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Ashley Boone

Ashley of Troop 029 in Hartsville spent more than 140 hours creating a training program for shelter dogs to help them get adopted and remain successfully placed with their adopted family. During the research for her project, Ashley discovered that about half of dogs adopted out each year by shelters ultimately return to the shelter only to be again. In 2018, while Ashley worked volunteer hours at the shelter, she was there when 360 dogs were adopted out and 93 of those dogs came back to the shelter. She noted that most of it was due to behavioral issues with the dogs who had no basic training. She figured if she could write and create a training program for the dogs for them to master basic commands and develop good manners they would have a better chance at success in their adoption story. Ashley became a skilled dog trainer herself so she could teach others to train shelter dogs. She expanded the program to have a lasting impact. To do this, she sought out the mentorship of a dog-show trainer and learned how to teach dogs basic commands, evaluate the dogs’ needs, and how to work with rescue animals who may have suffered abuse in the past. She built a team of other trainers and volunteers, raised funds for supplies, and created a library of training videos and an online group to share the training resources with other trainers and shelters. As of December 1, 2019, Ashley and her team of Canine Shelter Stars had trained almost 30 dogs and those dogs were successfully adopted long term, permanently into their forever families. Ashley is a Gold Award Girl Scout and a shining star herself with the creation of her sustained project and program in Darlington county, “Canine Shelter Stars.”