By Rachel Wulff

LODI (CBS13) — A holistic approach to healing that’s worked on humans is now being used to treat animals with behavioral issues.

Pilgrim, an eight-year-old mixed breed, was found on the streets of Stockton. He had been feral for four years. Then, he was attacked by a neighborhood dog. That’s when Cruisin’ 4 Paws got the call last October.

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“I work in a field where at-risk youth are my passion, so whatever it takes to accommodate them, to feed them, support and help is what needed. So it’s transferred over to animals,” said Deb Phillips who runs the non-profit.

Cruisin’ 4 Paws is devoted to dogs just like Pilgrim. He wouldn’t let anyone near him.

“We had set up a trap, a feeding station. We were feeding him in and out of the trap,” Phillips said. “It took about two weeks for him to get very comfortable.”

Once Pilgrim was in their care, Phillips realized what was going on.

“Usually an outside behavior is because of an internal feeling,” she said.

X-rays revealed multiple fractures that had healed and arthritis on the right side of his body.

“So obviously he doesn’t want to be handled because he hurts,” Phillips said. “Then he doesn’t trust.”

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She immediately called her friend Rebekah Robinson. She’s a former health food store manager who concocts remedies for distraught dogs and cowardly cats based on the work of Edward Bach — a medical doctor from England who believed emotional well-being was the key to good health.

“He realized flowers have certain things that emanate from them, that work internally,” Robinson said.

Each dose is different based on what the behavioral problem is

“They would tell me what’s going on, I would make a formula and they would come back with fantastic results,” Robinson said. “And that’s how I got my email name Dr. Doolittle.”

Trainer Elizabeth Black saw a change immediately.

“I noticed a switch in him where he was coming out and he was wanting to come see me,” Black said. “Or when I go in there, he wasn’t trying to run away from the leash. I could just slip it over his head.”

In Phillips’ heart, and it’s a big one, she knows after working with hundreds of dogs that there is always a home that works for each dog’s personality.

“I see a lot of results that are good,” she said. “The more time, energy and effort that you put into something, you can accommodate change.”

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Phillips’ organization works with animal advocacy agencies across Northern California. The goal is to prevent at-risk cases from being euthanized.