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Rooney was kind of like a troubled teenager. She had been in three different shelters before she joined Marva’s family. Rooney did have some behavior issues, which is probably why she had ended up in a shelter and remained there for so long. When Marva took her home, Rooney jumped up and surfed on the kitchen counters, then began ricocheting from couch to couch like a ball in a pinball machine. One of the first times she was left alone, she attacked a chair and ripped out the stuffing.

It was a rocky start, but Marva and her husband, Chris, saw a different side of Rooney. They enrolled her in some classes at the Animal Humane Society’s Golden Valley location. She knew some commands and would settle down quickly when working on good canine citizen behaviors. Rooney picked up on the training right away and thrived in the classes. She’s doing so well that Marva has set an ambitious goal for her: to become a therapy dog. It’s hard to believe that a pet that seemed so out of control at first was so trainable. Marva says Rooney’s very bright and learns quickly. “There seems to be a huge demand for therapy dogs and I think that it would be great to tell people that this dog, that was such a juvenile delinquent, is now so well-trained and working as a therapy dog. It’s a great story,” Marva says.

Click here for additional information on AHS’s training programs, including Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog classes.

Photography courtesy of Laurie Schneider Photography. For information on pet portraits visit http://www.lschneider.com/.

Walk for Animals

Animal Humane Society locations


4375 Hwy. 55 S.E.
Buffalo, MN 55313
(763) 390-3647

Operating hours

Coon Rapids

1411 Main St. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 862-4030

Operating hours

Golden Valley

845 Meadow Ln. N.
Golden Valley, MN 55422
(763) 489-2201

Operating hours

St. Paul

1115 Beulah Ln.
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 645-7387

Operating hours


9785 Hudson Rd.
Woodbury, MN 55125
(651) 730-6008

Operating hours

  • Administration
    (763) 522-4325
  • Animal Admissions
    (763) 412-4969
  • Pet Behavior Helpline
    (763) 489-2202
  • Boarding
    (763) 489-2222
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