As of this month, it's been 1 year since we officially launched the Healthy Dogs, Healthy People program! We have grown from a handful of volunteers with a soft spot for "naughty dogs," to a full-fledged behavior support program for high need dogs looking for homes. We didn't start keeping statistics until February 2010 but we'd love to share what we've been doing since then!
# of High Need Dogs Who've Participated in HDHP: 206
Average Time Until Adoption for Participating Dogs: 2.1 weeks
Average Weekly Volunteer Hours: 168
Behavioral Rehabilitation Dogs Supported By HDHP: 6 0f 11
# of Active B&E Team Volunteers: 56
Average # of Volunteers Present at Trail Site: 4
1. LBL Trail Site - Every weekend from 9am-12pm, members of the public can check out a dog for a walk or a run from our site on Lady Bird Lake. In addition to APA! dogs, the longest-stay dogs in TLAC's adoption program join us to participate in the program. This is an awesome opportunity to get the pups the exercise and socialization they need! Volunteers and trainers also take advantage of this time to work with dogs not quite ready to be "checked out" but who still benefit greatly from the setting.
2. Behavior & Enrichment Team - After receiving training in dog handling and behavior, this group of volunteers targets the highest need dogs in APA!'s adoption program. They take the dogs to off-site locations (hiking, the greenbelt, the park, or just the nearby neighborhood) for basic training, socialization, exercise, & fun! TLAC trail dog volunteers are also invited to participate in this training and take what they learn back to the shelter.
1. Town Lake Animal Center long-stay dogs participating in trail site program.
2. B&E Team support available to dogs in foster homes, PASS program, and Behavioral Rehabilitation.
Who are these "high need" or "high priority" dogs we refer to? Most often, they are dogs who are high energy, poorly socialized, or both. They're dogs who are over represented on the kill list in animal shelters because they can develop behavior issues (or have developed them already) in a shelter setting if they don't receive the proper support. That's what HDHP exists to do; get these adoptable dogs the physical and mental stimulation, social skills, and basic training they need while they look for their forever homes. We are largely a preventative behavior program, here to stop issues before they develop or escalate.
To celebrate our first year, we are having a "Day of Action!" event at the APA! Adoption & Resource Center on Saturday, 11/20 from 10:00am-2:00pm! Come out, get active, and have a blast with your dog while finding out about ways to get involved and make a difference!
"A Day of Action!" will feature...
*Canine/Human Fun Run with Team Spiridon & Hill Country Running (sweet swag & prizes for the winners!)
*Canine Massage with Skillful Paws
*Canine/Human Fitness Bootcamp
*Fun & Games Dog Training with APA!'s Trainer, Robin Cupell
*Canine Agility Course!
*SuperDog! Photobooth with Scarlett Blue Photography, Angela Lozano Photography, and Photojournalist Carolyn Yaschur
*Adoptable Dogs from APA!, Town Lake Animal Center, and Love a Bull
*Plus Pawprint Painting, Canine Apple Bobbing, food!, merch, valuable info, and more!!
The dogs and people I've met as part of this program have been nothing short of amazing. It's truly enriched my life, made me a better person, and has already given me endless smiles, memories, and moments that still bring tears to my eyes. I hope the rest of you who have helped make HDHP possible have those memories too and know what an enormous impact you've had in some very deserving doggie lives. I also hope that we continue to add new volunteers to help this program grow. If you'd like more information on how to get involved, email [email protected].
Excerpt from the definition of action...
Action: 1. activity, force, or energy 2. the causation of change