Dr. Andy Mathis of Granite Hills Animal Care in Elberton, Georgia has a very interesting way of helping to calm anxious shelter dogs. He actually gets into the kennels and eats with them. He hopes that it helps ease anxieties that they may have with humans.
Of course, the idea is to always be working to find a forever home for these dogs. Sometimes, it can take weeks for someone to come in and adopt one of them, and the anxiety of being cooped up in a cage can be very rough on the dogs.
“We’ve had dogs in the past that took up to six weeks to feel comfortable getting outside and then, they love to play, they love other dogs and they love me,” Mathis said. “It doesn’t make me sad to see [dogs] broken and withdrawn because with time, I know what’s possible.”
Dr. Mathis recently shot a video with a new addition to the shelter called Graycie. In the video, Dr. Mathis gets into the kennel with her and sits down for a meal. He even eats from one of the dog bowls, just like little Graycie.
Graycie was brought into Granite Hills Animal Care on the 29th of January. A good Samaritan came across the adorable little pit bull mix on a dirt road. She had been abandoned, and badly needed help.
“She was dumped in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “She had a collar, so she was owned by somebody at some point. Whoever was feeding her wasn’t feeding her enough. She was 20 pounds when we found her and probably should have weighed 30 to 35 pounds.”
Graycie has been doing quite well since being brought to the shelter. Dr. Mathis really wants her to know that no matter what she may have seen or been put through, not every single human is terrible, and love is possible. She is slowly starting to gain trust, and little by little, is coming around.
“She’s still quite timid around me. I’m spending time with her so she’s not scared of me. I said (to Graycie), ‘I’m just going to sit here with you while you’re eating,’” Mathis said. “By getting her out of her comfort zone a little bit we hope she’ll get used to people.”