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Montana Shelter Discovers Secret For Permanent Dog Adoption

February 23rd, 2010

Talk can be cheap and there’s always a lot of talk about adopting dogs, owners being irresponsible, throw away dogs, and overpopulation of dogs.  However, one shelter has learned how to overcome the permanent re-homing adoption issues.

It’s a small shelter in Cut Bank, Montana, but run by two intelligent, dedicated individuals: the husband and wife team of Joe and Tina Gauthier.

“Their work and devotion to the animal shelter has helped earn it the reputation of being a “low kill” shelter.  This means they work like “cats and dogs” to find homes for all the animals placed at the shelter.  The only animals put down are those that are unhealthy or un-adoptable due to irreversible temperament issues.  Animals are never put down due to lack of room at the shelter.”

Several years ago, both Tina and Joe attended a Psych-O (Psychology-Obedience) Clinic [now re-named BOSS (Behavioral Obedience Skills Seminars) Dog Clinic] being held by the Humane Society of Cascade County, in Great Falls, Montana.

I remember Joe brought a Karelian bear dog and both he and the dog were self-contained and quiet.  Joe is a former K-9 trainer, so when Joe, Tina and the dogs departed that day, I wasn’t certain if what I was teaching had created any impact.

Time passed and I produced a book, “Saturday Dogs…and the owners they trained”. Tina was kind enough to say that both she and Joe read it, enjoyed it, and in some form it sparked something in Joe.  I personally think he simply laughed his keester off at my misadventures with dogs.

But, whatever the reason, Joe and Tina have been incorporating behavior into their handling of shelter dogs and teaching it to the owners that adopt them.  Recently, Tina was kind enough to post the following  recommendation on Linked-In and I’m proud of it, because for the Cut Bank Shelter it has successfully helped dogs.

“Susan (Overfield) is a wonderful instructor and has a command over dogs and the people that they own.  Cut Bank Animal Shelter uses Susan’s training techniques and psychology of dogs with every animal that we handle.  We have had no returned animals when adopted. [Ed. bold/underline]   People love that they are receiving a dog that knows more obedience  (& good behavior)  than they had ever expected.  An adoption from our shelter includes an hour long talk about dog psychology and basic obedience.  We are very happy to recommend Susan to anyone that has a dog with behavior or obedience issues.  Susan will also work with special needs dogs.  Those that other people have given up on.  Susan has a way with dogs that many people may envy.  She is willing to teach anyone that is willing to learn.

Tina Gauthier
Special Services Officer
Cut Bank Animal Shelter”

Phone: (406) 873-4624
Fax: (406) 873-2096


Here is a true success story for dogs and shelters everywhere.

I am asking every single person who reads this to do me a personal favor—send this blog to everyone you know.  Send it, or take it, to your local shelter.   Contact Montana’s Governor Schweitzer (this is a comment form) and commend the Cut Bank Shelter to him so that he knows of their success.

If we don’t bring attention to the success of the Cut Bank Animal Shelter and Tina and Joe Gauthier, how will other shelters know there is a template that they can copy if they truly want to help dogs.

I know you love your dogs, I know you care about dogs, if you want to make a real difference and help dogs, then the best way is to spread this success story any way possible.

Thank you all, I know you’ll help.

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  1. From Beth and Sandy, Cascade, February 24, 2010:

    This is a great story. I can say, from personal experience, that many, many people have told ME that your clinics, private consultations, and classes have been “life changing.” I think that is an understatement.

  2. From Cate D., March 3, 2010:

    SO good to hear such a fantastic success rate coming from the Cut Bank shelter, knowing that merely getting the adoptees ‘placed’ isn’t sufficient. …. that working with them on behavior handling is paramount. “Saturday Dogs” was a GREAT read for any/all dog handlers!

  3. From PiterJankovich, March 30, 2010:

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

  4. From robes, March 30, 2010:

    awesome news.

  5. From 誰とでも定額, November 21, 2010:

    Great work! Keep posting good work. Thanks a lot!

  6. From Mendy Berbereia, December 6, 2010:

    Very nice info, thank you very much for sharing.

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