Off Leash: You Deserve a Break Today
A shelter pairs staff and dogs for extra attention, treats, and time outside the kennel
Snowball had some issues.
A female, black-and-white pit bull mix, Snowball had been “adopted out twice, and she was very, very mouthy,” says Kathie Jaster, canine behavior specialist and humane officer at Washington Humane Society in Slinger, Wisc. “She ended up [in the second home] jumping up on someone’s bed, and growling at them. Each time she came back to us, she came with a little more baggage.”
Snowball’s behavior problems—and her revolving-door appearances—made her a perfect candidate for the shelter’s Out to Lunch program for adoptable dogs, which started in spring 2010.
Jaster got the idea for the program when she noticed that whenever she had a shelter dog in her office for a little socialization time, the dog would typically wander down the hallway to the staff break room, where people were eating lunch. The dogs liked hanging out there, and staff enjoyed spending time with them beyond cleaning their kennels.
“I thought, ‘Well, gee, this is easy. Why don’t we do this with all of our dogs?’”