A fascinating story in the Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat focuses on Colleen Combs and her Green Dog Rescue Project. Launched with the help of celebrity chef Douglas Keane—who donated $120,000 he received from winning the “Top Chef Masters” competition on TV channel Bravo to help get the rescue off the ground—Green Dog doesn’t keep its animals in separate cages or kennels. Instead, the dogs are housed in their natural environment, as a pack.
Combs believes that many dogs that are deemed “bad” or “untrainable” suffer from the lack of structure that a pack creates. There is some evidence that Combs is right:
Cloverdale resident Madeline Wallace was likewise impressed with the pack method. The border collie Lucky was in danger of being euthanized at the Healdsburg Animal Shelter because of his aggressive behavior when Wallace asked to give the dog a second chance. She has been bringing Lucky to Combs weekly for several years since then; the exposure to the pack calms him and has allowed him to live peacefully with her two other dogs on their small ranch.
It’s a fascinating theory and one that probably warrants more study. If we can use this method to keep more dogs from being euthanized, it’s a win for everyone involved.