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Challenging Chester finally goes home

By Shena Novotny

Published 10:35 PDT, Tue March 30, 2021

We cannot adequately express how elated we are that Chester has finally found a foster home that we feel will be quite perfect for him. As one of our dogs with more challenging behaviours, it has been a long road for Chester but he has finally found the perfect couple who understand his needs and are willing to help him become the best boy we know he can be. Kate and Karl have a very calm energy about them and it was incredible to see the calm Chester felt during their initial meeting and the six meet-and-greets that followed.

Chester came to RAPS as an owner surrender in March of 2020, right at the start of the global pandemic. His former people told us they were unable to devote enough time to Chester and hoped we could find him a family that could. It was evident very early on that Chester was an anxious and fearful dog. Since being in our care for a year, we have seen Chester make great strides, but also experience setbacks.

He was being fostered by our assistant manager for a few months and did quite well, though was still reactive in certain situations.

Chester suffers from anxiety, is under-socialized and can be fearful—especially with new places, people and dogs. Because of this, he is fear-reactive to both people and dogs. Chester is also affected by environmental stimuli and can quickly reach his thresholds. 

Being in the Shelter causes Chester quite a bit of stress and he acts out more often due to his anxiety. When Chester is in these heightened states he will sometimes redirect—he has put his mouth on some of the kennel attendants.

We have had our trainer work with Chester and he did quite well and was able to hang out with some of her dogs. 

Despite his challenges, Chester also has a goofy, loving side as well. He enjoys having zoomies in the yard and playing with toys.

Chester is a testament to RAPS’ no-kill promise. 

In another jurisdiction, a dog with his challenges might have been euthanized. At RAPS, we invest whatever time and resources are required to give an animal its best chance at a great life. This year, we are launching a campaign to open a RAPS Dog Sanctuary and Adoption Centre. This will be a hybrid facility where dogs can live surrounded by love, attention and all the physical or behavioural rehabilitation they need to prepare them for the next phase of their lives. Everything we do is possible because of your support. Thank you.

Shena Novotny is Adoption Centre & Cat Sanctuary Manager for the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS).

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