A special message from OAS Director Ann Dunn:
I think everyone understands that the shelter is a stressful place for animals, but the sad reality is that a dog who is shut down or seems aggressive in a shelter, or who has some behavioral issues, is unlikely to be given a chance.
Before becoming OAS Director earlier this year, I founded and ran Cat Town, a cat rescue organization with a mission to help OAS cats who are at-risk for euthanasia because they are too scared in the shelter environment to show their true personality. I was told back then that the cats we set out to help were “unadoptable.”
By getting scared cats into an environment where they feel safe, so potential adopters can see their true personalities shine through, Cat Town helped increase the save rate for cats at OAS from 58% in 2011 to over 90% today.
Knowing that there are so many parallels to dogs, one of the first things I did after starting at OAS was to reach out to FOAS to help me create a targeted foster program especially for dogs who aren’t doing well in the shelter and just need an opportunity in a foster home to thrive and become adopted.
- Our new foster initiative for these dogs in need of special assistance gets them out of the shelter and into the homes of one of our more than 350 Oakland foster families, as quickly as possible. But that’s just the beginning.
- We support our foster families with supplies, classes, and individualized support from professional dog trainers.
- We oversee doggie play groups at the shelter, an important behavior training opportunity for both fearful and aggressive dogs.
- Our “canine good citizen” approach focuses on improving a dog’s behavior, and the support provided to fosters and adopters means they can take a chance on a “dog in progress,” knowing they won’t be stuck without support in a challenging situation.
FOAS has set a goal of raising $10,000 to help dogs once deemed unadoptable. Please, give today to support our Dog Days of Summer campaign, which will help make our shelter’s visionary program a reality for all of our dogs in need. Thank you!