While there are so many people and projects in need, I would like to take a moment to tell you about my project to benefit the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley.
I have been volunteering at the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley in Howes Cave, New York for the past nine years. In that time I have seen wonderful dogs find wonderful homes; however, I have also seen wonderful dogs wait years to find their forever home.
In my time at the shelter I have fostered and found homes for over thirty dogs and two cats. In my adventures through fostering I have participated in our local 4-H dog obedience program with several shelter dogs as well as my own. This spring I also certified my own adopted shelter dog to be a therapy dog; which brings me to my project.
This particular 4-H year I decided to open the option to those kids ages 9-18, who do not have a dog of their own, to participate in the dog obedience lessons with a dog from the animal shelter. I began with only one particular dog in mind but I received such support that I was able to send five dogs to the obedience lessons with their volunteer trainers, my self included.
Because our shelter is funded primarily by donations, it soon became an issue of the money involved to participate in obedience. The class fee is $40 per dog and trainer, which we had originally wanted to split between the shelter and youth trainer. However because the number of dogs attending the class increased, that would still leave the shelter with a fee of $100.
Money has also put a halt on furthering my plans with these particular dogs. I had hoped to have them all complete obedience training with their handlers and then to certify them as therapy dogs to help the community as well as help the dog find its loving home. From my experience at the shelter, a dog who we can say is obedience trained and a certified therapy dog will have a much higher chance of finding a new home than a dog who has not been through any classes.
Once the dogs complete their basic obedience training, I can then start the training to become therapy dogs. The next problem is the fee for therapy dog testing and registration fee so that each dog can visit those in need. The test fee for each dog is $20 and then a $35 registration fee for each dog.
If I can get enough money to start a “We Can Do It Too” fund I will be able to continue this program and further help these forgotten and abandoned dogs, many of whom have been looking for a home for over a year.
Thank you for your consideration and I hope that I can make this program a possibility.