COMMUNITY PACK WALKS
THE URBAN DOG
BLOCKHEADS ABOUT TOWN For Shelter Dogs
Our free weekly community pack walks are a great way to socialize your dog and encourage them to be calm around others on leash. Pack walks build confidence and strengthen the bond between human and canine, and are an opportunity to help work through reactivity, overexcitement, or anxiety. Dogs never meet on our pack walks, but maintain a minimum distance of ten feet from one another. Handlers should use a six-foot or shorter leash (no retractables, please) and keep their dog safely under their control. For more information and our pack walk schedule, click here:
The Urban Dog provides guidance for people navigating the challenges of urban environments with their dogs. Workshops are lead by community members and have an on-site option for property owners and their tenants. Our curriculum is intended to help improve your communication with your dog, build your confidence as their handler and practice safety in daily situations encountered in densely populated urban environments. The Urban Dog program will culminate in a certificate of completion in these skills. For information on our workshops, click here:
For Blockheads About Town, we take shelter or rescue dogs out on the town, giving them exercise, enrichment and extra adoption attention. Through photographing and promoting dogs in social media, they get more exposure and help people picture what life would be like with him or her. It also greatly reduces stress, making the dogs more appealing to potential adopters. It makes all the difference for the dogs' wellbeing and public exposure! For information on our shelter dog field trips, click here:
BLOCK BY BLOCK
Our housing initiative, Block By Block Housing Partnership, provides guidance & resources for those facing housing discrimination with their dogs. We advocate for inclusive housing policies through research & outreach to property owners & renters. The first phase is to build a comprehensive list of rentals that do not discriminate against dogs based on breed or size. For this phase, we are conducting surveys, collecting data & engaging property owners, rental companies & other organizations. We build relationships with property owners in hopes of opening up a dialog about the benefits of eliminating breed restrictions. In the next phase, we incentivize property owners to adopt inclusive housing practices through our partnerships. We utilize The Urban Dog program to provide on-site workshops for property owners and tenants to create safer, more fulfilling environments for animals & people.
Every day, we are contacted by community members seeking help for themselves and their dogs. We provide free services to the community similar to intake diversion programs, providing resources and guidance to address behavior, medical or housing challenges. For those who have recently adopted a dog, we provide information and materials to help with transitioning a new animal more smoothly into the home, integrating the adopted animal with other family members, and access to training and care resources. We strive to find solutions by working with community members and helping to create a safety net. For those looking for assistance in adding a new member to their families, we also provide guidance for matching the right dog for the family's lifestyle, and will host meet and greets between the family and new dog.
SHELTER DOG ADVOCACY
Our comprehensive grass roots program advocates for shelter dogs on every level. Our director, Laura Vena, was a key member of the Mayor's Animal Care Visioning Task Force, charged with creating a strategic plan to bring about changes called for by a city audit. Laura became one of three reps who went weekly to the shelter to work with the director & staff to bring about progressive change. She has developed long term relationships with staff & volunteers & continues to be a respected voice in championing animal welfare at the shelter. Our Treasurer, Jennifer Rethwisch, was the lead auditor in charge of interviewing all stakeholders, & leading the investigation into shelter practices, culminating in a well respected audit report used to advance change. We also regularly assess, photograph, market, and find fosters & rescues for vulnerable shelter dogs, & have built a community of local volunteers & advocates.