Shelter offers a scholarship program for adopters

Staff at Orphans of the Storm animal shelter in Deerfield believe their new “dog scholarship program” will make the transition home easier for pets and their new owners. It was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of an anonymous donor.

“The Scholarship Dog Program is a program we are currently piloting to better support adopters and our longer stay dogs by offering sponsored 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, who have been fostered for three months or more, also come with sponsored adoption fees of $200, or just $50 to adopt them.

“This program was established not only to provide more support to families welcoming a new dog into their home, but also to highlight our dogs who are consistently neglected and who have waited longer than most to find their home for always,” Tump said.

Tump answered several questions to help dog adopters learn more about the new pilot program.

Q: What benefit does this provide to the person and family who adopts a dog?

A: Training with a new dog has so many benefits. It’s such an important part of any dog’s life. Not only does this build a lasting relationship between the dog and its new family, but it can also:


• Strengthen the dog’s confidence;

• Provide mental and physical stimulation to the dog;

• Teach the dog life skills;

• Help teach your dog how to avoid conflict;

• Help you better understand your dog;

• Ensure your dog’s safety;

• And it can be fun.

Q: What can you tell me about the pets available for adoption through the program?

A: The dogs currently available for this program are those that have been at the shelter for 3 months or more. There is nothing “wrong” with these dogs. Some of them might need a little help navigating the world around them.

Either way, any dog ​​that has been at the shelter, especially for a long time, should have support when moving into a new home.

You can ask any staff member or volunteer about these dogs, but be prepared for their face to light up with joy as they are so excited to tell you all the good things about them. Currently, there are 21 dogs in the program.

Q: Who provides training for my new pet?

A: Sponsored training sessions are provided by two of our partners, GoodPup and Wise Dogs.

GoodPup training is one-on-one, at home, on your schedule, with trainers ready to help you 24/7. They offer private online training with certified trainers to teach basic cues and advanced behaviors on topics such as crate training, barking, begging and jumping. The end result: you will have a happier, wiser dog.

Owned and operated by Kirsten Watry, Wise Dogs specializes in behavior modification and functional obedience to help owners live better lives with their dogs. Watry can help dog owners with things like responsiveness on walks, leash manners, off-leash training, confidence building, crate training, puppy training, and more. She trains dogs in and around Chicago.

Q: Are there any eligibility requirements?

A: The only restrictions would be that if the dog goes through Kirsten at Wise Dogs, you have to be in or around Chicago. If the dog goes through GoodPup, you must register within 30 days of adoption.

“Every dog ​​needs dog training,” said Abby Conlon, a Buffalo Grove resident and first-time dog owner who recently adopted Nala from Orphans of the Storm.

“At first I thought Nala needed training because she was deaf, but now I realize that every dog ​​owner can benefit from free training sessions. in your home, to observe your dog’s behavior and give you advice on behavioral problems.

“When I adopted Nala from Orphans of the Storm, they told me that because Nala was deaf, I would receive three sponsored training sessions to learn deaf dog hand signals and gestures,” said Conlon.

“The practice sessions helped me tremendously with Nala,” Conlon said. “Nala was extremely excited and overstimulated when she arrived at my house, and she was always jumping on people or biting us for attention.

She still has moments of excitement, but she has improved tremendously over the past two months, thanks to the sponsored dog training sessions. I’ve never owned a dog before, so I was very concerned about taking care of Nala and helping her adjust to my home.”

Orphans of the Storm is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome.