As we begin a new year, our team at Spencer Group would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our volunteers, supporters, trainers, and rescue partners across the Midwest. It is with a heavy heart, and after much consideration, we share the news that Spencer Group will be closing our doors.

For those that may not know, Spencer Group is named after a dog named Spencer.  He was rescued as a terrified stray before his first birthday. Spencer was adopted and returned twice due to his fearful behavior. Tragically, in an attempt to stop his barking, his second adoptive family used a shock collar. Spencer was so fearful as a result of the aversive training that it was uncertain whether he would be adopted again.  Luckily, Spencer learned to trust again through the use of humane training methods. He spent his last ten years living a rich, full, life with a loving family and passed away at the age of 13. 


Spencer Group has continued to connect compassionate trainers with fosters and fearful dogs since that time.  We are very thankful for the volunteers, donors, rescue organizations, and trainers we’ve partnered with over the years. You have made our mission possible and together we have been able to provide free training sessions to 40 dogs and 15 different rescues. It is our passion to see dogs (that are not likely to gain a fur-ever home) find the confidence and sense of safety they need to find that place.   It also warms our hearts to see the huge improvements dogs can make when their foster owner learns the skills needed to make this happen – skills they can use with any dog! 

We know that many rescue groups and fosters have counted on Spencer Group to help them find this help and while we will no longer be here to do so, please view this list of trainers we have worked with and their contact information.  These trainers all believe in compassionate training, just as we do, and agreed to have their information shared as resources for future training needs.


Although we won’t be funding new scholarships, we will fulfill our promise to our current recipients and the trainers who work with them.  Thank you to everyone that has helped us provide for every rescue dog that we’ve had the honor of working with.  Your help has enriched the lives of many – canine and human alike!

Per MN Statute 317A.733 any person/organization claiming to be owed monies from Spencer Group has until April 1st, 2023 to make such a claim to Spencer Group via  If you are a trainer working with an active scholar recipient, please continue doing so as we will honor the commitment we made to pay for your approved sessions.