trying to save dogs, and we adopt 91 percent of the dogs in the
Mod Squad program," says Dr. Claudeen McAuliffe.
In less than
four years, Dr. Claudeen McAuliffe has assisted in saving 637 dogs
from the inevitable, thanks in part to the Mod Squad program she
helped create at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha.
volunteer-based program is gaining visibility across the nation and
providing new hope for dogs looking for a loving home, but who have
The unique group
of volunteers that make up the Mod Squad are specifically trained to
work with the special-needs animals housed at the facility. The
program is part of HAWS’ Behavior Department, which was funded by a
grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation in December 2009.
program is designed to help dogs that don’t pass the behavior
evaluation, but we feel could pass the evaluation," McAuliffe
has a Ph.D. in nutrition and is a certified Tellington TTouch
practitioner, discovered a way to use the Tellington TTouch method to
help the shelter’s dogs. "It looks a little like massage, and
helps calm and reassure the animals," McAuliffe says. "It’s
a form of body work and is the first step to get them to learn the
The Mod Squad
uses 18 different training protocols — such as touch and treat
handling, treat retreat, resource guarding, and drop and leave it —
to work with rehabilitating the dogs.
do all 18 with every dog. We usually pick four or five (protocols) the
dog needs to improve on," McAuliffe says. "We’re trying to
save dogs; we adopt 91 percent of the dogs in the Mod Squad
Cane, a lab mix,
came to HAWS after an unsuccessful first adoption. "He developed
aggression toward other dogs that we discovered was fear based,"
McAuliffe says. He was at the shelter for seven months the second
time. "That can be crushing for any dog, and for an older dog
that can almost be a death sentence. Mod Squad kept this dog going and
reasonably happy for a period of time."
recently adopted again, but this time a trainer from the Mod Squad
went to the home and worked with the family on how to take care of
their new pet. "In the past, behavior evaluations at shelters in
general were used to ‘cull the herd’ and choose what dogs were
cream of the crop and could go on the adoption floor. The rest would
be euthanized or refused," says HAWS Executive Director Lynn
Olenik. "This program gives us hope."
created a turn-key program that any shelter can start," McAuliffe
And that’s a
fact: HAWS just received an $11,000 grant from the Pedigree Foundation
to take the program to six other shelters in the Midwest. The Oshkosh
Humane Society and Iowa County Humane Society have already signed up.
"Every animal deserves a home where they are cherished,"
says Olenik, who added that HAWS does not charge an intake fee for
animals. "We ask for a donation. We don’t want that intake fee
to be a barrier and turn that animal loose or give it to just
anybody," she says.
aid HAWS in its mission to rehabilitate animals by sponsoring
a dog that’s
in the Mod Squad program. Call (262) 542-8851 or go to www.hawspets.org