New SF/ACC Shelter Programs: WOOF, Ambass-a-Dogs & Special Forces
San Francisco, CA - The kennel sign says “Sheba is at camp.” A new pilot program is underway at San Francisco Animal Care and Control that will send dogs to Pet Camp, a board and care facility in San Francisco, where they might enjoy more opportunities for socialization and prepare them for their forever homes. Sheba will have regular visits from an SF/ACC trainer who will work with her one-on-one to keep up her leash manners. The playtimes at Pet Camp are monitored by “camp counselors” (employees) and will give Sheba the social stimulation and enrichment that only playing with other dogs can provide. Sheba was chosen as the first dog – or rather, Ambass-a-Dog – for the program because she has been at the shelter a few months, and is very friendly with other dogs and people.
The shelter is seeking innovative ways to find homes for the ever increasing number of dogs coming into their care. With the economic downturn, the shelter has experienced an average increase of 42 dogs per month which poses a significant challenge for the agency as well as for their rescue partners. Pet Camp will give adoptable dogs that have experienced protracted stays at the shelter some extra training and socialization with people and other dogs. Giving the dogs a change of scene keeps them happy while they’re waiting for their new homes and Pet Camp will help promote these adoptable camper dogs by listing them on their website and through social media.
Sheba came into the shelter with a litter of puppies (all have been adopted) and was a shy mom. She is a different dog after experienced Special Forces volunteers— another new SF/ACC program—worked with her for weeks on learning commands and leash manners. If Sheba is not adopted directly from Pet Camp after a two-week respite, she will return to the shelter where SF/ACC trainers and volunteers will continue to give her attention and promote her adoption.
SF/ACC is pulling out all the stops to save as many lives as possible by implementing and evaluating a variety of new programs including the much publicized WOOF – see: http://www.sgvtribune.com/opinions/ci_20931219/loretta-keller-pairing-panhandlers-pooches That project will pair dogs needing extra time and attention with pre-screened individuals living in supportive housing for whom fostering an animal in need may help them reintegrate with society and restore their dignity. SF/ACC hopes that these efforts will help animals find new, loving homes and that the human-animal bond will reveal the resilience of all two-legged, four-legged, feathered and finned species.
Photos of Sheba at Pet Camp available upon request.
The Department of Animal Care & Control is a taxpayer-funded, open door animal shelter. ACC provides housing, care and medical treatment to wild, exotic and domestic stray, lost, abandoned sick, injured and/or surrendered animals. ACC aims to rehome or reunite domestic animals with their guardians and to rehabilitate and release wildlife to their native habitat. ACC responds to animal related emergencies 24/7 including animal abuse and neglect as well as matters of public safety. Animal Care & Control is located at 1200 15th St. (at Harrison.)