Conservation Dogs

Shelter dogs with an over-abundance of energy can sometimes be hard to place. Their bounciness may be a little intimidating to those looking for a pet that’s more low maintenance. But Rescues 2 the Rescue, a Washington, DC-based program, is putting all that energy to work by training shelter dogs for wildlife conservation jobs. Created by Working Dogs for Conservation and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Rescues 2 the Rescue works with high-energy shelter dogs, especially those who are “toy-obsessed,” to give them jobs as conservation detection dogs, finding hard-to-see wildlife or even the tiniest invasive weed among a mountainside of plants. They also work to help scientists gather data. These dogs are often more easily trainable, as they are rewarded with a favorite toy when they find their target.

photo by KatrinKerou via Wikimedia Commons

The program is intended to connect shelters with trainers/handlers who are equipped to adopt, prepare, and care for detection dogs. There are many ways you can help these hard-to-adopt shelter dogs find new, rewarding lives through Rescues 2 the Rescue:

  • If you are a shelter or trainer, join the Rescues 2 the Rescue site to post and search for dogs.
  • If you are a volunteer at a shelter, bring Rescues 2 the Rescue to the attention of your adoption coordinator.
  • If you are a pilot, or have a car and are willing to transport candidate dogs from shelter to trainers, join the team.
  •  Donate dollars.

Visit the Rescues 2 the Rescue website to learn more.

Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a fantastic program this is! So many dogs are hyper and don’t necessarily make good indoor pets. Especially the working dog breeds. They need jobs! Our second yellow Lab was just like that and when I started giving him jobs to do everyday, he was thrilled. He happily brought in the morning paper, carried my lunch basket to and from the car for my work, brought in the mail every day, and helped bring in groceries every week. There was no job he didn’t want to do at any moment no matter rain or shine and he was always up for more work to do every day. He put my grumbling teen girls to shame with his enthusiasm to help his “Mom”! Smart dogs get bored and work helps them channel their natural energies. It is such a win-win for the owner too. I am glad to see a rescue organization helping dogs have a new chance at life and a good life.

  2. great idea and program. Those high energy dogs are indeed hard to place and what a wonderful fit for them
    Kudos to Rescue 2 the Rescue!

  3. Bonnie ellis says:

    Great program. It’s too bad they don’t have a program like it for high energy kids. (Not meant to be funny)

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