Six-month-old Mila arrived at the HSVC as a stray in early April. Farrier Stacy Hyatt, a long-time farrier for the HSVC, found her wandering a busy street. After completing the 9-day stray hold unclaimed, she was spayed and put up for adoption.
Staff quickly noticed Mila loves toys and playing fetch. Her affinity for toys was mentioned to Humane Officer King. On Wednesday, April 12th, Katie Brennan and Sylvia Stoney from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) came for a visit to the shelter to evaluate a few of our dogs. Remembering Mila’s love for toys and fetch, Officer King asked if Katie and Sylvia wanted to view Mila as a potential candidate for their program.
During the interaction, Katie and Sylvia noticed that Mila was showing characteristics that are indicators for their Search Dog Program. They asked if Officer King would be willing to bring Mila up to the SDF’s training grounds to further tests Mila’s Search Dog candidacy.
On Friday, April 15th, Officer King and Media and Marketing Coordinator Amy King brought Mila to the Search Dog Training Facility in Santa Paula. Mila was further tested for the behaviors SDF looks for in ideal program candidates. Ultimately, Mila did not display enough of the behaviors they were looking for. The visit ended with Officer King, Amy, and Mila getting a tour of their vast facility.
Even though Mila was not the ideal candidate for SDF’s program, Katie and Sylvia introduced Officer King via email to Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Rescue’s State Representative Nicole Poell. Through email correspondence, Officer King introduced Nicole to Mila and her story. Nicole gained permission to have Mila evaluated by Dog Trainer Jackee Ermansons.
After her evaluation, Mila was accepted into their foster program. Officer King was put in touch with foster Meryl Cohen, a dog trainer with Bay Area Balanced Dog Training. An appointment was set for Monday, June 6th for Maryl to come to pick up Mila from the shelter.
Meryl has shared many pictures and videos since Mila was brought into her home as a foster and she's doing great! She is learning her basic commands and getting ready for her new forever home.
Connections and collaborations in our community and across California are vital to the animal welfare community. We are blessed to not only be a K9 recruitment partner with Search Dog Foundation but now have a strong foundation of partnership with Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Rescue.
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