It was September 2020 when the Kingston Humane Society took possession of six feral dogs from Central Frontenac.
The Humane Society’s Executive Director Gord Hunter says it was animal control officers that brought the dogs to the shelter.
“They were all emaciated to some extent, some worse than others, they had dug dens into the earth like a coyote or a wolf would do.” said Hunter.
The Kingston Shelter has had experience working with dogs that haven’t had much human socialization but working with dogs that have had no human contact is a first for the organization.
Veterinary Assistant Talia Fleming along with a small team worked with the dogs getting them used to humans.
They played the radio to get the animals used to human voices and then gradually got the dogs used to more human contact.
“We started hand feeding them and eventually we just kind of sat outside their kennels and talked to them.” Fleming told Global Kingston. “We had to be patient with them, let them know you are there without being too overwhelming.”
It took a month to get collars on the dogs and Hunter says the dogs had to be taught the fundamentals of going for a walk.
“These dogs had never been on a leash.” said Hunter.
Four of the dogs have now been adopted and one is living at a rescue for Huskies.
The last dog named Crane remains at the shelter for now.
The Humane Society estimates the dogs are between one and four years old.
“It’s really amazing how far they’ve come because it’s taken almost six months for them to kind of, not be normal but be as normal as they can be and it’s just really amazing.” said Fleming reflecting on how well the dogs have adapted.
Hunter estimates Crane will remain in their care for another month before any decisions are made about his long term care.
“We’re going to look at whether we think he is suitable for an adoptive home or whether perhaps a huskie rescue would be more suitable for him.” said Hunter.
If the Crane is adopted, Hunter says they will most likely look for a home that already has a dog which will help Crane with the transition.