By Jennifer NellesPublished Jun 09, 2018 08:31:56A couple years ago, Kristy and Mark Denny set out on a mission to rescue a puppy they had found in a barn.
They were trying to do what no-one else had been able to: save a pet from a life of abuse.
“I have been in the dog training business for 40 years,” says Kristy.
“When we were in high school, my dad said that if you didn’t have dogs, the world was going to end.
I’ve had dogs my entire life.
I think the only thing I’ve ever learned is to always treat people right.
And to always look out for them, especially those who are in need of you.”
A month after Kristy’s rescue, the Denny’s found the 2-year-old dog, named Jax, at the end of a back road.
Jax was suffering from a rare genetic disorder that made him unusually aggressive.
His owner, Karen Ried, had spent more than $100,000 on a $10,000 course to train him to become a loving, social companion.
But in March of 2018, the couple learned that Jax had died.
He was just six months old.
Kristy and Jax’s story is not unusual.
A puppy is just one of thousands of animals that have died in the United States in 2017.
That’s an average of about 10,000 dogs and cats a year, according to the National Dog Rescue League, a nonprofit that tracks and monitors puppy and kitten deaths.
Many of these deaths are preventable.
In the past, the industry has focused on improving the welfare of dogs by training them to be more social and less aggressive, while also taking steps to keep them safe.
That work, which has included the creation of training courses and dog welfare groups, is increasingly being recognized as one of the most effective ways to help rescue dogs.
But while many dog training courses have been created, the training of these dogs has remained fragmented.
“There are a lot of people who aren’t trained, and there are a number of people that are trained but aren’t doing the work,” says Chris Doolittle, the founder and CEO of the National Cat Rescue League.
“They don’t have the resources or the time to do the work that’s needed.”
A lack of resources and time to train, according for some, is a major reason why some people are willing to put their own lives at risk to help their pets.
The result is a high rate of dog and cat deaths in the U.S., and the number of them has tripled since the 1970s, according the nonprofit DogSave America.
Dogs have a low threshold of pain tolerance and little ability to feel pain, according in the group’s report.
And because they are often trained by people who are not licensed to work with them, the risk of injury to the dogs and their owners is high.
Doolitt believes that this breed of dog should be considered an endangered species, with an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 in the country left in shelters or in unsanitary conditions, where they face the same risks as their human counterparts.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he says.
“We know the human population is growing, but what we don’t know is what is causing that growth.
It’s hard to make that connection.
Thats why I think its so important that we have the proper resources, to get trained and trained right, and have people that know the breed.”
In the past decade, the breed has gained some momentum in the veterinary community, thanks in part to an increase in adoption of microchipped dogs.
In 2013, the Animal Welfare Institute, an animal welfare organization based in New York City, estimated that microchipping more than 3 million dogs in the next three years would save the lives of hundreds of thousands.
Microchipping, however, is still relatively new, and many people have reservations about the technology, especially when it comes to microchips not being able to record the owner’s DNA.
A study published last year found that the most common concern about microchip usage is that owners might refuse to accept the chip.
The Denny and Rieds were hesitant to pay for the course, fearing that it might turn into a lucrative business for a pet trainer, but they found a way to raise money for it, using an online crowdfunding site, GiveMeMoney.
The fund raised $25,000 and will allow them to hire a certified trainer to train Jax.
In order to learn how to work in the field, they had to travel to several locations around the country.
For example, Kristie and Mark Ried drove from Washington, D.C., to Washington, DC, to attend training sessions at the National Academy of Animal Sciences, a federally funded, nonprofit research facility.
Kristie, a retired nurse