Staff at the Orphans of the Storm animal shelter in Deerfield believe their new Scholarship Dog Program will make the transition much easier for both pets and their new owners. This was made possible by the generous contribution of an anonymous donor.
“The Retired Dog Program is a program we’re piloting to better support our adopters and longer-stay dogs by sponsoring training sessions with reputable trainers,” said Kristen Tump, shelter manager and events coordinator for Orphans of the Storm.
“Some of the 21 dogs in the program that have been at the shelter for three months or more also come with a $200 sponsored adoption fee, making it just $50 to adopt them.
“This program was created not only to provide more support to families who welcome new dogs into their homes, but also to highlight our dogs who are constantly being overlooked and have been waiting longer than most to find their forever homes,” Tump said.
Tump asked dog adopters a few questions to learn more about the new pilot program.
Q: How does a dog benefit the adopter and the family?
A: There are many benefits to training a new dog. This is a very important part of any dog’s life. Not only does it create a lasting bond between the dog and their new family, it also:
• To ensure the formation of trust in the dog;
• Providing mental and physical stimulation for the dog;
• Teach the dog life skills;
• Help show your dog ways to avoid conflict;
• Help you understand your dog better;
• Keep your dog safe;
• And it can be fun.
Q: What can you tell me about the adoptable pets in the program?
A: Dogs currently available for this program are dogs that have been in the shelter for 3 months or more. There is nothing “wrong” with these dogs. Some of them may need a little help navigating the world around them.
Regardless, any dog that has been in a shelter, especially one that has been around for a long time, needs support as it transitions into a new home.
You can ask any staff member or volunteer about these dogs, but be prepared for their faces to light up with joy as they are more than excited to tell you all the wonderful things about them. There are currently 21 dogs in the program.
Q: Who provides training for my new pet?
A: Sponsored training is provided through our two partners, GoodPup and Wise Dogs.
GoodPup training is one-on-one, at home, fits your schedule, with trainers ready to help 24/7. They provide online, private training with certified trainers to teach basic cues and advanced behaviors such as crate training, barking, begging and jumping. The end result: you’ll have a happier, better-behaved dog.
Owned and managed by Kirsten Watry, Wise Dogs specializes in behavior modification and functional obedience to help owners live better lives with their dogs. Watry helps dog owners with walking reactivity, leash manners, off leash training, confidence building, crate training, puppy training and more. can help in such matters. Breeds dogs in Chicago and surrounding areas.
Q: Are there any eligibility requirements?
A: The only restrictions are that you must be in Chicago or the surrounding area if the dog goes through Kirsten at Wise Dogs. If the dog is through GoodPup, you must register within 30 days of adoption.
“Every dog needs dog training,” said Buffalo Grove resident and first-time dog owner Abby Conlon, who recently adopted Nala from Storm Orphans.
“At first I thought Nala needed training because she was deaf, but now I realize that every dog owner can benefit from free training. Having someone come to your home, observe your dog’s behavior and give you advice on behavior problems is incredibly helpful.
“When I adopted Nala from Orphans of the Storm, I was told that because Nala was deaf, I would receive three sponsored training sessions to learn the hand signals and gestures of deaf dogs,” Conlon said.
“The training sessions helped me a lot with Nala,” Conlon said. “When Nala first came to my house, she was overexcited and overexcited and was always jumping on people or playfully touching us to get attention.
He still has moments of overexcitement, but thanks to sponsored dog training, he’s improved a lot in the last two months. “I’ve never had a dog before, so I was very nervous about taking care of Nala and helping her adjust to my home.”
Orphans of the Storm is open Wednesday from noon to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Welcome to the tours.