Don’t we all love a good, heartwarming story during the holidays? Meet Goober!
Goober was saved from euthanasia by New Leash on Life USA when we rescued him late last year from the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT) shelter. He was a favorite among the ACCT volunteers, who were thrilled that Goober would be given a second chance at life by joining our 5th class (or the “Candy Class”) at the Philadelphia Prison System.
During his training, Goober established himself as the star of the show almost immediately. Dog trainer Jenn Green from Philly Unleashed said, “Goober was amazing during training—one of those dogs who are right on from the minute they come in. He picked things up super fast. All of the trainers loved him! He was super friendly and very nice with other dogs.”
Goober passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test with flying colors, and once he graduated from the program he was chosen for adoption by a lovely family in King of Prussia, PA. We reached out to the family recently for an update on Goober and asked them to share their adoption experience with us. They wrote:
We have always been a dog loving family and have always enjoyed the love, companionship and sheer fun that our four legged friends have brought to our home. Several years ago my husband suffered a stroke that left him with some physical deficits.
Shortly thereafter we lost our lab “Radar”. He had been my husband’s hunting dog and loyal companion for nearly 16 years. Radar’s passing left a giant void in our hearts and in our home. As time passed we longed for another dog. Unfortunately the changes in our situation made it unlikely that we would ever have another dog again, unless of course we found the absolute perfect one. And so we did.
A friend told me about New Leash on Life, a wonderful organization that rescues shelter dogs (that would otherwise be euthanized) and brings them to prison where they are trained by inmates. Feeling that I had nothing to lose I contacted New Leash and gave them a laundry list of criteria that a dog would have to meet in order for us to adopt. I was sure that we were being too picky until New Leash introduced us to Goober. Goober is truly a gift. He is smart, loyal, obedient and loving. He is a wonderful watch dog but would not harm a fly. He loves going for walks, running in the yard and playing with other dogs. When I sit in my chair he curls up in my lap and closes his eyes. He has giant ears and kind eyes and he will steal your heart at first sight. Goober is truly the perfect dog for us.
What a happy ending! And if you’re wondering about Goober’s inmate trainers at the prison, we’re happy to report a positive outcome them as well. Over half of the inmate trainers in Goober’s class have received—and kept!—permanent, full-time employment after completing the program! We love knowing that our program really does have the ability to save and change lives.
Goober’s adopter also shared some photos of him in his forever home.
Goober looks so happy and well-loved! Many thanks to his new family for providing him with such a wonderful home, and many thanks to our wonderful supporters and volunteers as well. Without your hard work and generosity, we wouldn’t have been able to give Goober and his trainers a second chance.
If you believe in second chances, please consider donating to New Leash on Life USA during this holiday season. Click here to find out how you can help!
#GivingTuesday has arrived! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, #GivingTuesday is a national day of charitable giving that’s meant to kick off the giving season. This year, our New Leash on Life USA staff members have decided to participate as well!
Read on to find out what causes are closest to our hearts!
Marian V. Marchese
Founder & CEO
Organization: the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House
Why: “I am giving to the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia because of the amazing support and love they give to the children with cancer and their families. NLOL is fortunate enough to have one of our graduates be a therapy dog there to bring smiles to their faces and make them feel happy for a few moments.”
Director of Operations
Organization: ASPIRA, INC. of Pennsylvania
Why: “I chose ASPIRA as the organization that I will support through giving Tuesday; because of the many years and the many ways that they help and support the community that I was born and raised in. Growing up in this very community I truly understand the need for community organizations like ASPIRA providing the wide range of services that they provide.”
Why: “I think it’s an amazing non-profit that helps create opportunities for people around the world through microfinancing.”
Nicole Larocco and Jennifer Green, Philly Unleashed
Organization: New Leash on Life USA
Why: “Philly Unleashed will be donating to New Leash on Life-USA on #Giving Tuesday! It’s a special program that takes two of the most vulnerable populations (inmates and shelter dogs) and pairs them together to give them both some marketable skills! Love this program!”
Organization: Cramer Elementary School
Why: “The children at Cramer Elementary ask Santa for the simplest of items; A winter coat, a pair of sneakers, and a couple dresses. Reading their letters really puts my life into perspective and makes me appreciate the little things a lot more.”
Organization: Dress for Success
Why: “I chose Dress for Success because I love the way they support disadvantaged women by giving them the tools to achieve economic independence.”
Who will you be donating to this #GivingTuesday? If you’d like to make a donation to New Leash on Life USA, please visit the donation page on our website!
Last week our inmate participants from the State Correctional Institution at Graterford were asked to write about what aspects of their dog made them thankful. Here’s what they said:
I’m thankful for the way Layla works for me. She’s gave me the confidence to know that I’m capable to train dogs. I’m thankful that she wants to work even though she’s only got 3 legs, and that’s no laughing matter. I’m very thankful for her being a good companion and willing to spend her time in a prison cell with me, and that she has not given up on herself in life for what she’s been through. Most of all, I’m thankful that she showed up at my prison cell door needing love and comfort and giving me the chance to train her, raise her, and give her the love she needed. Also for New Leash saving a dogs life that needed it and giving it to me to also save her life. You gave us both that chance. —Sidney G.
I’m thankful for receiving yet another dog whose life and health I am fortunate enough to be a part of changing. It give me personal satisfaction to watch these animals come here, regain their health and confidence back as well as proper training and genuine love. I’m thankful that Taylor is easy going, easy to train, and easy to appreciate and love. I also appreciate and look forward to the challenges of teaching her new commands and tricks so she can go to a loving home. And last, I’m thankful for Taylor along with the rest of the dogs showing me that I can do anything I put my mind to and for strengthening my patience over all. — John D.
I’m thankful for the way Carrie is coming along. When she first got here she would not walk on the floor surface, through the doors or up and down the steps. Now she can do all of that and she even does tricks. She can ”sit down”, she can give a “paw”. I’m just thankful for her coming out of her shell. She is so much more alive, compared to when she first got here. I’m just thankful she learning the way she learning and I’m looking forward to teaching her more stuff.—Brian C.
Here at New Leash on Life USA, we are thankful for YOU! We love our supporters and are so grateful for everything they do for us. You are helping us change and save lives!
Happy Thanksgiving weekend!
Don’t let the chaos of Black Friday make you forget about #GivingTuesday coming up on Tueday, Dec. 3! If you’re choosing to participate this year, please comment on this post and let us know which organization(s) you chose and why!
Also, stay tuned to our blog, because on Tuesday we’ll be posting which organizations our employees chose to donate to!
Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend!
Planning on ordering from Pet360 any time soon? We’ve got a great deal for you—and it helps out a great cause too. If you use the code NLOL10 at checkout, you can save $10 on your purchase! PLUS, Pet360 will donate $10 to New Leash on Life USA!
We LOVE hearing about the positive outcomes of our program graduates! Recently we received an e-mail about Andrew, a graduate of our 7th class at Philadelphia Prison Systems. Check out the e-mail below to find out how Andrew is continuing to save lives after his release from prison!
I just wanted to send an email regarding Andrew R. About 2 wks ago I asked Andrew if he felt comfortable working with a very fear aggressive cane corso named Lola. Lola was deamed “aggressive / unadoptable” and was scheduled to be euthanized. I was asked to sign her euthanasia papers the day that I asked Andrew to work with her. He immediately said that he was up for the challenge.
He then went on to fully explain to me that if he had Lola out he would use caution, watch her body language for any signs that she was uncomfortable and return her to her kennel safely if she had enough.
Since that day he has been working with her and even showing others how to handle her. I take great pride in sharing with you that Lola now has a live exit! Today Andrew took Lola out for myself and a rescue partner and he was so good with her that the rescue fell in love with her! She is scheduled for spay and will be going to a farm in Quakertown in 2 days!
It is so vital that employees and interns like Andrew know and realize the impact that they make on literally saving the lives of shelter animals! This was a great day at Women’s Humane! I am very proud of Andrew and hope that he is equally as proud of himself. Please pass the word.
How about that?? Great work, Andrew!!
New Leash on Life USA was lucky to be chosen as one of three beneficiaries of a micro-granting meal hosted by Temple Contemporary on November 14th. Guests were served a delicious, locally sourced dinner on dishware made by the Tyler School of Art Ceramics and Glass Departments.
All of the money raised was evenly re-granted to three non-profit organizations: Girls Rock Philly, Neighborhood Bike Works, and New Leash on Life USA. Special thanks to the Temple community for inviting us and supporting our cause!
One of the special guests for the night was Diana from our Motown class at the Philadelphia Prison Systems. She was pooped out by the end of the night but really enjoyed meeting everyone.
Will you be celebrating #GivingTuesday this year? Our staff will!
If you haven’t heard of #GivingTuesday, don’t worry! It’s still pretty new. #GivingTuesday is an initiative to kick off a national day of charitable giving following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This year, #GivingTuesday will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 3.
All you have to do to participate is to donate to a nonprofit or charity of your choice on that day! We hope that you’ll consider New Leash on Life USA, but we encourage you to donate to whatever causes are closest to your heart.
This year, the New Leash staff has chosen to participate in #GivingTuesday as well! Keep an eye on our blog, because on Dec. 3 we’ll be posting to let you know which charities each of our staff members have chosen for their donations and why!
For more info on #GivingTuesday, please check out their FAQs here.
If you’re considering New Leash on Life USA for your #GivingTuesday donation, please check out the “GIVE” section of our website here.
Two years ago, New Leash on Life USA’s Adoption Coordinator, Waleed, adopted a Pit bull mix named Ben from our second class at the Philadelphia Prison Systems. Read on to hear Waleed’s story of how he fell in love with Ben and why he thinks they’re a perfect match!
We know little about our dog Ben’s past, but it’s certain that he struggled finding security from a young age. Dropped off at a shelter due to his hyper nature, Ben’s future was not looking bright. No longer a puppy—and very excitable—his chances of finding a good match in an adopter were slim.
However, Ben’s luck turned when he was selected for the New Leash on Life USA program, where incarcerated citizens train dogs at risk of euthanization so that they can be adopted after “graduating” the program. This is a mutually beneficial relationship for both the inmate and the dog, as both acquire a valuable skill set during the experience. This greatly improved Ben’s behavior, making him a better prospect for adoption.
Despite his new training, Ben still had a difficult time finding a home. I was not yet an employee of New Leash, but I had been helping out when I could. I met Ben at New Leash’s second graduation. Just looking at him, I knew Ben would make a great addition to the right adopter’s household. That household turned out to be my own.
I brought Ben home for a temporary stay, and on our way home I reach my hand into the back seat to calm him down. He was whimpering quietly, and as my hand approached him he softly gave me his paw. At that moment I knew I was in love with him.
His short term stay gradually turned into an extended stay, which turned into… forever. I feel we were the right match for one another because I have the experience necessary to handle a dog like Ben, and I love his energy and enthusiasm for life. Although there have been bumps in the road (including but not limited to Ben’s inclination to eat my girlfriend’s cats), I love Ben, and there is no doubt he returns the favor.
To follow Ben and Waleed’s continuing adventures together, you can friend Ben’s Facebook page here.
Note: If you’ve adopted a New Leash dog in the past, we’d love it if you sent in your adoption story too! We always love to hear about our dogs’ forever homes! Please contact us here to share your stories and pics.