Many of you, and many members in the PetFlow office have rescue pets. We often don’t get to hear the full story about our pets. We know that they came from a troubled background and that now they’re happy and healthy in their furever home. But, we often don’t get to hear about the process of rehabilitating these pets. Without time to reset and relearn how to be a pet, many of these animals are continuously given back to the shelters that first rescued them.
St. Hubert’s and the ASPCA have joined together in an effort to reduce the cycle of pets returning to shelters due to behavioral issues. To show how much a pet can change their behavior, we are going to share Ferne’s rescue story, from beginning to furever home.
Ferne is a happy and healthy 2 year old lab mix that is now enjoying a life full of freedom and love. Unfortunately, Ferne’s life did not start out so well. Ferne was rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea where she was neglected, abused, and malnourished. When Ferne first arrived at St. Hubert’s she was underweight, dirty and was suffering from molting problems. Behaviorally, Ferne had almost completely shut down and she could not walk on a leash or be touched by anyone. Ferne was so fearful she would snap at people and when given food she would barely eat. The staff at St. Hubert’s knew they needed to take things easy and let the rehabilitation process continue at her pace.
There were many areas of Ferne’s health that needed to be attended to, including providing her will an adequate diet. Ferne was placed on a mixed diet of donated food from PetFlow to ensure that when she was adopted she wouldn’t have any problems adjusting to a new food. After about six weeks, Ferne began to trust the staff at St. Hubert’s enough to eat the food and treats they gave her.
The trust Ferne began to show while eating food and treats paved the way for the staff at St. Hubert’s to develop her trust even further. Once Ferne began to eat and gain weight she was able to undergo socialization training. The staff at St. Hubert’s knew that Ferne was already skittish and prone to snapping when people came close. So, maintaining her trust took a lot of time and patience. After several more weeks, Ferne began to understand that people were not all bad. With the help of Ferne’s favorite treats, the staff at St. Hubert’s was able to work with Ferne on a leash. Within a week of training, she walking, albeit very cautiously, on a leash.
St. Hubert’s hosts dozens of dogs in their shelter so with the help of some social rescue dogs, Ferne began to come out of her shell and act like a dog. After just a few play session, Ferne began to show how sociable and playful she could be. By this time, all of the hard work the staff at St. Hubert’s put into Ferne came to fruition. Ferne was now walking anywhere on a leash without any hesitation.
Ferne’s Furever Home
With all these accomplishments under Ferne’s belt, she was now up for adoption. It didn’t take long for a family to fall in love with Ferne and she was adopted on July, 23rd at St. Hubert’s Clear the Shelters event. She is settling in nicely to her new home. She has already befriended the cat and her furever family reports that she has begun to loosen up and enjoy her newfound freedom.