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Pet Help Partners Success Stories

Our helpline offers a menu of services and resources to clients.  For some clients, providing support and validation, creative problem-solving, and critical thought during a crisis makes the biggest difference of all.  Here are some examples of how our helpline counselors have kept pets and people together using no-cost solutions:

Gail was ready to sign surrender forms at the shelter when she called, explaining that her husband had been hospitalized and she was home much less lately. Their dog was creating a huge mess at home in her absence and Gail felt she could not handle both the stress of caring for her ill husband and the messes the dog was creating. A PHP helpline counselor listened and then recommended a puppy pen to keep the dog and his mess confined while she was out. A week later Gail expressed horror at having even thought of giving up her dog: “I was feeling overwhelmed that day. My family would never have forgiven me if I gave up our dog.” She hadn’t even purchased the puppy pen, but being encouraged and given options renewed her.

Bill called the helpline because he had recently lost his apartment and was staying with friends, but his two 8 year old cats were not allowed to stay there. When the helpline counselor gently explored the reasons why the friends did not want the cats there, it was discovered the friends did not want cat hair around the apartment and worried about furniture scratching. The solution? We loaned him an extra-large dog crate for "in-home boarding", which worked perfectly until Bill found a new job and cat-friendly apartment. Sometimes just asking the right question is what it takes.

PHP Success Story Cats

 In other cases, referral to one of the dedicated service providers in our community network of partners is the best answer.  PHP builds and maintains this network of people helping people, which includes veterinarians, boarding kennels, cat behavior experts, dog trainers, and other professionals who offer their expertise and services at reduced or no cost to PHP clients.

Angela was at her wit’s end with her cat Pablo who was urinating outside the litter box including on her bed, and would be seen running away from her two other cats who were bullying him. PHP got the cats sterilized, and our PHP cat behavior expert advised adding two more litter boxes, scooping twice per day instead of every other day, rewarding the other cats with treats when they don’t bully Pablo and giving them 10 minute time-outs in the bathroom when they do, playing with Pablo with a laser light or feather toy to decrease his stress, and cleaning urine with an enzymatic cleaner instead of bleach. A follow-up call revealed that “Pablo had not had one incident urinating out of the box in two weeks and the other cats have rarely bullied him – they are becoming friends now.”

Joan called about her large and very energetic dog, who her husband had recently adopted. She felt overwhelmed because she could not walk the dog, the dog was chewing up her home, and jumping all over her, and she thought they had no choice but to return the dog. A PHP partner dog trainer met with the couple to show them how to use positive reinforcement, and after the visit the woman said she cried as the dog responded to her. “He wants to be good and do the right thing,” she said. She will continue working with the trainer.

PHP Dog Success Story

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