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Shelter dog PTSD: 'You have to work with them on it'

Rue was adopted from the Humane Society three years ago (CBS 2 Photo)
Rue was adopted from the Humane Society three years ago (CBS 2 Photo)
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Post traumatic stress is often talked about regarding humans, but according to the Idaho Humane Society it can effect our pets, as well.

Sam Kennedy with the Idaho Humane Society told CBS 2 News this is something families should be aware of before adopting a new pet.

Kennedy said she has worked with hundreds of dogs over the years — each with little personalities of their own.

Many of them, however, with trauma in their background — from abuse to neglect and under socialization.

"I think a lot of times people hope they are going to find a shelter animal [that] they are going to just connect with," said Kennedy. "That they can just tell that they are the one. And, ya know, sometimes that does happen and that's awesome when it does. But, there are other ones where you are going to have to work for it. You kind of have to build that relationship of trust and love. But, it's so satisfying when you're able to have that relationship. When the animal can finally realize that they are safe and they are in a good home."

Kennedy said it's important that people who plan on adopting a shelter dog understand the time and dedication it will likely take.

"You just have to be patient and you have to work with them on it," said Kennedy. "The biggest thing you have to remember is progress isn't always going to be linear. There are going to be good days where you're like, 'Oh! They're doing so much better!' Then, there are going to be bad days where it's like, 'Man, I feel like we just started at day one.'"

Kennedy assures that they will never put a dog up for adoption who is dangerous — however, it's very important to respect the restrictions they put on the animals, like no kids or other pets in the home.

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