TAMPA, Florida – The Tampa Bay Humane Society wants all dogs to be successful in their new homes.
The shelter is offering free online training courses to anyone who adopts a dog that has been there for more than 30 days.
Glen Hatchell is the Behavior and Enrichment Manager at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. He introduced us to a 2 year old dog named Daniel. The dog has been at the shelter since April.
“We have almost 20 dogs that have been with us for over 30 days, and right now we are offering four weeks of adoption training for each of these dogs when they are adopted,” said Glen Hatchell.
The Tampa Bay Humane Society is partnering with GoodPup, a provider of positive reinforcement training. The Humane Society uses donor dollars to pay for these classes.
Mika Alder, GoodPup’s general manager, said virtual learning lessons have their benefits, including convenience for pet owners.
“We don’t take them to the training center. We don’t take them to group classes with a bunch of other dogs that can be distracting, and we don’t bring a stranger into the house,” Alder said.
Hatchell said; The shelter is currently 100% occupied. He said shelter officials are working to reduce the number of returned dogs. He said that sometimes dogs are returned to the shelter because of behavioral problems.
“We’re trying to target these dogs with the intent that once they’re in their home, we’re going to give them every possible chance to stay in their home because, again, the data suggests that once a dog has been trained, the chances of them returning to the shelter are very low,” Hatchell said.
Alder said the company has launched the GoodPup Advantage program, which provides more cost-effective volume discounts. The company is looking to partner with shelters across the country to offer virtual learning, access to interactive learning materials, and access to online chat.
The partnership is an attempt to reduce dog returns and make them successful in their new home.
“These are really good dogs, they’re outgoing, they’re friendly, most of them get along really well with other dogs,” Hatchell said.
“In fact, the goal is to provide every opportunity to make sure that when the dog gets into the house, he stays there and does not come back.”