The ARF K9 Ambassador Program

ARF’s newest volunteer endeavour, The ARF K9 Ambassador Program, has taken off like a rocket. The program consists of ARF Ontario volunteers (“Arfies”) and their own adopted ARF dogs. Our primary goal is to provide schools, groups or anybody who requests us with highly-social adopted dogs who help us to educate about everything from bite prevention to the “adoption option.” Since its inception only a few months ago, the ARF K9 Ambassadors have been invited to high schools, elementary schools, Girl Guide groups, post-secondary institutions and a pre-school. Our ambassadors have helped teach kids how to approach a dog, what dog and cats need from humans, and the benefits of rescuing an animal in need of a home as opposed to purchasing one from a breeder. We have also been invited to mental-health awareness and “de-stress” days at both Fanshawe and Western, to help students relax with some puppy-loving. We are working at creating lesson plans and interactive presentations for all ages. Our ambassadors are not only well-behaved, laid-back and extremely social (that goes for both the humans and dogs), but most importantly, they thoroughly enjoy the volunteer work they do.

Introducing our ARF K9 Ambassador Team:

Rockstar, Luna and Sophie

Rockstar, Luna and Sophie

Luna. Luna is the oldest, biggest and fluffiest of all the ambassadors. She was rescued with her litter-mates and mom as a wee baby (ARF rescues from First Nation communities all over Ontario and occasionally Quebec.) One of ARF’s wonderful vets, Dr. Douglass Shearer, adopted Luna’s mom, (Rosie) who was heartworm positive. Luna’s foster home fell hard for the little bundle of fluff, and ended up adopting her for themselves. When Luna sees mom take her vest off the hook, she runs for the front door and can’t wait to start “working!”

Suzy. Next in line age and size-wise is Suzy. Suzy is 6 years old; she was adopted at 4 months of age to Jodi. One year before adopting Suzy, Jodi was in a severe car accident, and was still doing extensive injury rehab. Suzy has been a constant companion for Jodi, providing both emotional and physical support. Her innate love and compassionate nature make her an ideal ARF K9 Ambassador!

SUZY - at Girl Guides

Suzy

And now our 3 “wee” ambassadors, starting with Rockstar:

Rockstar was brought into ARF and IFAW’s Wellness Clinic in Sagamok in a cardboard box by a teenage boy who knew he needed help. Rockstar’s injuries were severe, and every hour he continued to survive until he was able to receive the surgery he needed to remove his badly injured eye and repair his shattered jaw was met with a “He’s such a little rockstar – he’s still hanging in there” and the name stuck. Rockstar owes his life to the same vet who adopted Luna’s mom, Dr. Douglass, and an equally wonderful vet tech, Brandy Teal. Rockstar’s easy-going personality and love of ear-rubs make volunteering as an ambassador a dream come true.

Sophie. Sophie was rescue from Misstissini Quebec. The person that ran the pound up there had found her leashed to a tree one morning when he arrived, brought her to a kennel on the property, and then enter IFAW! Sophie has been an “angel in disguise” for her forever humans. Her forever dad’s health has greatly improved since Sophie became part of their family. Sophie adores meeting new people and needs to fill a 50 belly-rub minimum quota a day, which makes the ARF K9 Ambassador Program an ideal match for Miss Sophie!

Ollie at Western

Ollie

Ollie. Ollie was rescued as a mite-ridden skeleton of a puppy from a Northern Reserve. He was described as “the easiest puppy foster I have ever had” by his foster mom Anne-Marie Patkus-Cook, and was adopted out quickly. His forever mom coordinated the ARF K9 Ambassador Program to come and visit Althouse at Western for an exam de-stress day, and asked if she could bring Ollie. Knowing what an easy-going and loving pup he was, we thought it was a great idea. It was made clear very quickly that Ollie was now the newest member to our team – he’s a natural!

 

Mulanadopt-me

18 Months old Spayed Female Gorgeous Playful Mix!

Looking for cuteness, large size and sweet all in one package? Then Mulan may be your gal!

Mulan

She would be a great addition to any family, and is probably looking to be the only dog for you to love.

She is currently living with her foster family and adjusting well to city life. The busy foster family includes 2 teenagers and a doggie foster sister. Playtime with her foster sister is often and fun, with games of chase and tug of war the favourites. And when all the play is over, its time to crash and Mulan likes to cuddle next to her humans.

Here is a youtube video of Mulan at her Rogers TV debut! Mulan on Rogers TV!

It only took Mulan a couple of tries to learn sit, and we are working on her walking skills. With lots more positive reinforcement training, Mulan can learn so much more.

Mulan is spayed, micro-chipped, dewormed, and up-to-date with vaccines. If you think this gorgeous gal is for your family, click on the Adopt Me link!

Kara Dannenhold
Kara Dannenhold is the First Response Team Leader and the Education Project Development Coordinator for ARF Ontario which is 100% volunteer. Kara's love for animals is only matched by her love for her niece and four nephews.
Kara Dannenhold

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Comments

  1. Soozle says

    Thanks for such a wonderful post! My first job (and I STILL work there casually 17 years later!) was at my local humane society – I love hearing great stories like this of animals finding their place and their home

  2. Lee Pearson says

    These dogs are beautiful! Thank you for this wonderful post and bringing awareness to this wonderful program.

  3. Victoria Ess says

    Thanks for the post on this organization! Those are beautiful dogs! I personally would never ‘buy’ a pet from a breeder, instead of adopting

  4. Alice says

    What a great article to read!

    I love to hear about the success stories of these beautiful creatures!

    Way to go A.R.F !!!

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