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Increasing the adoptability of PACC shelter dogs with TOP Dogs

Posted at 6:40 AM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 13:38:22-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Some shelter dogs have a harder time finding forever homes, because they may have certain behavioral needs. A program at Pima Animal Care Center tries to tackle those issues to get those dogs adopted.

"Friends of Pima Animal Care Center is the official nonprofit partner to PACC. We help PACC pets with special services and program to help them get adopted," said Jennifer Camano, the executive director of Friends of PACC.

The goal of TOP Dogs is to increase the adoptability of dogs who have certain behaviors that may be preventing their adoption.

Six-year-old Tata (#A581700) and three-year-old Lacey (#A606957) are two TOP dogs who are going through the program. Over the course of their time with the trainers, Tata is said to have bettered her focus while Lacey does a great job being crated. These are a few of the behaviors top dog trainers work on improving in the many dogs they coach.

"We want to help them show what great dogs they really are. Even on a pass, maybe they haven't had the chance to learn the kind of manners that show an adopter I would be a great member of your family. So we try to teach them those behaviors," said Maggie Winegarden, a member of the TOP Dogs Leadership Committee.

Hundreds of dogs have gone through this program at PACC leading to successful adoptions.

"When we have eight dogs in a program and we have five adoptions in the first week, I consider that a great success. And that often happens. All you have to do is see how trainable these dogs are. Just doing the right thing is all that it takes," said Lynne Scott, a member of the TOP Dogs Leadership Committee.

The TOP Dog trainers are also a training resource for other PACC volunteers and for adopters. All of the services it provides is to make sure the dogs that get into homes, stay in those homes.

"A program like this makes a difference between what PACC used to be where so may dogs were euthanized because there was no place for them to go, to what it is now. One of the very few shelters in the entire United States that's met the no-kill benchmark of over 90-percent. That's the difference," said Scott.

To learn more about top dog and other friends of PACC programs, click here.