CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KGWN) - In September, the trust between the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, and they community they serve--was shattered. The firestorm that followed led to recommendations of animal cruelty charges and multiple resignations. But now, in the wake of that storm. The animal shelter is all hands -- and paws -- on deck to regain the trust of the public, and it all starts with training.
Shelter manager Brooke Bylech took the lead in the training... And went to Texas to learn from the Austin Pets Alive programs.
"I learned there different protocols they use for just general handling of the animals for their staff and volunteers."
From walking boards to keep track of a dog's behavior and training to all staff members being issued treat pouches - each step helps reinforce proper techniques.
Along with new training here at the animal shelter comes new policies. One of those is the rejection of pepper spray. Instead, shelter staff will use other deterrents like canned air, water and citronella.
Dogs at the shelter who aren't quarantined all get the same training, learning commands like sit, and to make eye contact. With everyone in the shelter on the same page ... Good behavior and obedience is reinforced in the dogs. It's unclear whether these new procedures will re-build the trust between the shelter and the community, but the staff we spoke to all want to send the same message...
"We are here for the animals.” Says behavior and rescue coordinator Sarah Maria, “We want them to get adopted and we want them to get forever homes. That's what we're here for."
The shelter says the training doesn't stop here. Staff will continue to have other opportunities for continued education to make sure the shelter continues to improve.