A Good Reason To Give

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This is TBone. He was on the kill list at  a shelter for aggressive behavior toward humans, but after going through a special foster training program designed specifically for dogs like him, he is now an amazing family dog.

Rescuing dogs from animal shelters is an awesome thing to do, but national statistics show that on average, 10% of all adopted dogs are returned to the shelter or rescue they came from. The primary reasons are behavior issues, like biting, jumping, aggression, or fear.

Most people don't realize that when they adopt a dog, it will often have suffered a trauma and might have difficulty adjusting to a new home. There are also cases where a dog is in the shelter for too long and becomes institutionalized. It becomes difficult for them to connect with people the longer they stay in the shelter.

Many shelters and rescues try to combat this issue by creating foster programs. For the most part, they're a great success, but there are still dogs that fall through the cracks. 

Many fosters don't feel they have the education that they need to help at risk dogs become adoptable. 

That's why we came up with a foster centered training program, which we were invited to do at the Austin Animal Center, the country's largest no kill shelter. A grant from Maddie's Fund made it possible to do a workshop that was free to the fosters and behavior team.

The results from that workshop were amazing. A pre-workshop survey showed that only 30% of the fosters attending were comfortable taking in reactive or aggressive dogs. After the workshop, 73% said they would be fine with it. Before the workshop, only 17% felt comfortable rehabbing a reactive dog. After, an astounding 100% felt confident that they could rehabilitate a reactive dog. Fosters also felt more confidence in educating new adopters about their foster dog, and helping them create a healthy relationship. The numbers went from 27% to 82%.

Thank you AAC and Friends of Austin Animal Center for bringing Roman to Austin and providing this training for fosters.
— workshop graduate

The program was so successful that we've been asked to do  Holistic Foster Training workshops all over the country, and even internationally. Rescues from England, Ireland, Canada, and Australia have all invited us. 

This workshop makes it easier for no-kill shelters and rescues to build a path to adoption for long-stay dogs, and decreases the likelihood of euthanasia due to behavior issues,  and adopter returns.

Unfortunately we've run into a problem; money. Most shelters and rescues have limited funds to pay for foster education, even though fosters are a big part of every successful no-kill shelter. We would like to use the money we raise with this campaign to offer the program for free to at least 3 shelters or rescues who currently have foster programs, but have budget constraints.

The funds will pay for us to take time off from work to facilitate the workshops, traveling expenses, and  venues. We eventually want to do this program in every no-kill community in the country so that we can support their work to save lives. We're asking for your help to make our dream come true. 

 Here are a few  testimonials from Austin Animal Center and Friends of Austin Animal Center volunteers and fosters about the workshop:

All the fosters want to express our thanks to Friends of Austin Animal Center and Maddie’s fund for sponsoring this training for our dedicated volunteers. Workshops like these build skills that are key to equipping our skilled volunteers with the knowledge to create the shortest path from shelter to a forever home for Austin’s shelter pets.
— Sara Shannon - Event Organizer and AAC Platinum Volunteer

The workshop is facilitated by Roman Gottfried, founder of Holistic Dog Training LLC, and co-taught by Barbara Buck, an energy medicine practitioner and certified Holistic Handler.  

Roman guides dog owners, trainers, behaviorists, and fosters to finally solve even the most complex challenges. He uses holistic, emotion-based, force-free training methods to get results. He is a firm believer in educating not only pet professionals, but the public about emotionally positive training and the damaging effects that negative reinforcement and alpha theory can have on dogs, especially ones with trauma. 

Holistic Dog Training is based on the law of nature that a whole is made up of interdependent parts. An individual dog is more than just an animal to be controlled.  Emotions, energy, and health are all involved in creating and maintaining a positive human/dog relationship naturally, for life.  Holistic training addresses all of these elements so that they can exist in harmony to heal an out of balance dog.

Here is a link to to Friends of Austin Animal Center's  blog post about the workshop at Austin Animal Center:

This workshop was a great way for our fosters to build on skills they use every day with their current foster pups, and with future fosters as well. The relationships built over the course of the workshop are invaluable to the ongoing success of all the programs at Friends.
— Jonathan Hogue Board President, Friends of Austin Animal Center

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Thank you very much for your support and dedication to the animal rescue community. Your help will make a difference to the dogs who find their forever homes because of your donation.
— Roman Gottfried, Founder of Holistic Dog Training