The consultation course will be held on a one-on-one basis for interested parties (dog trainers, rescue groups or municipalities)
“I have been asked for a couple years by people how to get the program started in their town or city, but the recent national press – brought in a lot of requests. There are already few people signed up to take the course, and this will help them save so much time and effort, and help get the program started in their town a lot quicker. The ultimate goal of offering this program nationwide for no charge will help save the lives of many dogs, help make dog owners better educated, and communities safer too,” said Hassel the creator of the program.
The program which is a monthly one-time class is for people only, the dogs stay at home, because this class is more about dog education vs. teaching your dog to sit and stay – although training is discussed. Being frustrated with people not knowing the simple basics of dog ownership or relinquishing a dog to the local shelter due to a behavioral problem - Hassel came up with the idea of hosting a free course. “Often times a reaction to a dog incident prompts government officials to want to pass another dog law, whether it be a breed ban or increased fines for multiple dog households. Many laws that are passed are not really enforced, and I thought why doesn’t the local government offer a free educational course on dog ownership, instead of another law? Why not educate the public instead of punishing them?” said Hassel.
After many months of meetings with Town officials, animal shelter officials, interviewing dog trainers to also take part in teaching the course, the program was approved by the Town board and the first class was held in March of 2008 to a packed classroom. Three plus years later the monthly course, which is for people only has taught over 1,000 people and each month the class is full. Why do this? Not only is dog education a passion, but to get emails after the class saying, ‘we are going to keep our dog, realizing the behavior was our fault and not the dogs’ – which Hassel says she gets 1 or 2 emails after each class, it also helps keep our community better educated on dog ownership, behavior, on local and state dog laws, dog health and more. The class has had people from all walks of life and professions, and participants ranging from the age of 5 to 85 and from novice dog owners, people about to adopt a dog that want to learn, to experienced dog owners and many, many families in attendance.
“The Town of Islip, Supervisor Phil Nolan, Commissioner Christopher Andrade and Shelter Supervisor Joanne Daly have been fully committed to keeping this program available and have also been wonderful to work with.” By offering this program, not only to its residents – but to anyone on Long Island that wants to attend, is unheard of. Their dedication to the well being of the shelter animals, (they also have a non-for-profit all volunteer liaison group called Shelter Link at the shelter daily) as well as offering this type of program at no cost to the attendees speaks for itself. We are also very grateful to Canine Fence who has been a co-sponsor of the program for the past 3 years, and to our trainers from Doggie U K9 Academy (Rolissa Nash and Ginny Anziani) and Rita Schrecognost of Dog Training 101 who have been with the program from the beginning.
If this program could be offered nationwide, we would have a better educated dog owning country and more compassionate community towards dogs. The Consultation Course will teach people interested to bringing this program to their town, and have it be as successful as it has been, and continues to be in the Town of Islip.
For more information on this course, and how to sign up, go to www.RDOConsultationCourse.blogspot.com or contact Nancy Hassel at Nancy@LongIslandPetProfessionals.com.