When you think about sweet, innocent, often abused animals sitting in a shelter for an excessive amount of time, it shatters your heart into a million pieces. But shelters are filled to capacity all over the country with deserving dogs that are often overlooked because of easily fixable things like not yet being able to walk nicely on a leash.
This is exactly what inspired John and Allison Cotten to step in and do something about it.
In October of 2021, a friend asked John to come to Mason County Animal Control to check out a pup in their care. He was hoping that John, a kennel owner and dog trainer, would be able to determine whether or not this particular dog was “trainable.” John was able to tweak a few behaviors and had the dog in question walking wonderfully on a leash in no time.
“I looked around and I said, there’s probably the same issue with all of these dogs. Nobody’s ever taught them how to walk nicely on a leash. And I thought, we ought to do something,” said John.
He supposed he could do the same for more incredible pups who are still waiting to be adopted. After all, so many spectacular dogs aren’t many training sessions away from being “adoption ready.” And every dog deserves to find a warm and loving forever home. It was from this experience that John decided to team up with two local rescue groups, Mason County Animal Control and Mason County Mutts.
Together, their mission is to help increase the adoption odds of local pups who could use a few training sessions before finding their forever homes.
One of the first beautiful pups that John took on was the energetic and affectionate Luke. After being found as a stray, Luke was adopted quickly. But he was brought back only a few weeks later. The longer he waited at the shelter for another chance, the worse his hyperactivity became. After a while, Luke even started kennel surfing and barking constantly. He was the perfect first pup for John to train.
It took a few weeks and multiple training sessions, but before long, John had taught Luke several commands. Not only that, but he can now successfully retrieve, wait, and walk on a leash like a perfect gentleman. Like everyone had hoped, the training helped Luke find a lasting forever home.
You can check out Luke’s entire journey or keep up with the new pups the Cotten’s are currently “boarding and training” via their Facebook page.