2016-03-18 / Front Page

Buddy the dog to recover from abuse in Michigan Prison Program

The Times Record

Buddy, who is recovering from recent alleged abuse at the hands of his former owner and had to have a broken leg amputated, is headed to Michigan to enroll an in elite prison program that rehabilitates and trains dogs with histories of abuse. PHOTO COURTESY OF COASTAL HUMANE SOCIETYBuddy, who is recovering from recent alleged abuse at the hands of his former owner and had to have a broken leg amputated, is headed to Michigan to enroll an in elite prison program that rehabilitates and trains dogs with histories of abuse. PHOTO COURTESY OF COASTAL HUMANE SOCIETYBRUNSWICK 

Coastal Humane Society announced Friday that Buddy, the abused black lab that was treated at the shelter last week, will be headed to Michigan to enroll in an elite prison program that rehabilitates and trains dogs with histories of abuse. 

The Making Pawsitive Changes program in Kinross, Michigan also provides prisoners at the Kinross Correctional Facility with the opportunity to develop empathy, patience and respect while teaching enrolled dogs basic skills to increase their chances of finding forever homes. 

Brunswick Police reported that Buddy was allegedly thrown against a wall multiple times on Feb. 28 while suffering already from a broken leg. The leg had to be amputated at the shelter. According to shelter care staff, he has recovered well and is adjusting quickly to life on three legs. 

Despite his physical recovery, Buddy has shown signs of stress and anxiety because of his history.  Dr. Mandie Wehr, Coastal Humane Society’s veterinarian and Director of Shelter Operations, knew immediately that the Pawsitive Changes program would be right for him. She is familiar with the facility and has observed the program firsthand — even meeting canine graduates of the program.  

“We didn’t want to put him through the stress of our adoption center where there are lots of people and animals going through,” said Wehr.  “This program will help him rebuild trust in people before going up for adoption. We’ve tended to his physical wounds. This program will see to his behavioral rehabilitation.”

Buddy will head west after he has been neutered and is no longer needed by the police department in the case against his former owner. Coastal Humane Society Executive Director Joe Montisano will drive Buddy as far as Ohio, where he’ll meet up with Holly Henderson, the director of the Pawsitive Changes program.

Henderson said, “For dogs such as Buddy, our program helps to teach them that the world is indeed a safe place for them to live in and they don't have to worry about being punished for acting like a dog.”

After about 12 weeks in the program, Buddy will be placed for adoption through the Chippewa County Animal Shelter. 

Montisano believes this is the perfect fit for Buddy. 

“I am confident going into the Making Pawsitive Changes program is the best thing for Buddy as he makes this transition,” he said. “It will allow him to heal not just physically, because animals are resilient in that capacity, but heal emotionally. He has to learn to trust humans again and is justifiably nervous around us. This program will give him the time to adjust and learn new skills, and he will end up in a furever happy home. It is a great ending to a story that had a very sad start.”

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