AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare is doing everything they can to find shelter animals a new home.
"So far this year we have waived our reclaim fees again and we're hoping with doing that we can get more reclaims," said Volunteer Program Coordinator Clay Martin. "We want that number higher but we're still kind of where we were as far as last year goes."
Thanks to the Petco Foundation and the ASPCA, a nonprofit organization called Dogs Playing for Life introduced new training to organizations in the Panhandle this week.
Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare as well as Amarillo-Panhandle Humane society employees and volunteers attended the training in hopes of getting more animals adopted.
Dogs For Life Chief Innovation Officer Emily Grossheider said they go to shelters across the country and teach shelters skills to get their dogs into playgroups.
"How to get the dogs that they have in their care into the play yard and get them to play with each other," said Grossheider. "So dogs romping and rolling around and getting a chance to have some social skills, social meet and greets with other dogs, burn off some of the mental and physical energy."
Dogs Playing for Life helps pair dogs into different play groups based on their personalities.
They also help shelter staff learn how train the dogs when they're getting out of hand.
"Obviously the shelter environment is stressful for dogs so sometimes they loose their skills or sometimes they never had skills," said Grossheider. "So getting a chance to meet with other dogs may be exciting or overwhelming for them. So we utilize some tools and use some body pressure as well as a squirt bottle to kind of give them gentle reminders when we need to."
Martin hopes their new techniques will help get more dogs adopted.
"This is gonna show their true side of themselves and so this helps their behavior, it helps their mental health, their physical health, they won't be as stressed while they're here and that's the big key thing," said Martin. "We want to reduce their stress so we can make happier and healthier animals."
Martin said they plan on having Dogs Playing for Life back in the future.
"We really honestly believe if you focus on quality of life in the shelter and to get out of the shelter that life saving will come," said Grossheider. "So a happy dog is a healthy dog and a happy healthy dog gets adopted."