The 'Mates for Inmates' program at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre began last month. The trial at the women's prison introduced dogs into the facility for the first time. Dogs have been retrained in an attempt to hopefully find them a new home. Six women have been involved in the trial, which has been modeled on overseas programs. The program is already proving to be a success, with the ...
Blog Entries ( Dog Rescues )
For years Murrieta, California resident Linda Briggs ran into lost dogs as she was out walking her own pets, and she soon discovered that she had a knack for tracking down their owners. Eventually she decided to start keeping count of all the dogs she managed to reunite with their families. In the last four years, Briggs has successfully located the owners of more than 270 ...
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks — a trainer in New Zealand is teaching man’s best friend to drive — really!
The SPCA in Auckland thought it would be a good way to showcase how smart rescue dogs are and perhaps improve their adoption rate. So they called on animal trainer, Mark Vette, who was up for the challenge.
Out of a pool of seven dogs, Vette chose “Monty,” “Ginny” and “Porter.” Monty is an 18-month-old giant schnauzer whose owners turned him in when he became “too much for them to handle.”
Ginny is a 1-year-old whippet mix rescued from abusive owners, and someone found 10-month-old Porter roaming the streets.
Vette explained their strategy.
“No animal has ever driven a car before so what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a straight and we’re going to head off, so we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and head along the straight and then stop,” he said.
At first, they started with lots of indoor training with a fake car, using clicker-reinforced targets to teach the dogs how to shift gears, use a brake and steer.
“When we chain behaviors together, in this case we’ve got 10 behaviors we’re all putting together, so each behavior is a trained behavior, and then you put them into a sequence. So it’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time,” Vette said.
Five weeks later, Monty was ready to try the real thing — on a closed track, of course. Monty hopped right in behind the wheel, put the car into gear, on command, then waited for the trainer to order “A” for accelerator.
Then he was off! Monty was driving…some might say a little better than what we sometimes see on Tampa Bay roads!
Monty and the other “drivers” will show off their new skill on national television in New Zealand on December 10th. Vette says after that “test drive,” his roving rescue rovers just might be in huge demand. Says Vette, “It will be Dial-a-Dog” the week after this!”
~ Courtesy of FOX News
A DARING rescue mission was undertaken by Namibian women to bring back at least 10 purebred dogs suspected to have been stolen in South Africa and smuggled through Namibia into Angola. Magetta Viljoen and some of her supporters crossed the Angolan border earlier this week to see if they could retrieve some of the dogs. By yesterday afternoon, a member of the Namibia Animal ...
As a crusader for the rejects of the canine world, Erica Brown has seen the inevitable horror stories. Since the Gurnee, IL woman co-founded Secondhand Snoots Rescue in 2010, the organization has plucked 77 dogs from the abyss, including a 6-month-old puppy dumped at an animal control shelter with two broken back legs. Other rescued dogs required amputation or had renal failure. One of her ...