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Pet Dish

July 1, 2014

Dozens of Labs preparing for new lives


Forty-nine Labrador retriever dogs and puppies arrived at Animal Humane Society’s Golden Valley location in June after being surrendered by a breeder in rural Carlton County. Humane Agent Wade Hanson, along with Carlton County sheriff’s deputies, went to the breeder’s farmhouse in response to complaints about the health of a dog purchased from the owner of the property. They found a breeding operation with what they observed to be substandard animal living conditions and dogs that showed signs of neglect. The owner agreed to surrender the animals, which included several litters of puppies.

The dogs and puppies were brought to AHS in Golden Valley where they were examined and given medical care. The puppies will spend a few weeks in foster care until they are old enough for adoption. Some of the adult dogs have already made their way to the adoption center, but most will need additional care and training before they are ready to be adopted. Lucky for them, we have a team dedicated to doing just that.

AHS’s Behavior Modification and Rehabilitation (BMR) department is a team of three people committed to working with all of our shelter animals by providing the behavior help they need to prepare for adoption and offering enrichment that encourages positive behaviors. In addition to evaluating the behavior of each animal to ensure they will make great pets, they also manage a number of special programs designed to help the animals that need extra attention before they are ready to be adopted.

Because the dogs from this particular situation have had no socialization and have missed out on vital life experiences, the BMR team will work extensively with the dogs to get them to a point where they can be placed with families. They have not previously been handled by people so they shy away from human touch. The BMR team is teaching them that being handled by people is not as scary as they think by pairing touch with something good – food!

As the dogs become available for adoption, they are seeking special adopters who can commit to giving them the care they need. The dogs will require a lot of patience. Many things will be new to them and it’s important to be patient and offer new experiences in a gradual, positive manner. The dogs will need to learn basic skills like how to walk on a leash and will need to begin housetraining from scratch. They will require a lot of supervision with kids as they are not the kind of dogs that will enjoy hugs or rough play.

Despite the challenges that may come with bringing one of these dogs into your home, the potential exists for these dogs to provide many years of valued companionship to an adopter and they deserve a chance at a loving home. If you have the time and patience to dedicate to one of these special dogs, please visit our adoption website where they can be identified by a heart icon.

AHS has been a resource for many animals that come to us each year through humane investigation cases. You can help us continue to provide special care for these animals by making a gift today.

Roxy finds a home with TV newsman Pat Kessler

Each Friday, a dog from AHS is featured as the Pet of the Week on WCCO-TV’s noon news broadcast. The featured pets are often adopted soon after appearing on the show, but one lucky pup found a new home before the show even began! Roxy, a 6-year-old pug mix, was waiting in the TV station lobby before the show when WCCO political reporter Pat Kessler walked by. He spotted Roxy and it was love at first sight! A week later he let us know that “Roxy is a bit hit! She’s playful, happy, housebroken, well trained and has a lot of energy. It couldn't have worked out better!” Read more about Roxy in this Star Tribune update.

New training classes at AHS

The Animal Humane Society Training School has some fun new opportunities for you and your pet.

Back by popular demand is the Tricks and Games class. This class is all about fun! Students will learn how to teach their pets basic tricks and will work on a different challenge each week. This canine sports sampler will include units on Treibball, fungility, Rally and retrieving. This class is open to students who have completed our Level 3 classes or for students who have their Canine Good Citizen certification. 

AKC Community Canine is the advanced level of AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. As with the CGC, AKC Community Canine has a 10-skill test that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Community Canine title. This test evaluates the dog’s skills in a natural setting instead of an obedience class. If your goal is Therapy Dog but you’d like more practice before taking the class, AKC Community Canine is perfect for you!

Inspired by the work of scent detection dogs, The Nose Knows allows your dog to use his most natural training tool – his nose! Students will practice fun canine scent games that will teach their dogs to find hidden “prizes” and provide mental as well as physical stimulation. Scent work is not only fun, but also a great confidence builder for young dogs. Level 2 graduates are welcome to enroll in this class.

Also available is a special class just for graduates of the Reactive Rovers course. This new class is a hybrid of learning more management techniques as well as obedience skills taught in our Levels classes. The goal of the class is to allow students to ease into Levels classes while also discussing how to manage everyday life with a reactive dog.

For information on any of these classes and to sign up, contact the Training School at (763) 489-2217 or email

Calling all rockstars!


This month you can let your inner rock star loose to help the animals of AHS. My Music Store in Golden Valley is holding its 15th annual Guitar Toss on Saturday, July 26 from 12:30 – 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Golden Valley Shopping Center.

For only $1 a toss, you can send a guitar flying through the air and into a dumpster. The Guitar Toss is a family event with live music and prizes, and all the money raised benefits Animal Humane Society!

Boarding your best friend

Summer travel season is in full swing! If you have vacation plans that don’t include your furry family member, your pet may be staying in a boarding facility. Watch the video below for tips to prepare for your pet's stay to ensure a positive experience.

And don’t forget – Animal Humane Society has two options for pet boarding: Animal House at our Golden Valley location and Now Boarding by the airport.

More Treats

Tails are wagging for Party City! The party supply store’s 19 Twin Cities locations raised nearly $27,000 for Animal Humane Society from May 1 – June 15. Now that’s something to party about!

The upcoming Fourth of July celebration means fireworks and festive gatherings, but fireworks and pets can make a dangerous combination. Animal Humane Society offers tips to keep pets safe and comfortable while people enjoy the festivities of the upcoming holiday.