Help the Animals, Inc.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to providing a safe haven for homeless pets until they can be placed in responsible, loving homes.

Shelter Animal Adoption Tips

Basic dog training with Open Paw's Pet Basics:


Sculpting Behavior: Positive Reinforcement
What you will need for your puppy or adult dog
Bite Inhibition
Coming when called
Alone Time
Separation Anxiety
Jumping Up
Settle down and Shush
Inappropriate chewing
The magic of chew toys

Introduce your current pets

We will allow an approved adoptee to bring their current pets into the environment to ensure that everyone feels comfortable with the new addition.

Rely on our advice and knowledge

The shelter workers and volunteers, are invested in every animal they help and want to find the placement that will work best for all parties. Although sometimes we are wrong and an unusual pairing occurs that we would have never have thought of, most times that we feel the pet is not suited to an adopter, we are right.

Don't have an introduction party

Your newly adopted friend has no idea what is going on his first few nights in your home. To keep the excitement level and stress to a minimum, it is not wise to have lots of people in the home during the first week. Your new pet needs to learn that he is home and what is to be expected of them. Take time and care to introduce them to new people one on one so that you can modify any unwanted behaviors.

Buy and use a crate

We firmly believe in crate training for dogs and puppies. In most cases the crate will offer security to the dog who badly needs just that. Some dogs will do better with the crate in the hub of the house...others need a quiet place. Some like a good view...others need a towel draped over the crate or the comfort of a semi-closed up, airline crate rather than the all-wire models.

Bonding is urgent!

Tie your new dog's leash to your belt and keep him attached for several minutes at a time, working up to an hour a day, indoors and out...Let him understand the full implication of the physical attachment to you and let him make the decision to watch you...He'll become attached to you as figuratively as he is literally in this exercise. It will also be valuable in training, as you can correct and redirect immediately.

Train with patience, affection and quiet firmness.

Your rules and regulations will help make the dog secure in his new home. But...he'll need reasons to feel proud of himself again...Whenever he does something worthy, let him know it...Work is the best medicine for anxious, insecure creatures.

Pets don't know English

Your new pet doesn't always know what you want them to do although you may explain to them, they don't know English. Show your dog while you say a one-two word command every time they perform the command. They will start to understand the connection with the spoken word and action. Example: When combining commands such as wanting your dog to bark when they need to go out, teach "speak" first, then before letting the dog out, say the speak command, when they do, open the door and say "out".

Explore with your new dog

First, explore your house and grounds with him...continue off your property and into your neighborhood. Make big circles...walk around the block one way and reverse the next. Walk from your driveway left and go right the next day...When you get near home, tell him "GO HOME, GO HOME" and run him to your door. Now, get down with him and praise and hug...Now take your dog out in the car when you have places to go. Show him the world. Make him bold. Make him yours.

Grooming time isn't just for knots and mats

Grooming him relaxes both of you. It's another quiet way of getting the message across -- "I love you, kid. You're here to stay." Grooming is a nice ending to a hectic day.

The dog is a contemplative animal

Take some long, silent walks with your new friend. Get to know him away from home, away from your kennel, your kids, your other dogs, your phone, your Cuisinart, your answering machine, your power mower...

Bed your new dog down in your room

That's seven or eight hours of bonding at no cost to you. Again, it's an important message. You belong to me. But don't, in your zealousness, let the dog spend the night on the bed with you. This message says, "we're equals". And of course, you're not. While you may have to put up with a time of crying or destruction or jumping that you would not tolerate from a dog who started out with you, still you do not want to initiate anything that is false, that is a lie. Keep the dog in his place, in his crate or on a mat, but in your room.