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The pup that brings joy to nervous dogs

Words by Tess Becker

Even though they're our furry friends, dogs often come into shelters anxious, lonely, or anti-social. 

That’s where a dog like Lolly comes in. 

Who is Lolly?

Lolly was once a puppy, part of a group of over 500 other puppies rescued from a puppy mill in Iowa, where the ASPCA found the conditions “deplorable.” That was just her beginning though. 

She came into the ASPCA as a nervous dog, like many of those around her, something that she would later come to help other rescued animals come to terms with. 

Today, Lolly is a "helper dog" at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC) in Weaverville, North Carolina, where she helps guide fearful dogs through new activities.

“The BRC is the first-ever permanent facility dedicated to the study and behavioral rehabilitation of canine victims of cruelty and neglect," Darren Young, CPDT-KA, Lolly's behavioral rehabilitation specialist at the BRC, told PEOPLE.

"After being rescued from the Iowa puppy mill, Lolly needed support with her fear and under socialization, and came to the BRC for treatment."

Lolly took to the help and within six weeks she was ready for graduation. Now she helps other dogs get through the program.

“Lolly comes to work with me at the BRC often," Lolly’s adopter, Dr. Ashley Eisenback, DVM, Senior Director of Veterinary Services at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, tells Smiley News.

"Since many of the dogs at the BRC come from situations that cause them to be fearful of day-to-day activities, helper dogs like Lolly can provide social confidence for fearful dogs, and can help fearful dogs experience play, joy and even the confidence to approach people.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs