Rescue Spotlight – Handsome Dan’s Rescue

February 27, 2013  

Handsome Dan’s Rescue for Pit Bull Type Dogs / Cranston, Rhode Island

Mission statement: The mission of Handsome Dan’s Rescue is to assist with the placement, care, training, and overall well-being of canines in local shelters and other facilities throughout the state of Rhode Island; to raise funds to assist with veterinary care and spay/neuter assistance for canines who may not otherwise obtain such treatment; and to raise awareness on the equal treatment of canines, regardless of breed.

About the organization: Heather Gutshall, CPDT-KA, and Mark Stoutzenberger had been rescuing, training, and placing homeless dogs for many years, and founded Handsome Dan’s Rescue to help dogs who are most often overlooked at local animal shelters. (Handsome Dan is one of the 22 dogs who came to Best Friends Animal Society after the Michael Vick arrest.) HDR advocates the rescue of pit bull type dogs previously considered “unadoptable” from local shelters, and their placement through a network of volunteer foster homes. Many dogs have been rescued from severe abuse and neglect, including dog fighting. Because the dogs in the program often require extra care, including medical, training and sometimes rehabilitation, HDR is small by design.

Handsome Dan’s Rescue also offers a host of community support programs. Shelter dog enrichment: HDR’s Shelter Dog Enrichment Program pairs a Volunteer Enrichment Specialist with a dog in crisis, and includes one-on-one time and weekly attendance in the Pit C.L.A.S.S. Program. Training and support: training and behavior support is offered not only to dogs adopted from HDR but also to newly adopted pit bull types from local shelters. Pit C.L.A.S.S.: co-founder Heather Gutshall is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a certified C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator and Instructor. The weekly Pit C.L.A.S.S. program is offered free of charge to dogs in foster care or current residents of local shelters. Spay/neuter surgery: each year HDR is able to assist a small number of dogs whose guardians are unable to afford the surgery.

Admission policy: Dogs are pulled from local shelters on a case-by-case basis, with an emphasis on shy and fearful pit bull type dogs with behavioral or medical needs who may otherwise be overlooked in a shelter setting.

Contact information:

Phone: 401.654.0744
Address: 12 Strathcona Road, Cranston, RI 02910
How to volunteer:
Facebook: HandsomeDan
Twitter: n/a
Blog: n/a
Newsletter: n/a
Post-adoption support: All dogs adopted from through the Shelter Dog Enrichment Program or Foster Program are encouraged to continue their training in the Pit C.L.A.S.S. program, free of charge. Foster parents are always available to lend support to the families of newly adopted dogs from HDR. Dogs are sent home with supplies, a martingale collar, and an Easy Walk harness.

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