact that we, as humans, we have learned this behavior of conforming, no one took action.

Everyone fell into the trap of “otherness,” which leads to dehumanization and discrimination of people in general. We marginalize people who aren’t “like us” and ignore wrongdoing when it’s not happening to us personally. In many cases, we participate in it by following discriminatory social convention.

Due to the practice of othering, a flight attendant ignored a woman’s pleas that there was a living being in a carrier. Due to the normalization of silence in the face of adversity, no one stood up and said, “You will not disregard what this person is saying to you. You will not put her dog in an overhead bin.”

We’ll never change how people treat animals until we change how we treat each other.
Throughout our time working in animal welfare, we see the concept of otherness and the bystander effect play out so often.

One peek at a Facebook comment thread about the current United scandal and you’ll see a slew of posts from people bashing the family for bringing a dog on the plane, despite the fact that they paid the fee and followed regulations.

The discriminatory subtext of BSL and housing restrictions is that people who own dogs who look a certain way are inherently irresponsible. How many times have you heard “It’s always thugs who own “pit bull” dogs”? That’s a common statement, even among advocates. It’s immediate “othering” without taking any facts into consideration.

With regards to service dogs, the media coverage of people committing service dog related disability fraud has led people to assume that anyone with a service dog is lying about their disability. This is especially true if the dog doesn’t fit society’s arbitrary standard of what a service dog should look like. Now, the media’s focus is always on how to construct more barriers with regards to service dogs, rather than how to make the world more accessible to people with disabilities. This means more discrimination and less equality.

It’s true that all dogs and all people are individuals, we are still all connected. How we treat one another matters.
We all know these things happen. But most of us say very little. Typically, we say very little because these situations are so far removed from us, but as everyone on the United flight proved, even when injustice happens right in front of us we ignore it. While it’s true that all dogs and all people are individuals, we are still all connected. How we treat one another matters and it also matters whether or not we passively encourage wrongdoing by remaining silent.

We encourage everyone to stand up for what’s right. Stand up and speak up about how we treat one another. We say fuck our culture of politeness (yes, we’re swearing) and defend other people when you know they’re being dehumanized, marginalized, and othered. Speak out against discrimination in all forms. Don’t hand-wave racism or sexism. Remember and remind people that you can’t always tell if a person has a disability (and it also isn’t your business). Defend people’s right to fair and equal housing. And for goodness sake, don’t ever let anyone treat someone’s family member like luggage.

Featured image via aero_icarus/flickr.

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Help These Two K9 Heroes Get the Recognition They Deserve

Help These Two K9 Heroes Get the Recognition They Deserve

Help These K9 Heroes Get the Recognition They Deserve

5

March 2018

Not one, but two of our narcotics detection dogs have been nominated for a Hero Dog Award!

Celebrating heroes on “both ends of the leash,” the Hero Dog Awards is put on by American Humane. The organization will fly seven finalists and their humans to a gala in Hollywood. The ceremony will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel.

The best part is that American Humane will donate $2,500 to each finalist’s charity partners. The charity partner of the winner of the American Hero Dog Award will receive an additional $5,000.

K9 Kano

K9 Kano works in Stafford, Kansas with Officer Mason Paden. The hero wasn’t on the job long before he sniffed out over $7,500 in illegal marijuana! Because of this bust, the police dog had a meteoric rise to fame and received lots of press for his good work. This press changes people’s perception of dogs labeled “pit bull” and provides a springboard for the conversation that it’s a dog’s individual nature that determines their destiny, not their heritage or history.

His charity partner for the contest is

Vote for Kano

 

K9 Sheeva

K9 Sheeva is from Harris County Animal Shelter in Texas. Now she has a very important job with the Littleville Police Department in Alabama. She is the first non-specific breed police dog in the state. Her partner, Officer John Cantrell says that Sheeva is “living the American Dream” because she “came from nothing and become something” – and that something is a hero who keeps her community safe.

You can follow K9 Sheeva on Instagram @K9_Sheeva.

Her charity partner is K9s4Cops and her sponsor is the K-9 Courage Program from Zoetis.

 

Vote for K9 Sheeva

Both K9 Sheeva and K9 Kano are proof that shelter dogs have the potential to do the same work as purebred, purpose-bred dogs. We should never make assumptions about a dog based on their appearance, heritage, or history. We should always look at the dog in front of us and ask “Who are you?”

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Officer Lucky Huff and K9 Wilson Share a Journey of Friendship and Bravery

Officer Lucky Huff and K9 Wilson Share a Journey of Friendship and Bravery

Officer Lucky Huff and K9 Wilson Share a Journey of Friendship and Bravery
21
February, 2018
When Officer Lucky Huff of the McCurtain Police Department in Oklahoma was on his way to San Antonio, Texas to meet his new partner, he was full of nerves. He thought “Will he like me? What will he act like? What if we don’t bond?” Officer Huff’s potential partner, Wilson, isn’t your normal police officer. He’s a dog.

Like many of the dogs chosen for our detection dog training program, Wilson is high energy. That high energy isn’t ideal for a lot of families, but it’s perfect for police work when it’s paired with the drive and focus of a dog who loves to learn.

When they met, it wasn’t an immediate bond. Some handlers can instantly hang out with their dogs on the couch and make time for belly rubs. Every dog has a different personality and some take a little bit of time to become best friends with their human. Still, Officer Huff told us: 

“When I took the leash, we started a journey that I’m thankful for every single day.”
The pair did bond and he says that he believes their bond is stronger than the one other handlers have with their K9s (though we are sure they would disagree!). He says there’s something special about having to earn one another’s trust. Earning a shelter dog’s trust is a common experience for adopters, so we’re sure many of you can identify with this experience.

Though they didn’t become best friends overnight, they cemented their friendship while they were still in training. Officer Huff told us:

“At the hotel one night I let him out of his crate and he finally laid on the bed with me. He was trusting me. [Now] Wilson knows when he gets home and the collar comes off that means its relax time. He turns into a big baby and wants love from everyone in the house.”
Despite the adjustment period, K9 Wilson never had a problem doing his job. When it came time for his state certification, the K9 found all 28 grams of narcotics!

The pair do have a strong bond, but Officer Huff let us in on a little secret, he might not be K9 Wilson’s one true love:

“My wife Shannon is his true love at home! I give the orders but she gives the lovings.”

(All together now, everyone say, “AWWWWW!”)

When they aren’t busting criminals, Officer Huff and K9 Wilson are supporting police officers in need with the S.O.L.E. Six Foundation, which Huff founded. The organization provides funds to police officers, first responders, and their families should they be injured or worse in the line of duty.

We want to give a huge thank you to Officer Huff for becoming a part of the AFF family and for all of his support of our work. And an even bigger thank you to him and to K9 Wilson for selflessly protecting their community and working to keep it drug-free.

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Perpetuating the Myth of “Pit Bull” Dog High Pain Tolerance Doesn’t Help Dogs, It Hurts Them

Perpetuating the Myth of “Pit Bull” Dog High Pain Tolerance Doesn’t Help Dogs, It Hurts Them

Perpetuating the Myth of “Pit Bull” Dog High Pain Tolerance Doesn’t Help Dogs, It Hurts Them

At Animal Farm Foundation, we like science. We do love a good fairytale (because who doesn’t?), but simply because a story tugs at your heart, doesn’t make it true or helpful in moving society forward. In advocacy, you must always lead with the truth.

Unfortunately, many myths about “pit bull” dogs are so pervasive that many advocates believe them to be true and they use these stories as part of their outreach efforts.

A prime example of this is the myth that “pit bull” dogs have a higher tolerance for pain than other dogs.

One advocacy website writes:

“Sometimes presented as a negative trait, the fact that pitbulls [sic] have a high pain tolerance makes them exceptional family dogs. They easily (and happily) put up with the rough play of children without reacting.”

Not only is this statement factually incorrect, it feeds into the pro-BSL hysteria that “pit bull” dogs are uniquely different, dangerous, and therefore need to be regulated. It’s even shown up in court as justification for breed bans.

There is nothing unique about the neurological system of a “pit bull” dog.

They’re just dogs.

If this was a fact, we wouldn’t argue it. But, it’s not a fact. It’s a myth. There is nothing unique about the neurological system of a “pit bull” dog

All dogs, regardless of how they look or their genetic heritage, experience pain. How each individual dog responds to that pain will vary, but you cannot predict that response based on the dog’s physical appearance or heritage.

Tufts Veterinary Medicine Magazine addressed the “pit bull” dog high pain tolerance myth in their Winter 2013 issue:

“Pain medicine as a veterinary specialty is relatively new. As recently as a decade ago, most veterinarians assumed that animals didn’t feel pain, or at least experienced it differently than humans. Now all evidence points to the contrary. Research has shown that animals and humans have similar neural pathways for the development, conduction and modulation of pain, making it pretty likely that our pets experience pain in much same the way we do.”

The Myth Might Put a Dog’s Comfort and Care At Risk

The article goes on to say that even in people, pain is often undertreated. Michael Petty, president of the International Veterinary Academy, says:

“If we’re looking at practically half of the human population that’s in pain getting undertreated, I have to believe that over 95 percent of animals in [chronic] pain are not getting proper treatment.”

This means that a lot of pets are not getting the pain relief they desperately need. Part of this might be because of the “pit bull” dog high pain tolerance myth. While dogs can’t speak up for themselves in a way we can clearly understand, they do let us know inform us of things in a variety of ways, but we might completely miss these important signals if we’ve already written off pain as a problem our dogs might experience.

(For more on how pain may present in a dog’s body, please read the full article.)

(For more on how pain may present in a dog’s body, please read the full article.)

The High Pain Tolerance Myth Can Result in Negative Consequences for People and Pets

The myth implies:

 

  • That parents can allow their children to inappropriately handle “pit bull” dogs in a rough manner. The experts on family dog safety tell us that this type of rough play leads to dog bites – no matter what the dog’s genetic heritage dog may be. To reduce dog bites and increase pet retention, children should always be taught to treat all dogs gently and respectfully.
  • That dog owners should be alarmed if their “pit bull” dog does not “happily” accept rough play from children. If the dogs react, something must be wrong with them, right? Wrong. All dogs deserve to be handled respectfully and will have varying tolerance levels for physical play. There’s nothing wrong with dogs who prefers gentle play (or no play at all) with children.
  • It suggests that “pit bull” dogs are biologically different than other dogs. For people that are afraid of “pit bull” dogs, the high pain tolerance myth suggests the dogs are uniquely capable of causing damage because they cannot be stopped by regular management techniques.
  • It makes a convenient excuse for humans that wish to exploit them and/or abuse them. It should go without saying that we should never justify cruelty by suggesting the victims have a high tolerance for being abused.

There Is No Benefit to Focusing on Fiction Over Fact

There are many ways to promote the wonderful pet qualities and proper care of “pit bull” dogs without having to resort to perpetuating myths.

Now that we know better, we have an obligation to consider the way we communicate on behalf of the dogs and the information we’re sharing. Dogs are depending on us to stop adding to their problems by recycling old content that has no basis in science.

However, if you’d like to discuss the science of how dogs experience pain, here are some talking points:

  • The perception of pain is unique to each individual, human or dog. Factors that affect each dog’s individual response to pain include age, gender, and health status. Individual situations also affect a dog’s reaction. If a dog is engaged in work or a sport, it can affect how they perceive pain in that moment (just like humans).
  • Recognizing and determining the source of pain in dogs can be a challenge, especially since the early signs of pain can be subtle. One of the best ways to assess pain in any dog is to know what’s normal for them. Pay attention to your dog’s every day, regular behavior and habits, so that you’ll readily notice anything abnormal.
  • There is nothing unique about the neurological system of a “pit bull” dog. All dogs, regardless of heritage, experience pain. How each dog responds to that pain will vary, but the response cannot be predicted by physical appearance or breed.

Advocacy should move society forward. To do so, we must advocate with facts and not myths. Learn more about better ways to advocate for all dogs and their families in the Community Advocates section of our website.

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This Is One of the Most Important Educational Tools for Your Shelter Staff

This Is One of the Most Important Educational Tools for Your Shelter Staff

You’ve heard us say all dogs are individuals. You’ve heard us say looks don’t equal behavior. You may be on board with that, which is great, we love that, but you’re unsure of how to get your shelter staff and volunteers to accept the science that breed isn’t indicative of a dog’s personality.

We’ve got the best tool for that and it’s in a handy-dandy infographic! *All of the images in this post are outtakes from the infographic.

Here’s how you can use this as an education tool for your shelter staff and volunteers.

For one, we drop some science in the infographic, like the above information about how even dogs of the same breed all behave differently. And there’s also this gem:

genome

It’s not easy to step away from convention. Habits are difficult to break. Asking “what breed is this dog?” comes naturally to all of us. It’s really weird to hear someone say “breeds don’t matter when picking the dog that’s right for your home.” People need solid reasons to break habits and make big changes, especially when they’re dealing with lives – both human and animals.

Science helps with that. Of course, science can be overwhelming. Our infographic breaks that down into bite-sized talking points upon which you can create deeper conversations with your staff – and even potential adopters.

which percent is it

The fact that there’s no way to know which part of a dog’s breed may influence their behavior is powerful. Even if a dog is purebred, you still don’t know what breed traits it possesses, there are too many factors at play.

The only thing you do know for sure is the behavior you observe from the dog – and that’s what really matters.

You’re in the business of placing great pets in great homes. You can’t do that if your descriptions of dogs are based entirely on guesswork. That doesn’t make for good adoption matches, but observing the dog in front of you does.

Simple Ideas that Will Make Shelter Dogs So Happy They’ll Shower You With Kisses

Simple Ideas that Will Make Shelter Dogs So Happy They’ll Shower You With Kisses

Shelter life is B-U-S-Y! We get it. It seems impossible to add another item to your daily to-do list. Take heart! Enrichment can be simple, fast, and inexpensive. Remember, even the smallest changes make a big difference.

marcia tiersky interns june 2017 1

Source: Marcia Tiersky for Animal Farm Foundation

Make the commitment to your dogs. Then reach out for support. You’ll find volunteers who want to do hands-on work, donors who will purchase items from your wish lists, and foster homes who will give dogs a temporary break.

But you don’t even need donors to purchase items for you. You have plenty of enrichment tools at your fingertips!

Here are three simple ideas for keeping the dogs in your care so happy they’ll want to cover you with kisses:

BUSY BUCKETS:

Fill an empty bucket or small pail with things to do, smell, and taste –  even the dog’s meal. Pack each item very tightly so that it will be challenging for the dog to remove them. Some ideas for bucket items: a stuffed Kong, a beef-broth soaked rag, a ball, a Nylabone, a water bottle or PVC pipe with a few treats, etc…

BUSY BOXES: 

Collect empty toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, pasta boxes and other old boxes and layer them one inside the other. In between each box, place tasty treats and kibble. Some dogs really enjoy shredding items in their kennels.  Busy boxes are a cheap and easy enrichment tool that your volunteers can create and your dogs can enjoy.

ICE TREATS: You can make these in large buckets or old milk jugs that have been cut in half, cups, ice cube trays, Dixie cups, or other containers. Choose a size that suits your dogs’ needs. Depending on the size you choose, you can use this tool to feed an individual meal or even an entire day’s food, so keep portions in mind.

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