Have you ever wondered what it takes for a dog to be trained in tracking for a search and rescue organization? Drug sniffing for customs? Bomb sniffing for ATF or the military? The guys at Gifted Animal Placement know what it takes, and it takes more than just smarts. It takes endless energy, unfaltering focus, and a sturdy temperament.
But because of their energy levels and need to constantly “work”, dogs with these traits often end up in shelters where they are quickly deemed unadoptable. Frustrated that so many of these great dogs were being euthanized in North Texas, Chick Gardner and Steve Thomason formed the non-profit Gifted Animal Placement Program (GAP). GAP instructors train shelter staff to identify potential GAP dogs. The GAP Certification class is a 12 hour, two day class involving both classroom work as well as hands-on practice with shelter dogs and includes a written final examination.
Once a potential GAP dog is identified by a GAP-certified shelter worker, the dog is more fully evaluated and then placed with a service organization where it may be trained for bomb detection, drug detection, search and rescue, handicap assistance, seizure alert, hearing ear, vegetable sniffing, cancer sniffing, accelerant detection, or even competition-level agility. Local sheriffs, city police departments, search & rescue organizations, state agencies, the US military and even FEMA are currently using dogs found in North Texas Shelters through the Gift Animal Placement Program.
For more info: Visit the Gifted Animal Placement Program website. Think you have a GAP dog? Try this simple test. And don’t miss this article by Penny Elms, Dogs News Examiner about Homeland Security looking to add 600 news dogs this year and encourage them to look not just at dogs from breeders, but at shelter dogs as well.
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