There are sometimes treats at the shelter, but some volunteers bring their own so its easier to get to shelter and walk dogs instead of looking around to fill a treat pouch.
In the 100/200 kennel area, you want to have two people, one in the outside of the kennel and one inside to distract the dog and separate them. Or both people go in and each take one dog to separate and exit with the dog you want to walk. Play Group (PG) team has this down very well (Sign up for this to get an guided experience). *Treat tosses are prohibited due to high chance of dog fights for the food and injuries occurring.
Email the Animal.Behavior@austintexas.gov and follow up with volunteer coordinators in 48 hours if no reply occurs. You could also fill out a Dog observation form (link in volunteer resources), but currently there isn't a specific portion that allows you to identify this dog as a play group candidate or for retest.
https://www.austintexas.gov/department/volunteer-animal-center ; Click on Apply to Become an Individual Volunteer! and fill out the form. You do not need to be a volunteer to foster a dog. You'll then be prompted to go through background check and processing as a city volunteer. This can take a few days to 3 weeks depending on capacity. The next steps as of July 2023 is to attend your first orientation (sign up on vlogistics), afterwards sign up to shelter training and mentorships. You'll log your hours and get the safety training you need to advance from green dot dogs to blue/purple to orange/yellow. *If you have any issues during this process, please email us so we can help advocate for your application.
Treats are great to keep a dog’s attention and reward them for good behavior. It is highly recommended you bring some treats to help train as you walk the dogs. There are treats at the shelter but you never know what you're going to get.
Mid day volunteers are always needed, especially during M-F. Its always helpful to partner up with other volunteers so as to not be overwhelmed. The pups are just happy you're there for them.
Friends and Families can only come during opening hours to the public. They can be with you but only walk green dot dogs.
Leash biting could mean a couple of things, the dog is stressed because of a situation, the dog is over aroused from seeing you or getting to go on the walk, or they are trying to be playful during a time where the handler wants to walk. While at the shelter, we use treat tosses (one after another until the dog continues to walk without leash biting) and distractions with toys to avoid stop the behavior. Ensure you give slack to the leash so it doesn't promote a tug of war like play. It is good to note what caused the behavior so next time you can avoid it or start treat tosses to prevent the start of one.
Medical forms are located in each kennel run, small dog rooms, and cat rooms. Additional forms are located in the volunteer office or front desk staff can assist. If you find diarrhea, you'll have to get a small sample in a poop bag or medical stick for vet services. If you sense any urgency, please reach out to local staff prior to filling out the form. Forms are drop off at the staff door entrance by the bathrooms (left back side facing away from main doors)
You sign up at https://www.austintexas.gov/department/foster-pet ; Review the list of dogs in need https://trello.com/b/5uDfx2hm/aac-adult-dog-foster-needs-board or request a specific dog you've interacted with. The Facebook group is very helpful if you have specific criteria for the dog. If you don't hear back within 48 hours, please let us know and we will try to expedite the process.
On our Volunteer Resources Page there is a pdf manual for fostering, Please read. Below are general helpful guidelines:
You'll be signed up to receive emails through Vlogistics. People also post updates on the facebook group (link via volunteer resources page on this website).
Luckily for us, Austin has plenty of spaces to take dogs for an outing (rank by distance from shelter).