Rocky Beats the Odds | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Rocky Beats the Odds

Rocky took some punches but never gave up and went all 12 rounds before finding his forever home.

Rocky arrived at the shelter in early February with the odds of adoption stacked against him. Rocky is a big guy, he was already 4 years old, and his breed (Rottweiler) deters some people from adopting. Aside from the physical attributes, Rocky also had a handful of behaviour and socialization issues. He was very stubborn on leash, he didn’t like wearing his collar, he occasionally snapped at people trying to pet his head, and he became overprotective of his area. These issues did not stop our behaviour and adoption staff from constantly working on him to make him the best dog he could be.

After a couple weeks of behaviour training with our talented behaviour team, Rocky hit the adoption floor. He had many interested parties during his time at the WHS. He visited some foster homes, he headed out on some weekend staycations, and he was even put on hold multiple times by potential adopters who were very interested. The potential adopters came and went, and Rocky continued to wait for his forever family to show up.

The days turned in to weeks and the weeks turned into months. A couple months on the adoption floor took a toll on Rocky. He began to show signs of stress. He started to relapse into some old habits that he had long since corrected. The behaviour department noticed these old habits, rolled up their sleeves, and continues their work with Rocky.

Month four on the adoption floor was fast approaching and the behaviour department was confident that Rocky was the best dog he could be. That’s when Charlene and Paul arrived. They sat down with an adoption counselor and listened as the counselor went over Rocky’s file. Soon after that meeting, Charlene and Paul returned with their current dog to see if Rocky was a good match. The two dogs played together like they were old friends. All the great work that the behaviour department did to improve Rocky’s social skills was paying off. When it was time for Charlene and Paul to leave, Rocky was quite sad that they were taking his new friend away.

Rocky’s extensive file, his weight, and his breed did not deter Charlene and Paul from seeing his beautiful soul. They had previously owned Rottweilers, so they were very experienced on how to handle the breed. Now, Rocky is relaxing in his forever home and will soon forget the time that he spent here at the WHS.

The WHS takes in roughly 8000 animals a year. Many of these animals come to us from situations that were very stressful for them. Cases include abuse, abandonment, malnourishment, and many more. Because of this, they miss out on the crucial behaviour training and socialization skills that makes animals attractive to potential adopters. That’s when our Behaviour Department steps in. They are dedicated to helping animals become the best furry friend they can be and identifying key attributes that need to be mentioned to potential adopters. Is he good with cats? Is he good with children? Is he good with other dogs? These are all questions that adopters often want answered. The behaviour department finds these answers by introducing animals to different situations, recording the results, and determining the best course of action. Not only do they work on animals in the shelter, they also have classes for owners and a help line that you can call when you have questions about your animal’s behaviour. There is no such thing as a “BAD” animal. With hard work and dedication animals will learn and improve. That is what our Behaviour Department believes, and they act on it every day. The WHS would not be able to dedicate time and funding to behaviour issues without our generous Paws in Motion Behaviour/Enrichment sponsors Freeman A/V, Johnston Group, Filmore Riley, and Watermart.

At Paws in Motion, the Winnipeg Humane Society brings the shelter outdoors so that the public has a chance to see all the work that goes into saving animals and finding them homes. There will be tons of fun activities and opportunities to chat with the incredible people that make the WHS what it is. The WHS has many departments, but they all have a similar goal: To protect all animals from suffering and to promote their welfare and dignity. Join us on June 23rd for Manitoba’s Largest Celebration of Pets and the Winnipeg Humane Society’s 125th birthday.

Visit to REGISTER and for full details.