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187 Downs Road, Sebec, Sebec
Sebec, ME 04481
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Last Updated:
2/7/2023 2:18 PM
 

Our "Let's go for a WALK"  program is designed to help get our rescue dogs out of the kennels for an hour, a few hours, or even a day trip. "Field Trips" or "Doggy Day Outs" as they are generally referred to throughout the animal welfare community are quickly becoming known as a great way for people who might not be able to have a pet to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership while doing something great for one of our rescues who are stuck in a kennel day in, day out.  Everyone benefits with our program, the dogs, the volunteers and of course the rescue, it's a win for everyone!

Common adventures can include a   leisurely   stroll, a hike, a trip to a beach or lake, hanging out in a home or even a nice dinner in a pet friendly restaurant. Pet friendly business owners are encouraged to participate with our social dogs, to greet their customers.

By offering low barrier to entry and minimal time commitment to participants, it encourages members of the public who normally wouldn’t have time to volunteer to engage with our rescue and advocate for the animals.  Participants don’t have to commit to a minimum amount of outings or undergo arduous training, making it easier for the rescue to implement and manage.

Field trips are helpful in marketing dogs for adoption, as potential adopters want to know what a dog looks and acts like outside of their kennel and the opportunity for creative photography, videography and stories is increased.

A 2018 study of the field trip program at Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) found that dogs on field trips were happier, more relaxed, more playful and calmer than dogs in the shelter. Dogs on field trips showed less  nervousness, anxiousness, insecurity, barking, shaking/trembling and repetitive behaviors such as jumping. With 350 field trips occurring during the study and 70+ dogs finding homes as a direct result of their field trips, 20% of field trips led directly to a dog’s adoption. LMAS’s field trip program specifically targets dogs that are suffering from kennel stress and are at risk for euthanasia; during the study period, LMAS cut the number of dogs euthanized for behavior in half.

Our goals of the program are:

  • To increase enrichment for our organization’s dogs
  • To increase safety within the building by keeping dogs’ stress levels down
  • To engage with the community in a fun, new way
  • To increase the number of people who can participate in all types of foster care
  • To encourage people to volunteer to be a long-term foster
  • To increase adoptions of all dogs due to increased information on the their  behavior outside the shelter and more marketing material

‚Äč HOW it WORKS

 

The priority is for the dogs that have been at the rescue for one month and longer, dogs that have recently arrived will not be eligible for the program.

Our program is open to members of the community who are 18 years or older, responsible and "preferably" have some experience with dogs. An application must be completed and an appointment scheduled to come and meet some of the dogs suitable for the program. Volunteers will need to spend time at the rescue in the play area with the dog they will be taking out with them, to build a relationship and allow the dog and person to feel comfortable, safe and happy with each other. We will only allow our dogs out when we are confident a good match is made.

Depending on time and availability an appointment might be scheduled for the volunteer to come back to pick up their new friend, or maybe they go out that same day. The dog will have a secure harness and collar, collar tag with rescue's information and be double leashed. This might sound like over-kill, but we are taking all precautions to ensure everyone stays safe. A seat belt attachment will be provided to keep everyone secure in the vehicle also. A crate can be available upon request prior to the day out. A collapsible water bowl, poop bags, an "Adopt Me" bandana, contact information and rescue business cards to hand out will also be provided in an easy carry, tote bag. Of course, there will be paperwork and waiver forms that need to be completed.

We do not allow visits to dog parks, or homes and environments where there will be interaction with other pets. The focus is for the dog going on the walk, so that they can experience a great time, without more distractions and for information to be gathered on behavior, likes, dislikes, fun things and of course as many pictures as possible to help us to promote their adoption.

Only one dog per person is allowed, however, if two or more people have dog experience and the dogs get on with each other at the rescue, we would consider two dogs going out on the same trip! 

it is important to remember that we are always looking to find these precious saved souls their forever homes and the more exposure, the more information, pictures and video's we can provide, the higher chance they will have of finding their forever homes.

If you are interested in volunteering for our "Let's go for a WALK!" program, email "giveadogahome.maine@gmail.com" for more information and to complete relevant forms. Then of course, SPREAD the WORD!

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