Helping dogs helps people, too

April 27, 2021 Brad Perkins

What can dogs teach us about working with people? Turns out, pretty much everything.

From finding the good in people to working collaboratively to lending a helping hand, working with dogs provides not just help to animals who can’t advocate for themselves, but life lessons that can be taken to work.

For Vicky Santiago, a SIMOS Solutions onsite coordinator at a retail client in Pennsylvania, helping save dogs with New York Bully Crew has taught her all of this and more.

She works with advocates who rescue dogs from overcrowded dog shelters and giving them a second chance to find forever homes.

“I help relocate these dogs to foster families for a short period of time until we can find a willing to adopt them,” she said. “We set up trainers with foster parents to assist with retraining the dogs to be placed for adoption.”

On weekends she assists several dog rescues pulling abandoned or neglected dogs from yards.

“These dogs are left with little to no food or water and are filthy and suffer from malnutrition,” she said. “Once we rescue the dog, we take them to a vet that we work closely with and trust. The vets will vaccinate and bathe the dogs and feed them. Once they are in good health, we place them in a foster until we can find an adopter.”

But she is not just a rescuer, she also fosters a Pitbull mix named Cookie, who was surrendered to a kill shelter when she could not produce any more puppies for her owners, so the owners starved and neglected her. She ended up at the shelter thanks to someone who reported the abuse, but, while at the shelter she was deemed a threat because she would guard her food and lash out at other dogs.

Thanks to Vicky’s patience, help and hard work, Cookie has begun to relax, not guard her toys and food and live a normal dog life.

“Since Cookie has been with me, she has grown to trust me,” Santiago said. “I can take her toys and food without her charging at me. Cookie is a huge love bug. She will seek your attention no matter what you are doing. She will lay her head on your lap or lay on your lap completely. She loves snacks and will even do a Cookie dance for a cookie.”

Cookie is now somewhat Tik-Tok famous, appearing in videos Santiago posts. But most importantly, they help each other deal with stress.

“It helps with anxiety or to wind down to go for walks,” she said. “If I feel stressed or need to think, we go for long walks.”

And with the time she’s investing in training and caring for Cookie, she may have the dog stick around, as a person who wanted to adopt her ended up not being able to.

“Cookie needs time and effort,” she said. “She doesn’t adapt immediately, but she’s not a bad pup, she just needs attention.”

The same can be said of all of the dogs that New York Bully Crew helps.

Help Cookie and other dogs through raffles to pay for medical bills and trainers. Visit Jenny’s Dream Rescue or New York Bully Crew for more information.

About the Author

Writer. Photographer. Runner. World traveler. Sports fan. Proud left-hander.

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