Dogs get second chance with humane society program - FOX 10 News |

Dogs get second chance with humane society program

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Arizona Humane Society houses thousands of dogs, but not every dog that comes into the center is ready for a new home.

Every day Rick Gonzales walks past the kennels at the Arizona Humane Society to greet the newest residents.

Alex and Ruby are eager for the attention and the time Gonzales will spend with them, but that wasn't always the case.

When the liter mates were rescued, their demeanor was much different; cowering, scared and distrusting

"A lot of the behavior has a lot to do with perhaps the environment they have come from, what they've been through in life," said Bretta Nelson, spokesperson for the AHS.

Nelson says Alex and Ruby were rescued from a horrific hoarding situation, one of them was with several dogs kept in a small kennel.

At the time of this story, Gonzales had spent nine days working with the pups, who are believed to be around 1-year-old, building trust. It's called animal behavior rehabilitation.

"Just sitting in the kennel waiting for them to make the contact, see if they'd sniff the hand. From that point maybe a small touch to a petting, maybe to a treat, maybe see if they'll come out of the kennel with you," said Rick Gonzales, an animal behavior specialist.

500 dogs taken in by the Arizona Humane Society last year went through the behavior modification program. The success rate exceeds 90 percent.

"Those are dogs that otherwise might have to go to a rescue group, do a foster home or for really severe cases, be put down," said Nelson.

"Strange faces, strange people coming at them, noises, smells, sounds," said Gonzales.

Some take weeks, maybe months, others turn around in a few days.

Alex and Ruby made significant strides in ninedays; theirr behavior was quite different than it was at the facility. Both are ready for adoption and to be taken to a forever home.

This animal behavior program is called Fix. Adopt. Save.

Alex and Ruby are ready for new homes. Call the humane society if you're interested in adopting them.
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