Here at APA! we pride ourselves on an exceptional level of care for our dogs. The basics – food, water, and a clean space to hang out – are just that, the basics. While our dogs are staying with us, we want them to be fulfilled emotionally. We understand that a traditional shelter environment can be stressful so we have put into place a boatload of programs to make APA! feel less like a shelter and more like an adoption center. If the dogs are happier, they get adopted faster and we can save more lives! One of our most important programs that ensure we can continue to save lives and keep up our high-volume adoption momentum is our Love on a Leash dog walking program.
Every morning, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at our 2807 Manchaca location, a volunteer shift lead opens our doors and makes sure each and every one of our dogs gets a nice walk and potty break bright and early before their day begins. And, before every one is tucked in at night, from 8 p.m. to 10p.m., a volunteer shift lead closes our doors making sure everyone is safe, walked, and comfortable for bed. Dog walking may seem like the most simple of volunteer tasks but it is really the backbone of our operation. If we have happy dogs whose needs are being met, we have more adoptions, so we can continue to support our regional partners and continue to pull from euthanasia lists.
With the expansion of our program to Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC), we need walkers now more than ever. Our staff at the TLAC location opens at 8 a.m. and walk until 10 a.m., and in the evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Opening the TLAC site has given us an amazing opportunity to save an additional 1,000 lives a year from Austin Animal Center, but we need volunteer dog walkers’ support in order to save at that rate.
In order to have happy dogs, we need happy walkers! Walkers that will start our dogs’ days off with love and enthusiasm, and end with sweet kisses goodnight and a treat and snuggle sesh. Walkers are one of our most essential and vital volunteer positions and without them, well, we just can’t save as many lives. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, holiday or not, 365 days a year, we need YOU to come make our dogs’ days start and end on the right paw.
Volunteer walkers can stay for an entire shift, come out for an hour, come out to walk their favorite dog – whatever time you can dedicate during either shift at either location is keeping up our adoption momentum, ensuring the spiritual health of our dogs, and saving a life one walk at a time.
Become a Love on a Leash dog walker by signing up to volunteer, attending an orientation, and then showing up during a morning or evening shift to get trained by a shift lead. If you are a walker who has forgotten that dog walking saves lives, come on out and we’ll set you up with a dog to remind you. For our seasoned Love on a Leashers, there are additional opportunities to become an even better handler and help some of our behaviorally needy residents. There is a Behavior & Enrichment Training every other Monday at 7p.m. at 2807 Manchaca Road, our headquarter location. And, every other Tuesday at 7p.m. you can shadow a Louie’s Team handler to learn how to help our dogs who need just a little more attention and training. For more details about other dog-handling volunteering opportunities, like TTouch and Group Training, please check out our Dog Behavior Calendar and reach out to the listed contact to express your interest in participating.
Help keep Austin No-Kill by becoming a Love on a Leash dog walker!