Details about the entries are available
Congratulations to the four winners:
The GCAC volunteer training program is designed to set up new volunteers for success and to offer ongoing training for the entire volunteer force. This program is for hands-on volunteers who are walking, socializing, and training dogs. It is a multi-tiered color-coded system of training checklists, classes, and experience. There are four levels offered and each can be achieved at the volunteer's own desire and pace. A professional trainer conducts seven different classes onsite, free of charge. Levels are designed to meet the different behavioral needs of the dogs and to keep volunteers safe during the process.
This pet retention and adoption outreach program was established to help pet owners and caretakers of colonies in an effort to reduce owner surrenders to animal control. One component of the program focuses on promoting adoption by residents in facilities for aging and disabled adults. Support of seniors with pets includes transportation to vet appointments and help with cost of medications. Another component is a pet food bank open five days a week for low-income pet owners. Collaborations includes funding from Gratiot County Foundation for seed money, donations from Petsmart and Redbird for the food bank, and promotional materials designed by Alma College drafting department.
Humane Society of Livingston County
Packs & Pounces Enrichment Program
Humane Society of Livingston County (HSLC) has a creedo "What is in the best interest of the animals we serve?" and call themselves a "Quality of Life Shelter". They know they cannot save the world, but can change the world of the dogs and cats that cross their threshold. They have built into each animal's daily "care plan" purposeful attention to their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Although HSLC is an organized, clean, happy, loving place, it is not a home. The animals' lives are turned upside down and HSLC staff owes it to them to offer a sense of sanity, comfort and stability.
To that end, HSLC developed Packs and Pounces Enrichment Program. Adoptive canine and feline population of the shelter are divided into groups of 3 or 4. Dog groupings are "packs"; cat groupings are "pounces". One pack and pounce are assigned to a specific kennel attendant for the day. A daily checklist of quality time spent on each animal is maintained with the goal of keeping the animals' lives as interesting and stimulating as possible.
HSLC's enrichment program saves lives by making dogs and cats happier, healthier, and ultimately more adoptable.
Humane Society of West Michigan utilizes outpatient heartworm treatment plans for adopted animals in order to reduce their time spent in the fast-paced shelter environment. HSWM has treated over 100 cases of heartworm disease in 2017 and has been able to perfect protocols for providing quality treatment in a stress-free environment. HSWM follows the American Heartworm Society guidelines for heartworm treatment. Adopters are educated on the importance of exercise restrictions and staff is available to answer any questions that may arise seven days a week. Currently, many shelters require that heartworm positive animals receive their treatment prior to even being placed up for adoption. This practice provides at least two negative influences on animals in shelters. First, if the shelter is following the recommended guidelines of the American Heartworm Society, the dog will remain in the shelter for at least 2-3 months awaiting treatment. Whether it be in a kennel or in the ever coveted foster home, this is space that can be better utilized for other animals in need (medically or behaviorally). Second, it is vital for animals undergoing heartworm treatment to remain calm and quiet to reduce complications. Heartworm positive dogs that are released are able to begin bonding with their new family in an environment that is conducive to their medical needs. This ensures the best possible outcome for their pending treatment.