Every year in the United States, 7.6 million animals are sent to shelters. Of those, 35% of dogs will be adopted out, but 31% will be euthanized.

In Seattle, we are lucky that every shelter feeding into our city is a no-kill shelters. Places like the Seattle Humane Society, Seattle Animal Shelter, and Emerald City Pet Rescue work hard to find fosters until animals can find their forever home so that animals don’t have to be needlessly put down. Organizations like PUP Dog Rescue even rescue and foster dogs from high-kill areas like California. This humane policy is a huge win for animals and animal lovers a like. Once a dog finds a home, it is our goal to make sure it can stay there. That is where COLA comes in.

According to the ASPCA, one the leading causes for a dog to be surrendered to a shelter is bad behavior or lack of training. We have the power to stop this cycle of rehoming dogs. Excessive barking, destructive chewing, resource guarding, and even aggression can almost always be traced back to a need for more exercise and socialization. This is why Seattle’s OLA’s are such an important part of the canine community. Beyond managing, maintaining, and advocating for the expansion of our cities OLAs, COLA is working to connect dog owners with the resources they need to be successful.

COLA believes that one’s socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to being a good pet-parent, so we offer our education classes free of charge to all that are interested. The classes go beyond your basic “sit” and “stay” and focus on what we call the ABC’s of dog ownership:

  • Actions = The actions a guardian and canine need to know how to do together at the dog park. For example: Sit, Wait, Recall or Come, Take a treat from a stranger and Meeting a neutral dog.
  • Behavior = For the guardians, what behavior to watch for both good and bad, when, how and if to interrupt, a basic understanding of canine body language and how to interpret it.
  • Community & Canine Advocacy = Learning about the importance of OLA’s and our impact on them, proper etiquette expected of owners/guardians using the OLA’s, responsibilities-rules-regulations, how to support and/or get involved in the dog park community.

We want to make sure everyone owner has the resources they need to raise a good canine citizen.

At COLA, we want reduce the environmental impact dogs have on the Puget Sound estuary, and we believe that begins with comprehensive and accessible education literature, so in addition to classes, we are working on delivering adoption packets to all the shelters and rescues in Seattle. It is our goal to have every dog that is adopted in our city go into its new home with information on where local dog parks can be found, what is proper etiquette inside and outside the dog parks, what are the leash and scoop laws and why they are important.

What can you do to help?

The best thing you can do to help our education efforts is to make a donation to COLA today. We are only able to provide these resources thanks to the generous support of dog lovers like you. Your donation can make the difference in the life a dog by helping to break the cycle of rehoming and giving that dog’s family the resources they need to be successful.

Want to sign up for the ABC’s of Ownership Class?

Email us at info@seattlecola.org to see when our next class is available

Want your own copy of the adoption education packet?

Send your request to info@seattlecola.org and an electronic version of the current packet will be sent to you.

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