Feral to Fabulous is an ongoing blog series about the feral dogs No Kill Kern captures and rehabilitates.
Hershey was captured "free-hand" after volunteers tracked him and his two sisters for hours. He was finally cornered in a pipe on a concrete recycling facility where an employee of the facility lassoed him around a leg. Hershey's sisters were pretty quick to trust us while he was much less open to the idea. Hershey spent the first few days with one of his rescuers. He was hiding in the back of a kennel and would try to bite when she tried to leash him and get him out. We knew right then, it would be a long road for this little boy.
When a puppy is born, human interaction is needed to socialize them. Hershey was born to Annie, another feral dog we rescued. As such he didn't know or trust humans at all, we were all threats to his survival as far as he was concerned.
Hershey went to Cesar Millan's Dog Psychology Center to meet his new foster and trainer, Jennifer Gray. She and trainer Lia Marques would work tirelessly to break down the psychological wall Hershey had built around himself. When we arrived he shut down. Next he fought back, snapping and pulling. Lia showed me how to get him to walk by making it his choice, it worked!
After a few more weeks of training, Hershey was moved to his new foster and trainer, Lisa Porter.
Lisa was able to reach Hershey through all the levels of his fear and connect with him like no other. It was at this point, Lisa realized, Hershey was meant to be her dog. She adopted him and now he works with her to help rehabilitate troubled dogs and give them a new leash on life, like the one that was given to him.
Since Lisa decided to adopt Hershey, I have been able to see him every week! His brother Sonar loves having a new brother and their friend Lucy is enjoying two boys to play with instead of one.