How did all begin? Where did this crazy idea stem from? Why was 'Until Every Dog Has A Home' created? This is a long story, so get yourself comfortable.
The whole idea of the organisation stems back about 6 years ago. At this point I had gained credentials as a dog trainer & behaviour consultant and had been running my own training business for some time. I worked hands on in rescue, assisting with transports, placements, rehabilitation and extractions, as well as with numerous animal welfare organisations.
As time went on my own pack of dogs grew in size, what was a regular sized group of 4 dogs from breeder, quickly expanded as more and more rescue dogs found their way into my life. Dogs from a wide variety of backgrounds, presenting with a wide variety of behavioural and medical challenges to overcome.
3 years ago I began developing the idea of a rescue organisation specialising in aggressive dogs. Through my professional work as a behavioural dog trainer, and through the various dogs I had met in rescue I discovered that these misunderstood dogs really did take a hard rap. Through lack of understanding on us humans behalf, these dogs often lost their lives, their story ended on the veterinary table.
I knew these dogs were crying out for help, they were pleading for someone to understand them but too often it came too late.
Within the rescue world these dogs had no where to go. With insurance policies disallowing rescue facilities from taking in dogs which have bitten and not being able to accommodate the needs of these dogs whilst keeping their staff safe .... there was rarely a happy ending for a dog displaying aggression.
So why help them? Why care so much? Aren't they just mean dogs?
Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that for the most part, these dogs have been let down by people. Some had been mistreated, some have not been understood, some had medical problems.
The truth is these dogs TRIED to tell their humans that something wasn't right. But nobody listened until it was too late.
Behaviours are driven by emotion, and by working to change the emotion which is driving that behaviour then we can alter the dangerous displays which are presented to us.
Eventually my pack reached a size where I needed more space. 2 years ago I moved to the property with 7 dogs. The space was perfect. The dream of my own rescue organisation was in motion!
It was infact so in motion, that during the moving process I was also building a kennel on site for a little Jack Russel, who's aggression had become a danger to his family, to join us. The day I moved in , little Toby was here waiting for me.
Only a short while after arriving here and intaking Toby, I had rescued another young collie. This girl was completely deaf and joined the pack in the house. On the day of her arrival, I received a call from a sled dog rescue regarding an akita mix who had bitten in numerous homes and was in danger of losing his life. Of course he was more than welcome to join us, and our outhouse was converted to a kennel (much to the displeasure of my daughter who had been promised that space as a music room. Ooops). Harley joined us distrusting and a bite risk.
Quickly after Harley, I was contacted by Balto & Co. An emergency placement was required for a dog who had been abused and required immediate transfer. Missy joined us for rehabilitation for severe dog aggression and to overcome the trauma's caused at the hands of humans but she quickly won the heart of my daughter and became a permanent resident.
With so many dogs, with no place to go and with no one to give them a chance , It became apparent that the plans for the organisation needed to be set in motion if I was to continue to give these dogs the lifeline they deserved.
Until Every Dog Has A Home Was Born ...
It took more than a year of development. Research, Risk assessments, insurance, procedures, policies, business plans were all made. Days and nights and weeks and months were spent turning a dream into a reality. But the hard work payed off and I reached the day that I was ready.
In September 2017 the organisation was launched.
By the time of the official launch, dogs had already been accepted for intake. Charlie was the first to arrive and has since made outstanding progress.
It's crazy to think that what was once an idea, is now right here in front of us. It hasn't been easy. It has taken dedication and planning for many years.
But isn't worth it to save a life.
So what's next for Until Every Dog Has A Home?
I now stand here with 15 dogs around me, another in boarding and a waiting list of dogs desperate and deserving of a chance at life.
At the moment the organisation offers behavioural training for dogs within the rescue system and lifetime sanctuary for dogs who are not able to be safety rehomed within the general public.
I am currently at capacity, which means dogs are losing their lives. Plans to expand and build more kennels and facilities are dependent on funding (which as a small organisation we lack). We are also looking into expanding services to cover rehoming and are at the moment looking into the various, vital insurances required to do so. I am also looking to build a team of fosterers who dogs can be placed with.
All of our fosterers will be trained and will assist in progressing the dogs in their care, preparing them for the rehoming process. Currently this service is being developed but I hope to launch it soon.
As an organisation we have just celebrated our 1st anniversary. This is only the beginning and we wont stopUNTIL EVERY DOG HAS A HOME.