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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

There are many ways a pet can find their way to Lollypop Farm. For 2-year-old Pepper that journey began with a plane ride over a thousand miles from everything she knew. Lollypop Farm will often receive transports from southern states. Many of the shelters there are overpopulated with dogs, and when we have the space, our teams will work together to bring them to Lollypop Farm. That’s how, Pepper found her way from Dallas, Texas, to Rochester, NY, last spring.

Far from home, Pepper was nervous in her new surroundings, but lucky for her the Behavior and Training team knew just what to do. “For some of the pets that come to Lollypop Farm, the shelter environment can be overwhelming,” says Brittany Smith, a member of the behavior and training team at Lollypop Farm.  “One of the best things we can do for nervous animals is provide breaks from the noises, smells, and activity happening in the kennels. In some cases, we’ll ask office staff to help foster these pets in their offices.”

Nervous pups like Pepper will often become office foster dogs to give them a break from the overwhelming shelter environment.

Pepper was introduced to staff member Ashley Zeh. She had a quiet office, away from the hustle and bustle of the shelter. It was a perfect place for Pepper to relax and gain confidence at Lollypop Farm over time.

“Pepper was really nervous at first. She stared at me, curious, and a bit worried that first day,” says Ashley. “But every day she came out of her shell a little bit more. Eventually she was doing a little dance every time I came to get her.”

As Pepper grew more confident, she learned that she loved to be snuggled, and was always ready for a hug from her friend.

As Pepper spent more time in the office and with her new friend Ashley, she grew more and more confident. Soon, Pepper made new friends around the shelter. Many would give her treats! Combined with the clicker training the behavior and training staff was doing with Pepper, she was well on her way to being a happy, playful pup.

A more confident Pepper was finally ready to find a new home.  When Terese and Dick Bouchard saw Pepper in a Facebook post, they knew they had to meet her.  It couldn’t have been a better fit! They had a farm and had owned dogs their entire lives, so they had lots of first hand animal experience. The Bouchard’s would take it slow until Pepper felt at home on the farm.

Thanks to you Pepper got all the time and compassionate care she needed to find a new place to call home.

So, Ashley asked Pepper for one last hug, and helped the Bouchards put Pepper in their car. Pepper was on the last leg of her incredible journey and going home.