If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, or following me on Instagram, you know my love for One Tail at a Time (from here on out known as OTAT bc typing is hard). They’re one of the most innovative and progressive rescues in Chicago and arguably, the US. Most recently, they launched the OTAT Cooperative, a two-phase capital campaign to build four facilities. Each of the facilities will play a crucial role in saving more lives in Chicago and beyond.
Phase one of the two-part campaign includes their newly opened Behavior Center. Located in Avondale, the space is bright and cheerful, it’s immediately clear that happy things happen here. Happiness was the main impetus for opening the Behavior Center. OTAT wanted to have in-house training available to all their dogs, both in foster homes and those already adopted.
Sarah Gaziano, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, is the Director of Training for the new center. She only uses positive reinforcement methods with plenty of treats and rewards for very good dogs. A large reason OTAT opened the Behavior Center was that while positive reinforcement training exists, it can be costly and differ from trainer to trainer. By bringing the training in-house, they can ensure the dogs are getting the care and love they need, while also using consistent methods of training.
Currently the Behavior Center is set up to house dogs in the four separate rooms. The dogs being housed at the center all happen to be dog-reactive, which is one of the main issues they’re hoping to work through. The goal would to one day have beautiful glass kennels in the space and house up to 10 dogs at a time.
That’s the second beauty of the Behavior Center, the dogs stay at the center while they work through their behaviors. It’s an amazing resource to have for dogs who are a little more work and aren’t quite ready for foster. They don’t have to send dogs to board and trains that are costly and don’t provide the sort of care OTAT volunteers can. It’s a total win for both the dogs and their bank account.
Perhaps the coolest part of the new Behavior Center though is the impact it will have on people. The Center is on the ground floor but above it is a three bedroom apartment. OTAT is planning to “rent” out the apartment to people in transition and are in need of a home. The idea is to have people living in the apartment help take care of the dogs in exchange for rent. OTAT is finalizing the partnership with a local organization. I can’t wait to see the program come to fruition and see OTAT make a real difference in the lives of both people and dogs.
The final piece of the first phase in the Cooperative Campaign includes a mobile adoption truck. You can bet I’ll be signing up to drive that sucker all over our city.
Phase two is even more exciting with a low-cost veterinary clinic and permanent Isolation Center. You can read all about the campaign and its programs here.
One Tail at a Time wouldn’t be able to expand their life-saving efforts if it weren’t for donations. They’re currently about halfway to their goal of $950,000. You can donate here. There are also sponsorship opportunities and naming rights available.
Thank you One Tail at a Time for all you do for dogs and people in need.
Oreo – This pretty velvet lady is all sorts of squishy. She is so sweet and will give you plenty of love and kisses. She is housebroken and crate trained and she comes with a lifetime of training. Oreo is basically perfect and is working on her leash manners with Sarah. For more information about Oreo, click here.