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Training helps pups play at Boyle Humane Society

The Danville-Boyle County Humane Society was one of three Kentucky shelters selected to receive training through Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), a nonprofit organization rooted in the notion that a dog’s natural instinct is to play. This week instructors were in town teaching shelter staff and volunteers how to involve shelter dogs — who otherwise are in individual or double kennels — into playgroups. The volunteers and staff were taught how to assess dog behaviors to create doggy playgroups, which bring out the best in the animals while minimizing the risk of injury or the spread of infection, according to a news release from DPFL.

Kodi Sadler, program coordinator for Dogs Playing for Life, takes notes about a dog that was just released into the play area at the Boyle County Animal Shelter Friday afternoon.

The humane society received a grant from Petco Foundation and ASPCA to support training through DPFL.

Ramsey said all dogs play differently — “settled and dainty; rough and rowdy; and seek and chase.” 

Being able to take groups of dogs out of their kennels will help them to not only burn off energy, but will allow them to learn “dog-to-dog” social skills helping them post-adoption in developing positive relationships with dogs outside of the shelter.

Ramsey said they invited several area animal shelters to attend the training, but only one was able to send someone, she said, probably because staffing during the week can be tricky.

Dogs Playing for Life instructor, Rafael Fontan greets friendly dogs at the animal shelter.

Dogs Playing for Life instructor, Rafael Fontan greets a friendly dog, but doesn’t encourage her to jump on him.

A group of shelter dogs check out a new arrival to their play group Friday afternoon.

Danville/Boyle County Humane Society President Fizzy Ramsey, left, talks with instructors Kodi Sadler and Rafael Fontan from Dogs Playing for Life.

Kodi Sadler, left, and Rafael Fontan, both instructors with Dogs Playing for Life keep a close eye on a group of dogs that were getting to know each other Friday afternoon.

A large dog that had been surrendered to the animal shelter appears to be happy playing outside with other dogs on Friday.