Joe Ray, a sophomore at Sabine High School, is undertaking a community service project this summer.
Joe is partnering with the Henderson Animal Center to bring what he hopes will become an annual community event: The Pro-Am Trainer Challenge. Participants will foster a dog beginning in July. Each dog will be fully vetted, spayed or neutered; and a long time shelter resident through no fault of their own. Fosters will work with their dog on basic obedience such as leash training, house training and basic commands.
Participants will gather to compete for exciting prizes. There will be two categories represented; Professional trainers and Amateur trainers. The Pro-Am Trainer Challenge benefits Henderson Animal Center in many ways: by increasing adoptability of participating dogs, rapidly placing them in loving homes, and bringing publicity to the Center itself.
Joe Ray chose this project in the hopes to plant a seed in our community to find workable ways to solve the problem of dog overpopulation.
While there are no strict requirements, focus should be on basic obedience with emphasis on increasing the adoptability of each dog. Contestants will foster their canine training partner for the duration of the training period.
During the event, trainers can showcase their dog in a public forum, and will be evaluated by an impartial panel of judges using a rubric. The evaluation criteria will be available before taking the dogs home, so each trainer thoroughly understands the grading system. Each contestant will be given a final score, with winners being announced the day of the event.
Training challenge dogs will be available for immediate adoption at the conclusion of the event. Pre-approval is required to adopt at the event. Trainers will have first choice to adopt their training partner before they are available to the public.