We have been designing and implementing programs for shelters for almost 20 years. Starting in 1994, Tim started developing training and behavior programs for the Humane Society of Broward County, starting with the first all positive group obedience classes in South Florida. All his work was pro bono and for years, you could only enroll in his classes through HSBC. For years it was the largest group obedience program in South Florida, until pet stores decided that offering dog training in their stores could be profitable. Tim didn’t stop there, going on to develop the Behavior Subcommittee, the Behavior Helpline, the GoodDog! training program, programs for matching dogs to owners, temperament evaluation, staff training, etc. A Dog’s Best Friend was also Top or Runner Up Corporate Fundraiser for the Walk for the Animals for six consecutive years, and all of this was provided at no expense to the shelter, and A Dog’s BestFriend made no profit from these programs.
In 2001, Tim caught the eye of famous dog trainer and author, Brian Kilcommons, of the Walter Turken Training for Adoption Program. The WTTAP was starting it’s first program of training volunteers to train shelter dogs, much like HSBCs GoodDog Training Program, and Brian enlisted Tim’s help in getting the first WTTAP program implemented at the Humane Society of Collier County, which was originally a huge success, training over 100 volunteers to train shelter dogs in 4 months! Tim continued with Brian and WTTAP as it moved to the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in 2002, also a huge success.
Meanwhile, in Naples, the WTTAP program at HSCC was in trouble. After long consideration, the board decided to end the program. They then contacted Tim at A Dog’s Best Friend to start a new program there. Tim’s biggest goal was to design a program that didn’t have the problems they had encountered with WTTAP, mainly being having a program where staff and volunteers were trained alike, and where the program was self supporting by having volunteers and staff training new volunteers as they came in. He also designed a color coded temperament evaluation program that tied into a matching dogs to owners program! This program was also a big success, and HSCC’s training programs continue to this day.
HSCC then referred The Animal Rescue League of Ft. Myers, a no kill shelter, to A Dog’s Best Friend. ARL’s goals were different, because they were a no kill shelter, and housed some dogs that were unadoptable and in some cases, unapproachable, for life. These staff and volunteers needed even a higher level of skill, but the programs designed for them increased the quality of life for the dogs in their care, dramatically dropped the shelter’s accident rate by dropping instances of aggression, and made the dogs more adoptable. It also led to the building of their own dog park where their dogs were let out to run and play together everyday, which dramatically increased the quality of life for their shelter dogs, and is still way ahead of their time. These programs also are still in operation.
In 2003, dog training legend Terry Ryan referred the Animal Fancier’s Club of Japan to A Dog’s Best Friend. AFC contracted Tim to travel to Japan for a month in 2003, and again in 2004. Tim helped the shelter there with shelter staff training, working with difficult cases, dog trainer staff training, and also ran classes and private sessions for their dog training center!
Today, Tim continues to be dedicated to the plight of the rescued dog by working closely with such groups as Doberman Rescue League, Grateful Paws, Dachshund Rescue, Rottie Rescue, Keeshund Rescue, Golden Retriever Rescue, and Jack Russell Rescue, just to name a few.