Volunteers Amber Raymond, left, and Diane Reilley walk with dogs from Palmetto Animal League at a local shopping center. These training field trips allow dogs to get exercise in a different environment and socialize with different people. COURTESY PALMETTO ANIMAL LEAGUE

As a compassionate, no-kill animal rescue organization, Palmetto Animal League owes it to the dogs in its care to make sure they have the skills they need to be successful in a human world. The team does much more than provide dogs with food, shelter, medical care, and exposure for adoption.

Over the past three years, PAL has been building a comprehensive training program that consists of two separate “schools” – a puppy program and an advanced adult dog program.   

“People are busy, and committing to training a dog may not always be an option,” said PAL President Amy Campanini. “It’s up to us to equip each dog with the knowledge and experience they need to be successful in their new home.”

PAL’s adult dog program is tailored to each dog’s individual capabilities and level of confidence. Volunteers assist PAL staff in essential training providing dogs with structure, discipline, basic skills, exercise, and field trips. Dogs become available for adoption once we believe they have what it takes to thrive in new surroundings. 

“The dogs love visiting different spots throughout the community,” says PAL kennel supervisor Shelby English. “Their weekly field trips include lots of sniffs, snacks, and sometimes even a game of cornhole or putt putt golf. Our volunteer dog trainers work miracles for pets who come to PAL in need of understanding, healing, and a fresh start at life.”

The puppy program focuses on socialization immediately upon a pup’s arrival at PAL. Raising well-balanced puppies facilitates better bonds between pup and adopter, increasing the likelihood of a puppy remaining in one home for his or her lifetime.

“PAL is dedicated to helping animals with medical needs and mamas and puppies that easily end up on euthanasia lists at other shelters,” said Lori Roos, who developed PAL’s puppy program. “I love being part of a team that is dedicated to helping animals who require special care.”

Daily training sessions with a caring and specialized crew is achieving unprecedented results for homeless dogs. Great dogs make irreplaceable life companions, and PAL wants to prove that shelter dogs are great dogs.

“I not only get to help save their lives,” said Roos. “I also get to be a part of finding dogs forever homes where they, in turn, will change the lives of their adopter.”

For more information about PAL and to see life-affirming stories of rescue and hope, visit PalmettoAnimalLeague.org/palimpact.   

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League. PalmettoAnimalLeague.org