This princess tent provides a secure haven for a stressed-out shelter dog.
After more than a year in a shelter, Starsky, a 2-year-old pit bull, is stressed. As a result, a volunteer decided to create an exquisite little room for him.
Starsky, a pit bull, adores his hutch, which happens to be a princess tent.
The 2-year-old pit bull arrived at I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven in Warren, Michigan, with his sibling Hutch, a stray, in November 2020.
After a few months, Hutch was adopted and is now thriving in a loving forever home, but Starsky was not so fortunate. The dog developed undesired tendencies like lunging as potential adopters went by due to the stress of staying at a shelter for so long. Staff and volunteers became wary of dealing with him. As a result, he's been relocated to a more secluded kennel near an exercise yard, where he'll be more relaxed when he's outside playing.
Even yet, he can hear other dogs barking and birds flying through a soon-to-be-fixed hole in his room's wall, so he remains cautious against avian intruders. Megan Synk, a volunteer adoption coordinator, wanted to find a method to make him feel better.
As a result, she purchased a unicorn tent for him.
She told TODAY, I set it up and placed a fresh new toy in there and a bunch of treats in there. It felt so amazing to see him go in there and lay down and chew his toy and be able to hide from the world.
Starsky was content for almost a week in his special spot until he realized that tent poles made fantastic chew toys. Synk was undeterred, so he purchased him a pink princess tent that didn't have any poles. It's still standing, and Starsky likes to sit inside and relax.
Synk stated, I just love the guy.
She also takes him home for weekend sleepovers about once a month to give him a vacation from shelter life — a compromise she and her husband worked out because they already have other dogs who aren't interested in growing the pack — to give him a break from shelter life.
Starsky is working with a trained dog trainer on his behavioural difficulties, and he's starting to see more volunteer "buddies." They'll hopefully soon be able to take him on sleepovers as well.
They hope he eventually finds an adoptive family who is willing to work with him and make him feel protected.
According to Synk, I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven has taken in an average of 62 dogs per month and adopted out 49 in the last three months. The shelter's capacity is roughly 70 dogs, but thanks to volunteers who foster pets in their homes, the group is able to care for more than 100 dogs per month.
The response to Synk's story in a Facebook forum for shelter staff and volunteers was extremely favorable, and others want to try getting private tents for anxious or nervous dogs.
Starsky's story demonstrates the "amazing" power of volunteers at animal shelters, according to Kasey Spain, senior manager of marketing for the organization American Pets Alive! and Human Animal Support Services, an international cooperation of more than 8,000 animal welfare experts.
Volunteers can do so much to assist pets be happy and comfortable when they are in a shelter, she told TODAY. For example, giving a scared dog a unique comfy unicorn tent to hang out in. Even the best animal shelters can be traumatic for animals. That is why we are grateful to everyone who welcomes foster pets into their homes, not only shelter personnel and volunteers.
Fostering allows pets to relax in a peaceful, safe home environment, according to Spain.
We'd encourage everyone to sign up to volunteer or foster a pet at their local shelter or rescue organisation," she said. You will make a significant impact in the lives of pets, and it will be a rewarding experience for you.