Puff’s Journey

Puff3Puff, an Australian Shepherd puppy, was brought to the Cedar Bend Humane Society when he was only a few months old. He was believed to be blind and deaf, and his breeders didn’t know what to do with him.  They expected him to be euthanized.

We immediately saw Puff as more than just a “burden” and wanted to fight to find this little guy the home and family he deserved.  We began looking high and low for rescues, both locally and nationally, that specialized in training dogs like Puff to be adopted.

Training any puppy can be challenging, but when you can’t rely on not one, but two very valuable senses, new challenges arise.  It takes a group of specialized trainers to communicate effectively with blind and deaf dogs, to ensure that they get the help they need, and can eventually become candidates for adoption.

The photographer who took Puff’s photos, shared his story with her friends at Paws & Whiskers Photography.  Puff’s story received over 1,300 shares and reached over 62,000 people online.  CBHS was flooded with inquiries from individuals, families, and rescues ready and willing to open their hearts and homes to Puff.

Upon careful consideration and research, Green Dogs Unleashed, out of Troy, VA was selected as the right rescue for Puff.  They assembled a transport team, and Puff left Cedar Bend on December 26th, 2015 to head south.

We are thrilled to report that Puff has arrived safe and sound in VA, and is in great hands with a great rescue.

We will be sure to share any updates we receive on Puff’s training and progress.  Thank you so much to everyone who supported Puff and his journey–you made a real difference in the life of a dog who would have otherwise been forgotten.

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Volunteer V.I.P.’s – Dallas & Shannon

Each month, the Cedar Bend Humane Society will feature a “Volunteer V.I.P.” who has gone above and beyond to devote their time and effort to making CBHS great.

This month, we’re featuring Dallas & Shannon, both Seniors at Columbus High School in Waterloo.  They have been volunteering for CBHS since September.  Here’s their story.

VolunteerVIP

Shannon, Dallas, & Pepper

 

What attracted to you the CBHS Volunteer Program?

D: A service class for school – but we’d always wanted to volunteer here.

S: Seeing all the dogs.  I have 2 dogs at home, and just love spending time with animals.

What kinds of things do you do as a CBHS Volunteer?

D/S: Walk & bathe dogs, socialize cats, help clean the kennels, and help with events.  (Dallas & Shannon helped at our Annual Gala in November.)

What is your favorite part about volunteering at CBHS?

D: Watching the dogs and cats go to their new homes

S: Bonding with the animals–seeing what they’re like outside of their kennels.

Do you have a favorite animal at CBHS?

S: Flint (a Shepherd/Bull Terrier mix) was my favorite.  He was sweet, and he just got adopted! It was so interesting to see how differently he behaved outside his kennel.  He was so much more interested in you, and everything around him.

D: I liked Nyla (American Bulldog mix). She’s been adopted too. I liked how personal she could be.  She genuinely wanted your attention, and appreciated it.

What surprised you most about volunteering at CBHS?

D: The different reasons for animals ending up at CBHS – they come from so many backgrounds. And it’s always surprising to see the difference in how dogs act in their kennel as opposed to outside.  Sometimes they’re completely different dogs.

What advice would you offer anyone looking to volunteer at CBHS?

D: Try to understand what the dog’s situation was before it came to the shelter, and be compassionate of that.

S: And hold on tight when you’re walking dogs–some are much stronger than you are!  And patience is important too.

Do you have a favorite story from a time you were volunteering?

S: One time we took a laser into the cat room, and all the cats went crazy–it was hilarious.

D: For me, it was Shannon opening Chloe’s (Bulldog/Clumber Spaniel mix) kennel, and Chloe just taking off with Shannon running behind her.  We caught her, so we can laugh about it now!

Chloe2

Thank you so much to Shannon & Dallas for all of their dedication and hard work.  You guys are stars!

We rely on volunteers to assist us in everything from walking dogs, to joining us at events and fundraisers.  Volunteers can choose the activities they want to participate in, and which days and times work for them. Learn more about our volunteer program, and fill out an application on our website here.

 

Pick of the Litter: Dirk

Each month we feature an adoptable pet chosen as a favorite by a CBHS staff member or volunteer.

This month’s “Pick of the Litter,” chosen by Adoption Counselor, Kenzi Wroe, is Dirk, a 2-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog/American Staffordshire Terrier mix.

“My favorite thing about Dirk is how excited he is to spend time with anyone! He has a lot of energy, and he is very smart. He’s got the most handsome puppy face. I just love his energy–he’s a super cutie!”
Dirk is available for adoption at the Cedar Bend Humane Society.  View his adoption profile here.  You may also pay him a visit in our Adoption Center, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Mondays).
  

Music Therapy Linked to Increased Shelter Adoptions

If you’ve ever visited the Adoption Center at the Cedar Bend Humane Society, you probably already know that you can hear our adoptable dogs before you can see them.  “Just follow the barks,” our adoption counselors will say cheerfully, as folks walk in asking to see the dogs we have available for adoption.

While barking is a healthy, normal part of being a dog, it can also be a sign of stress. Even the best shelters can be stressful environments, especially for new dog residents. There are many sights, sounds, and smells to get used to, and a whole new routine. Sometimes a bark can simply mean, “Hello! I’m so glad to meet you!”  But other times it can mean, “I’m scared and don’t understand why I’m here!”

Here at Cedar Bend, we employ many techniques to help keep our pet residents at ease, many of which involve the help of volunteers and service groups. Kennel enrichment, treat puzzles, chew toys, rawhides, and plenty of trips outside are a good start…but what about the noise?

One of the most effective ways we’ve found to combat stress barking is music.

Classical music is widely known among animal behaviorists to be calming to the canine ear. Low, slow sounds are less harsh to their ears than other kinds of music, and offer a soothing, relaxing effect.

Many shelters who practice “music therapy” with their adoptable pets find that, as a result, adoptions are on the rise.   A quiet, relaxed dog is more inviting than one who is barking and bouncing off the walls from stress. A potential adopter will equate an animal’s behavior at a shelter with its behavior in their home.   When soothing, classical music is playing, the cats are less “catty,” and the dogs bark and howl less. As a result, shelter visitors want to stay longer, ultimately resulting in more adoptions.

Even if you aren’t able to adopt a pet from Cedar Bend yourself, you can still help them get adopted by helping reduce their stress.

Monetary donations may be made here to help us fund our animal enrichment efforts. Or, pay a visit to our Amazon Wishlist, found here and send the gift of relaxing stress relief right to our shelter! You’ll see–making a difference in the life of a homeless pet, and helping one find its way home, is as easy as a song .

References:

http://dogtime.com “Music Therapy for Dogs & Cats,” Michelle C. Hollow, March 5, 2015

http://throughadogsear.com “The Influence of Auditory Stimulation on the Behavior of Dogs Housed in a Rescue Shelter.” Wells, D. L., et al. 2002