The family-run business, which already donates its pet food to over 40 rescue centres across the UK, is now piloting its obedience training project at Greenacres Animal Rescue Centre in Pembrokeshire, designed to help the rescue centre’s long-term dog residents learn basic skills giving them a better chance of being rehomed.
The five-week training course trial is currently in progress and teaches basic skills such as sitting, standing and recall. As part of the process, dogs will also practise getting used to a car environment ready for the journey to their new home.
Katie Gardener and Natasha Rudge, who work in the community department at Burns, are leading on the training. Both Gardener and Rudge have completed a number of dog training courses including IMDT which champions force-free dog training through positive reinforcement and the pair are working towards full accreditation.
Sarah Ellis, who heads up dog training at Burns, said: “We are giving dogs the basic skills needed to adapt to family life, thus improving their chances of being rehomed. It’s so rewarding to see the dogs progress week on week and engage with the training. Hopefully with this extra boost they will get a second chance at happiness in a loving, family home.”
Mikey Lawlor, Green Acres Animal Rescue manager, said: “The help and support is immeasurable. Having a food sponsor has meant that all of our animals are fed an excellent quality food constantly, which has been obvious in their condition and behaviour. We cannot imagine going back to the old way of feeding. Burns has helped in other ways financially with appeals, even adopting a Kunekune pig called Faith.
“More recently, Burns has helped our rescue dogs by conducting staff and dog training with the trainers from the Burns by Your Side reading to dogs scheme – it’s all been simply amazing. We are eternally grateful and hope to continue to work together in the future.”