PICO BLVD — Over three years ago, a Pomeranian puppy named Kady was mauled to death by two out of control dogs who tried to attack Kady’s sister, an Australian shepherd named Kelsey.
Kady’s owner, Kimberly Price, has now taken that tragic event and turned it into something positive — Kady’s Fund.
Kady’s Fund is specifically intended to change the behavior of unruly dogs that are often discarded by their owners. These disobedient dogs are commonly sent back to an animal shelter or abandoned because their owners feel overwhelmed and unable to fix the behavior, which can lead to deadly situations like Kady’s.
“I think all dogs have the potential to be great dogs,” Price said. “Some of them just need a little extra attention.”
Kady’s Fund was created last year, and Price is holding its first fundraiser, “Melodies for Mutts,” a musical revue to premiere Saturday, April 17 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. Actor and singer Ed Ames agreed to contribute to the musical when he heard of the cause. Other entertainers have also lent a hand, Price said.
Price and her supporters aim to make this dog-centered event a strong medium for spreading the word about the fund. The effort will provide funding for classes and trainers, who will come out to the home of the dog and owner and work with them. Since many owners have similar issues, Price will also use the fund’s Web site to educate people.
Many of the tools that can be utilized are “basic information to us but not really known by a lot of people. There are a lot of preventative things that can be done,” Price said.
Already on the Web site, kadysfund.com, is a list of six simple but solid bits of advice. Julie Iles, so far the only official trainer for the fund, gives this advice amidst her impressive background in the area which includes ranking second in the National Association of Protection Dogs. One example of Iles’ advice is to reward good behavior as much as punishing bad behavior. If your dog is calmly lying down instead of running around barking, it is easy to overlook this and do nothing, but you shouldn’t, Iles said.
“Julie is just wonderful,” said Tracy Elliot, who adopted a dog, Logan, from Price that had gone through Iles’ training. If a dog goes through this training and isn’t doing everything it is supposed to, “it’s the person’s fault for not going through the motions,” Elliot said.
“When I take [Logan] running he’s off his leash now [which] makes it a lot easier. People just love him,” Elliot said. “Training has paid off — it gives him his freedom. A trained dog is a happy dog.”
In an effort to expand the program, Price is interviewing other trainers.
Logan is one of the two dogs that Price has paid for personally to go through this training. Price said that she witnessed them go from huge and wild to sweet and affectionate.
Following their transformations, she said she realized “there’s something to this.”
The fund will not only help poorly behaved dogs and their owners, but will also teach children how to interact with dogs. The Web site will tell children how they should pet a dog and other helpful tips.
Additionally, the fund will help connect animal rescue groups, further uniting people for the cause. Price hopes that the musical revue will catalyze the process, helping connect people quickly so that Kady’s situation, or worse, won’t be repeated.