Green Chimneys Success Story
As reported last year, some of our dogs have been residing at Green Chimneys, a national leader in special education. They go to the students school, dorms and social work sessions. Our trainers conduct classes there -helping children teach the dogs basic obedience, agility, nosework, and other things to make them more adoptable. And the dogs…still do what dogs do best, giving the children unconditional acceptance. The children respond and blossom! And the dogs GET ADOPTED. Since February 2014, 70+ dogs have been through the program at Green Chimneys. All 70+ dogs have been adopted into forever homes. In fact, the dogs rarely make it back to the shelter. Most of the dogs are adopted straight from the Green Chimneys campus.
For Otto, Green Chimneys may have been a life saving development. Otto is a lovely young Border Collie mix. But, despite the best efforts of our staff, he could not adjust well to life at a shelter. After 6 weeks of Green Chimney’s training Otto was scheduled to return to the shelter, something of a dilemma. But the new normal in the adoption process intervened. A Green Chimneys staff member’s friend was looking for a dog pal for her current dog and agreed to give Otto a try as a “foster”. And that quickly became his forever home.
In addition to establishing a whole new approach to adoptions, the school program has enhanced vocational training for special needs children. Last year, the program was expanded, adding a vocational program so that the students can learn how to run a shelter.
Students in the vocational program learn all aspects of animal sheltering—from adoption counseling to marketing and fundraising. The program is hands-on.
We’ve also partnered with a program in Pennsylvania that places shelter dogs in prison. The dogs reside with inmates and are taught the skills needed for adoption while the inmates develop heightened sensitivity and a new attitude about their lives through this intense training and bonding process.
The plan is now to expand these efforts to benefit an ever growing population of shelter dogs, special needs children and prisoner training programs. These are just some of the ways in which we are continually working to benefit as many dogs as we can and why we reach out to you for your help in making these, and many other successful programs, a reality.