Giving back to the community is one of the hallmarks of Hounds Town USA. The interactive dog daycare franchise encourages all of their locations to work with local shelters and rescues. Many have even started successfully fostering hard-to-adopt shelter dogs.
Hounds Town – Garden City opened their daycare facility in April 2019, and franchisee owners Colleen Tracey-Shaver and Anne McDonald immediately forged a relationship with the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. The hope was to use the expansive space and skilled staff at Hounds Town to help foster some of the shelter dogs, particularly the difficult-to-adopt ones. Enter Coyote and Bobi.
FOSTERING SAVES LIVES
Tracey-Shaver and McDonald first discovered two brothers named Coyote and Bobi through their relationship with the shelter. They were purchased as puppies at a North Carolina flea market. Surrendered by their owner, the dogs eventually found their way to New York’s Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. The dogs had been kept outside most of their lives, and adoption seemed unlikely.
Coyote, an Australian Cattle dog, and Bobi, a 2 1/2 year old Terrier mix, needed some help getting trained and socialized. Shelters have limited resources, and Tracey-Shaver and McDonald knew right away that they could help get these dogs homes. By socializing with the other daycare dogs and training with the staff at Hounds Town – Garden City, Coyote and Bobi would have a better shot of finding a furever home.
ANXIETY MAKES ADOPTION TOUGH
Coyote was clearly the alpha of the pair and generally had more confidence. Bobi was the nervous one, particularly around men. That anxiety could make adoption difficult. A few of the male employees at Hounds Town – Garden City volunteered to help Bobi get over his fears. They slowly and patiently introduced themselves to him. They worked with Bobi regularly, training him daily to overcome his fears. It wasn’t long before the hard work paid off. The once-terrified Terrier was soon snuggling, playing, and giving kisses to everyone, male and female alike.
With his new-found confidence, the dynamic of Bobi’s relationship changed with alpha Coyote. Tracey-Shaver and McDonald realized that the dogs would need to find two different families willing to adopt. Coyote was ready to go back to the shelter first. The time at Hounds Town – Garden City served Coyote well, because he was adopted almost immediately upon returning to the shelter!
FLOURISHING WITH FOSTER CARE
Bobi stayed on at Hounds Town, and Tracey-Shaver and McDonald began using him in an instructional capacity. When new dogs came in for the “Meet & Greet/Temperment Test,” he became the official mid-sized dog greeter. Colleen says, “Bobi is the perfect dog for the test because he has the sweetest, calmest temperament. He has just flourished here at Hounds Town.”
It wasn’t long though before Bobi found his furever home too. The team at Hounds Town will miss him terribly when he leaves at the end of September, but they have no regrets. “The experience of fostering and nurturing a shy, nervous dog so he can find his confidence is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had,” Tracey-Shaver says. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
To follow along the adventures at Hounds Town – Garden City, please follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Or to learn more about the Hounds Town Charities or to find out how you can help, you can find them here.