An anxious dog finds his “happy place” thanks to this kind shelter volunteer. – InspirePlus

Volunteering or promoting at an animal shelter is an incredibly difficult yet rewarding experience.

Shelter workers are often the first and only kind people in an abused or stray dog’s life. For dogs like Starsky, whose brother Hutch was adopted without him, volunteers are the closest he has to his family. Starsky has lived at I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven in Warren, Michigan since 2020.

Life in a noisy animal shelter is not optimal for dogs. Over time, Starsky developed anxiety and negative habits like jumping on visitors and barking at everything. Potential adopters are scared off by his tough-boy good looks, and they don’t feel ready to take on a dog with special social needs. Not only that, but even seasoned shelter workers have begun to worry that he will harm them.

Eventually he was moved to a more secluded kennel, but even then he was constantly nervous about every little noise and movement. Luckily, Starsky has a very special ally in volunteer Megan Synk.

“I love this guy”, Megan said.

Starsky works with a dog trainer to help alleviate some of his issues, but it’s Megan who has found an ingenious way to soothe him while he’s in his kennel. She went to the store and bought him a tent, but not just any tent — a pretty pink princess tent!

“I set it up and put a brand new toy and a bunch of treats in it,” Megan said. “When I saw him come in there and lay down and chew on his toy and be able to hide from the world, that was really good.”

The tent provided just enough privacy for the stressed 2 year old dog to relax. When he started chewing on the tent poles, Megan went to buy him another tent that doesn’t need poles.

Shelter workers realized Megan was onto something. What if they gave all the stressed dogs living in the shelter a safe place to hide? They started a request for children’s tents on Facebook, and donations started coming in right away.

“Starsky really feels the love!! THANK YOU!!” they wrote about Facebook. “Tents are pouring in! And where tents don’t fit, we make small dog fortresses out of sheets. Starsky has also switched to its own travel carrier!! It’s a bit sturdier and provides him with more audio barriers, which helps his stress level immensely. We have lots of happy and safe dogs here and we can’t thank you enough for sending them to us!! »

Starsky and Megan started a super trend! It’s a cute but practical idea. We hope the perfect person sees this story and decides to welcome Starsky into their home and heart. Every dog ​​deserves to have its own human!

To share this story to tell the world Starsky and his princess tent.

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