What’s happening in Puerto Rico now? Who better to talk with than a dog trainer who lives there? And that’s exactly what I did on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World show. Listen HERE to trainer and dog behavior consultant Terrie Hayward, who survived Hurricane Maria with her husband and pets.
Are things any better on the island? The answer barely appears to be yes.
We talked about the conditions for animals in Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria. And, many homeless animals have been and continue to be relocated off the island. Having said that, people are fleeing the island for the mainland, and in many cases they’re leaving their animals behind.
Hayward says the situation is desperate, and the exact number of animals requiring saving remains unknown. The local animal rescue she works with is ARF – Animal Rescue Foundation of Rincon. The woman who operates the group rode out the storm with lots of company—21 animals in her home—and, while they all survived, the kennels were destroyed.
Many dog trainers use aversive techniques. One reason why Hayward likes ARF – Animal Rescue Foundation of Rincon is that, “They recognize, value, and respect the value of positive reinforcement training,” she says. They don’t just ship dogs out (to the mainland or adopt locally) who are terrified, they enlist Hayward’s help first. Of course, they will now require help more than ever.
Hayward is in New England now, but she intends to go back to Puerto Rico and answers this question: Why?