Foothills Humane Society begins new canine training sessions under new executive director

Published 10:00 pm Friday, February 19, 2016

Amber Gibson and her assigned dog, Blaze (left), and Leah Lineberry and her dog Blue Bell (right) are introduced to their animals for the training classes.

Amber Gibson and her assigned dog, Blaze (left), and Leah Lineberry and her dog Blue Bell (right) are introduced to their animals for the training classes.

By Michael O’Hearn


The Foothills Humane Society has created a new training program to get volunteers out to the shelter to train canines.


Kayla Parrish is the owner of 2 Lead With Love, an in-home training organization, and will be in charge of overseeing these training programs, which will run on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 1 p.m.


“What’s great about the shelter is that it is no-kill shelter,” Parrish said. “With this program, we’re hoping dogs who don’t get out to socialize much will get to spend time with the volunteers here. There are animals here that come and then don’t get adopted for eight or nine months. We’re hoping that when the dogs get presented to potential new owners, the turnover rates will be faster.”


Christine Taylor is the new executive director at the shelter and said she feels the program will help stray animals become adopted faster.


“As the new executive director, as of Jan. 1, 2016, this is the first new year project we’ve done,” Taylor explained. “We’ve had volunteers come out to train in the past, but not for at least a year. The turnout was amazing at the first session and I have seen some of the volunteers come back throughout the week to walk their designated dogs.”


According to Taylor, at least 24 volunteers arrived at the first session on Saturday, Jan. 30 for the first training session and 15 of these were first time arrivals. There is no fee for volunteers to attend the training sessions in the Foothills Humane Society pavilion.


“This is helpful for Kayla and also for the dogs,” Taylor said. “This new program will help de-stress the dogs in a shelter environment, get them out more often with the volunteers and definitely will help get them adopted faster. Shelter environment, no matter how nice it is, can be stressful for the animals.”


Libby Boone is one of the volunteers taking the Humane Society’s training classes and said these classes are helpful for the animals in the realm of human interaction.


Through each session at the shelter, volunteers can learn how to train a handful of canines so they have a better chance of being adopted. Basic commands such as sit and stay were incorporated in the following week’s hour-long session.


“The dogs will be able to be free for an hour at a time when we come here,” Boone said. “It will allow the dogs to be presentable when someone comes to the shelter to adopt a pet and it’s good for the people too to get to spend time with the animals.”