Most of the rescued dogs who arrive at shelters will recover from their injuries. Shelter workers always do their best to make sure dogs recover from their injuries as soon as possible.

But that’s not the only problem shelter workers have to deal with. Making sure dogs are ready for their new foster home is a bigger challenge.

They spend a lot of time working with dogs and gaining their trust. Dogs need time to let go of their abusive past.

Sebastian, a two year old Staffordshire Terrier mix, was a huge challenge for the Willamette Humane Society.

Sebastian was terrified when he arrived at the shelter. Working on his stress level was priority number one for the workers. 

“We realized on top of needing confidence building and working to build trust in a new environment, that he was also nervous of walking on floors that weren’t carpeted,” the shelter manager, told iHeartDogs.

“We tried to bring him in to our training room on March 3rd for a class with other shelter dogs to build confidence, but he panicked and that is when we realized how nervous he was, and how his discomfort was multiplied when he was on floors that weren’t carpeted. “

The workers had to use blankets when they took Sebastian for potty walks. They tried everything to convince Sebastian that the floor is harmless.

Although people were interested in adopting the dog, he still wasn’t ready to leave the shelter.

The solution

The idea of using rugs to make sure Sebastian is comfortable in his kennel came from two devoted volunteers, Marianne and Martha.

They even used their own money to buy the rugs. It was all about giving Sebastian the sense of freedom.


“We instituted a training guide to work with him daily on building confidence in getting in and out of the kennel, by turning it into a game and letting him enjoy other people and LOTS of treats for being brave.”

The shelter workers did all they could for Sebastian. He even stayed for a night with a foster parent, to a stress free environment away from the hard floors.

The hard work paid off at the end. 

The volunteers did a great job, and thanks to them Sebastian became more comfortable with hard floors and found a new and loving family!

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