The Susquehanna SPCA (SQSPCA) is now a temporary home for five, very frightened shepherd mixes from Clayton County in Georgia who arrived early October and the dogs are so fearful of people, that a new program has been prompted called "Fearful to Fearless" to help these animals overcome their fear of humans.

According to a press release from the shelter, the new initiative is based on the success of a similar program, ‘Feral to Friendly’, to socialize cats and kittens. Along with the adoption of "Fearful to Fearless" comes a new volunteer opportunity for community members who love dogs and want to help.

Credit: SQSPCA

SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes explains, “Our Fearful to Fearless program will enable volunteers to come spend quality time with the dogs – sit outside their kennels, talk to them, maybe even read a book out loud – to help them overcome their fear of people. As the dogs become more accepting of the presence of humans, there are further strategies that can then be used by volunteers and staff to reduce their fear of handling."

The five dogs arrived at the shelter through a rescue network that saves dogs from high-intake shelters and high-risk situations in both Georgia and Texas. That same rescue network paid for their transport and costs associated with their stay at SQSPCA. All five were strays and it's thought that they are about 2 years old. A sixth dog was pregnant and went directly to a foster home upon her arrival several weeks earlier. She has since given birth to three puppies.

Any dog lovers who would like to volunteer for the Fearful to Fearless program can call the shelter at 607-547-8111, extension 111. For information on the SQSPCA visit sqspca.org.

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