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What Collaboration Looks Like in Real Time- to Save a Dog's Life (little email chain between 3 rescue orgs):

 For any of you that are 'rescue-curious,' wondering about what inner workings go into saving a pet's life, here's a great example of how Riff, a challenging dog, is saved, thanks to the collaboration and work of many

    I was thrilled to know you were chosen for that position, and know you'll work hard to best serve the Humane Society so that it successfully continues its mission to serve and save as many pets, and people with pet-issues, as possible. 

    -KHS's behavior mod program, staff and building could save a LMAS dog's life right now.  This dog, Riff, is only around 9 months old, and at times he struggles with acting out rebelliously with certain people and situations. 

    My rescue pulled Riff and took him to a foster home last week, and unfortunately that foster had to return him to Metro (I have my own foster right now I'm working with).  Here's what -----------, Riff's PAFP foster, had to say about him while he was in her care (highlighted here in blog post only, for reader's convenience):

Hi Shannon, 


Jessica from Paw and Feather passed along your email regarding needed info about Rip/Riff. I hated to drop him back off but honestly I was scared of him. I’ve watched over 75+ pups from Rover and have only been scared of one other dog. 


That being said, I could tell he had potential to be a sweet dog. The incident today occurred when he had gotte
n a bottle of vitamins down and was chewing on the bottle. I was taking it away from him and he lunged, growled, and snipped a couple times. I initially jumped out of the way/ran but then soon loudly scolded him to knock it off. As soon as I was stern with him he did stop. I don’t have the training to correct that kind of behavior and really did not want to chance being bitten. 


I want to make clear he did not bite me. He may have just been warning me to stay away from his “toy.” I want to say someone who isn’t scared of him could help. And to be honest, he did scare me as he looks like he is mixed with pit bull. So that may play into the fact he could tell I was scared and he could get his way with the “toy.”


He did have positives that I saw. He laid in bed and cuddled with me, played with my pup- though he did snap a couple times at him. 


It should be noted, that he doesn’t do well with cats. I also had to prevent him from cornering a stray that we feed. 


I think he could be a good dog with training, a firm handler, but unfortunately I just couldn’t risk him attacking my dog, the cats or myself. Please take good care of him. 



----------------------- (foster's name removed to respect her privacy) 

    I'm sure you guys stay pretty full at the behavior building (I remember I visited the bldg just before it was to open several years back!), but if you could make a space for Riff to help him learn to respond more appropriately to certain stimuli, that'd be wonderful.  If not, we completely understand, but just wanted to reach out in the heartfelt attempt to exhaust all options for this dog before he's put to sleep. 

    -Attached are some pics of Riff.  ------------, LMAS's rescue coordinator, and my primary LMAS-contact, is cced. πŸ’«πŸΎπŸ•

Very Best,

Jessica L. Pita
Owner and Primary Pet Caregiver,


Onto the responses........ 😊

Email 2: A--------- G----- (from Ky. Humane Society)

Mar 16, 2023, 11:05 AM (5 days ago)
to ---------, -------------, -------------------------

Hello Jessica,


Appreciate the kind words and for reaching out!


Melissa -------------, our behavior manager, will be going to LMAS tomorrow and said she can do an evaluation with Riff.


We are extremely full, as well, especially with large dogs but will take a look.


Thank you, ALL, for everything you do!


A---- G---

President & CEO


R----------, S-------- (from Metro Animal Services)

Fri, Mar 17, 7:39 AM (4 days ago)
to ------------, --------, -----, --

Hi all πŸ˜Š


Thank you for taking a look at Riff. 


Melissa ~ do you know what time (ish) you will be here today?  Lawrence is going to help you with 

Riff (you guys can eval him back in Lawrence’s training room).  Just wanted to let him know around what time.


Thanks so much!! 

Fast Forward a Few Days, I received this email from KHS yesterday:

Mon, Mar 20, 12:10 PM (1 day ago)

Hello Jessica,


Just wanted to let you know we are picking up Riff today from LMAS. 

Thanks for the information. I hear he is quite the sweetie!

----------------- President & CEO, KHS

Ending Notes:  This is only the 2nd time, and hopefully the last, a dog 

(out of dozens!) that PAFP has pulled from Animal Services, has been 

returned to Animal Services. 

This case in particular gave me a very helpless feeling.  -We had our own

foster pet when Riff was returned to Metro, and my husband and child 

(understandably) weren't keen on the thought of me bringing in a dog 

with resource-guarding-issues, especially with another foster pet in 

the small home.  

I love helping pets like Riff, and enjoy working with challenging dogs 

(at times), but it's not for everyone, and I always must remember that.


It's crucial for me to respect the feelings of my little family in all 

decisions I make.  

It's also crucial to ask for help when we need it!  

-That goes for all of us.  And I'm so glad that this time, when we asked 

for help on behalf of Riff, that the request was answered with a kind 

and proactive response.

I know the behavior team at KHS will have a blast helping this young 

dog grow into a more predictable, calm, and secure canine companion.  

~We have faith he'll turn out alright!

I would've added a couple more pics, but formatting a blog post using copy and

paste with emails is a b*&^%, and I just couldn't make it happen. Thx! JLP



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