This is Zeke…..isn’t he a handsome fella?

Zeke

He is, isn’t he….he’s also a very special boy.

Zeke came to Regional on the 12th of September in 2015. He was a pretty timid guy – he wasn’t all that thrilled about being around a bunch of strangers, but once he learned that he’d always have food and the volunteers would always show him kindness, he warmed up to us quickly – any volunteer will tell you how quick Zeke is to flop over for a nice, long bellyrub session! We brought him down to Paw It Forward for an initial temperament evaluation after he had been in the shelter for 15 days, and although Zeke showed many signs of being heavily abused, he seemed to be able to put his stress aside and be the love bug that all of the Regional volunteers knew him to be.

But as more time passed, Zeke started acting differently. Within a few months, Zeke showed classic signs of having being “kennel crazy”, but only when a new dog or stranger walked into the shelter. We brought Zeke down for a second evaluation at Paw It Forward and learned something that we didn’t see before – he is a completely different dog in the absence of the people and things he knows. When away from familiar things (in his case, the volunteers that were down for class with him), he locks up in panic and is extremely reactive towards people he doesn’t know, both of which subside when those familiar to him. This condition is called form sensitivity, and it is treatable, but it will take time and patience.

Zeke needs help, but he needs help on two fronts. First of all, Zeke needs to get out of the shelter and never return, as a high-stress shelter is the worst possible place for him to be.. He needs an extremely dedicated foster, or even better, that special forever home. But before he can get out of the shelter, he needs extensive rehabilitative work to help him learn how to deal with the stress that new people cause him

We can get Zeke the help he needs. With special rehabilitation, Zeke can re-learn to trust humans he doesn’t know and develop the self confidence not to panic at the sight of a stranger. We have paired up with Kevin Behan of Natural Dog Training, who will be able to take Zeke into his care for an extensive Board and Train to help him de-stress and relearn how to process his panic towards other dogs and strangers. In addition to Zeke’s training, Jeannie and Heather at Paw It Forward (who have both studied with Kevin) will be working with Zeke’s foster parent and forever family to give them the knowledge and skills needed to help Zeke thrive outside of the shelter. But this is Zeke’s last option.

Zeke has been severely abused. He is hand shy, cowers at the sight of rope toys, and freaks out at the sight of new people or dogs – it is heartbreaking to think of what Zeke has endured for him to act this way. But there’s hope for Zeke. He has the ability to soften and be in a very relaxed state around people he knows (especially in the car and on nice, long walks) – this is a skill that can be nurtured and strengthen over time. We need your help to get Zeke the help he needs to save his life. He absolutely cannot stay in the shelter, but he needs to find the right place to go if he is to leave the shelter forever.

We know this training model works. Our first success story with Jeannie and Heather had to do with Clay, a 4 year old Dasch mix who came into the shelter after being found in the middle of the street with kids throwing rocks at him. He was so terrified that he would never leave his kennel and bite any hand that tried to remove him, especially if that hand belonged to a male. Thanks to their work, Clay is now happily living in a home of his own with his dad and the skills to deal with anything that will come his way. Many of our volunteers are training with Jeannie and Heather to learn the model and help the shelter dogs manage their stress in the shelter environment so they can transition more easily into their forever homes. Our second boy, Timmy, is currently undergoing rehab at Paw It Forward to better learn how to settle around other dogs – and he’s already making amazing strides. Zeke will be third, going to Kevin’s for the work he so desperately needs to help him save his life. This is his ONLY chance – we have exhausted all other options.

Can you help save him? We need help raising the money we need to get him through rehab, which may take months, and we need to find either a dedicated foster or the forever home that is willing to give Zeke the calm and settled home that he’s needed all of his life. Please do whatever you can: give, share, and talk about our boy! We know he can do it, but he can’t do it without your help!

All donations made on this secure page go directly towards Zeke’s care. If you are uncomfortable with making an online donation, you can mail a check made payable to Regional Animal Shelter to 117 West Fulton St, Gloversville, NY 12078. Zeke will be starting his rehab work in early to mid April.


Update August 2017: Zeke is doing amazing with his foster mom and dad!

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