HELENA – Carroll College’s anthrozoology dogs are in need of new homes by April 23.
Each year the program brings in animals from shelters for the students to foster and work with.
At the end of the spring semester, the dogs have a graduation ceremony where their leases are handed over to their new owners.
“These dogs are ten times better than say if you just picked them up from a shelter,” said Teaching Assistant Jo Karr. “In the end, they’re not completely polished dogs but we’re working on it, and our goal is to find the right home for each dog.”
This year 16 dogs are in the program, but so far only five have been matched with new homes.
The students spend night and day with the canines to study animal-human bonding. By the end of the school year, each dog has gone through hundreds of hours of training with the students.
“We do a lot of obedience in the beginning,” said Karr, “When we first get them, a lot of them suffer from separation anxiety and have never seen a crate, but we work through that.”
Karr said, unfortunately, if a new home isn’t found by end of the school year, the animals will most likely go back to the shelters from which they are being fostered.
“Most dogs that don’t find homes end up back in the shelter,” explained Karr. “This has only happened once or twice in the past couple years where there’s been a dog that hasn’t found a home. We want to see these dogs out in public. We want to see them not back in a shelter and hopefully never back in that situation.”
Senior Tawni Wells has been working with Khaos, a one year-old hound-mix, for the last six months.
“He has a lot of energy and a funny personality,” said Wells, “he’s just a super fun dog to have.”
Khaos has yet to be paired with a home but Wells is optimistic he’ll find one.
“He loves people, he loves other dogs,” said Wells. “An ideal home would be family with land where he can run and play.”
Students are asking for the public to submit an application to the anthrozoology program as soon as possible if they are interested in adopting an animal.
In order to make sure the dog is a right fit for the home, the students do a series of meet-and-greets with the potential new families.
More information about all of the animals in the program that are looking for their forever-home can be found here.
-Reported by John Riley/MTN News