WAUKESHA, Wis. — The Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) created a life-saving task force to help reduce stress in resident dogs.
According to HAWS, shelters nationwide are seeing dogs stay in their facilities longer than in recent years.
"A number of facility-wide interventions are now in place, to strategically improve the lives of dogs in HAWS’ care, specifically those residents who have a longer stay at the shelter," HAWS said in a statement Tuesday. "These normally medium- and large-size dogs often have had limited training prior to being surrendered, and can take longer to re-home"
The K9 Task Force creates and implements an individualized management plan for each dog. It has an emphasis on the dogs who remain at the shelter for longer time periods.
"The group is designed to support shelter residents through tailored enrichment, field trips, environmental modification, medical intervention and more as needed," HAWS said. "Overall goals include improved quality of life, increasing desired behaviors and skills that ease the transition from shelter life to home life."
HAWS' behavior staff and volunteers work with each animal to provide things like basic manners training, outings in the community, and play-dates at the HAWS Schallock Center for Animals in Delafield.
Several current dogs are already seeing the benefits of the task force.
Ladybug has been with HAWS since October and is learning her basic manners and life skills. Everest has been in the shelter since December and is managing a previous leg fracture with joint supplements. Martha has been with HAWS since April and has been diagnosed with severe separation anxiety. She is seeking an experienced foster caregiver for a better chance at future adoption.
HAWS is an open admission and no-kill shelter.
HAWS says assistance was provided by a grant from Best Friends Animal Society.