Tag Archives: Kennel Club

Kennel Club: Introduction to Kennel Enrichment

8 May

The ultimate goal of Eleventh Hour Rescue is to find wonderful and loving forever homes for all our dogs (and cats!). In the meantime, it is important to keep those dogs happy, mentally stimulated, exercised, and socialized while in our care and this is especially important when the dogs live in a shelter environment, such as our kennel. To that end, we created our Kennel Enrichment program almost two years ago. The main goal of kennel enrichment is is to enhance the lives of the dogs in our care by providing them with activities and programs that keep their lives exciting and full of variety. Living in a shelter or kennel can be stressful- especially for dogs who stay for two weeks or longer. Kennel stress is a real danger to these dogs and is exhibited in barking, destructive chewing, and repetitive behaviors such as circling, licking walls, etc. Our Kennel Enrichment team focuses on ways we can alleviate that stress and keep our dogs happy!

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers.

Gloria is all smiles during visits from volunteers


The Kennel Enrichment team is a group of volunteers who are dedicated to improving the lives of the dogs that live at our kennel in Randolph. At any given time, there are between 50 and 60 dogs living on property. While some of these dogs stay at our kennel for only a short time before moving on to a foster or adoptive home, some of our dogs are there for longer periods of time. Our volunteers work with these dogs to improve their adopt-ability, while giving them love, care, socialization, and exercise. Many volunteers even pick “Pet Projects,” dogs that they work with on a consistent basis while at the kennel.

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Volunteer Nicole and her Pet Project, Blaze

Some of the fun activities and programs we have for our kennel dogs include:

  • Weekly Pack Walks and Pack Hikes
  • Doggie Playgroups
  • Food Enrichment- meals in Kongs, puzzle feeders, treat rings, and more
  • Dog and volunteer training classes
  • Pool Parties
  • Hotel Sleepovers
  • Sensory Enrichment- auditory, olfactory, tactile
  • Quiet Kennel Time- Read & Relax, Sit & Snuggle
Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Volunteer Tammy and her pet project, Sadie

Keep an eye on our blog in the coming weeks for more information on our Kennel Enrichment program and a more in-depth view into many of our programs.

Make a difference in the life of a rescue dog. We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers who want to spend time with our kennel pups. We will provide you with all the training necessary, as well as volunteer mentors who will help you become confident and prepared to volunteer at our kennel on your own. If you are interested in joining our Kennel Enrichment team, visit http://www.ehrdogs.org to fill out a volunteer application!

Please LIKE the EHR Kennel Club Facebook Page to see great pictures and updates of our weekly activities! https://www.facebook.com/EhrKennelClub?hc_location=stream


Pet Projects: Mocha-chino

1 May

One of our favorite parts of Eleventh Hour Rescue is the chance to work with a kennel pet project. We have a dedicated group of volunteers who share special bonds with some dogs who need their love and time to help prepare them for their forever homes. Join us as we explore the stories behind these amazing pet projects.


Eleventh Hour Rescue volunteer Michelle Cilurso has a special place in her heart for her pet project, Mocha. When asked how she started working with Mocha, Michelle explains:

“I saw that she was fearful and would nip at people that would come near her. I just decided one day to go into her kennel with a handful of treats and hoped I could sway her to like me. In 5 minutes, she was sitting in my lap. Every time I went to the kennel, I made it a point to visit her and take her out. I’d say after about 3 times, she started to like me and trust me and the rest is history. She is so loving, affectionate and sweet to those she loves.”

Mocha started out as a fearful dog. Although young, it was obvious she had experienced trauma in her short life. Michelle is dedicated to helping her overcome her fears and trust people. She shows her love and helps her meet new people. The second Mocha started trusting Michelle, she became a different dog.

Michelle spends time with Mocha every week. Their favorite activities include playing fetch and snuggling. When Michelle throws stuffy toys to Mocha, she runs around with them in her mouth showing off her catch. Mocha also loves to lay on top of Michelle or next to her on the couch or bed.

Whenever Michelle comes to get Mocha from the kennel, this pretty girl greets her with a cute smile and a wiggly butt. Mocha still has some issues with strangers, but to the people she knows, she is amazing. She is loyal, affectionate, devoted, and just wants to be close to the ones she loves.


Michelle loves Mocha so much and wants her to find a great forever home or event foster home. Michelle loves everything about this gorgeous girl: “She is stunningly beautiful which is what draws you in initially but when you get to know her, she has such a wonderful personality. She is so loving and she just wants to please. She will just stare at you with those eyes and it makes you just melt.”

Mocha’s ideal home would be a place with few visitors since she is still leery of strangers. Michelle thinks a single person or couple with no children and no other animals would be perfect.

It breaks Michelle’s heart to leave Mocha at the kennel. She wishes she could take her home, but unfortunately her dog does not get along with Mocha. However, she loves Mocha like she’s her own and has spent over a year with her.


For more information on Mocha or to fill out a foster or adoption application, please visit http://www.ehrdogs.org/animals/detail?AnimalID=4427116