Like you, shelter dogs need stimulation and exercise too! You can get your fix and help a dog as well. Both our patio and inside dogs look forward to getting their walks, and will be forever thankful to the volunteers that give them. Details below:
What to do now
- Fill out the volunteer waiver on our website. You must fill out the volunteer waiver. If you haven't filled it out and submitted it, you will not be able to walk. You must fill out a seperate one for each day you signup.
- Sign up. We'll receive your signup, and a reminder will be sent out the day before the event.
- Print out this page or bookmark the URL so you can reread instructions the day of the event.
- If you find out you need to cancel, delete your sign-up and we'll be notified.
- Kids under the age of 14 must walk with an adult.
What to do the day of the event
- Leave all personal belongings at home, in your vehicle, or take them with you on your walks (backpacks are the best option).
- Wear sneakers or closed-toed shoes.
- Wear minimal jewelry.
- Bring a water bottle.
Arriving at the shelter
- When you arrive at the shelter you will see a gate, with a waiting area, and another gate immediately after. Only one gate can be open at a time, and a maximum of two people in the waiting area at a time. The door and gate are never to be open at the same time. When you come through the gate, only open it wide enough so that you can get through. All dogs will try to rush out if they see the chance to do so. Walking backwards facing the dogs is usually the best way to move in and out through the gates.
Getting your walking companion
- A dog will be chosen for you to walk. However, do not try to walk a dog you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable with. If a dog is too high-energy for you, let us know and we’ll pair you up with another.
- Your dog should be wearing a collar. If he or she isn't, we might need your assistance getting the collar on. The collar should be tight enough to fit only two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. If the collar is any looser than one finger width, the dog can easily slip out.
- Poop bags are tied to the leash you'll be given. A used bag should be deposited in a trash can, or, if none are available, at the shelter.
- Always keep the dog on a leash and keep hold of the leash.
- If you are right-handed, put your right hand through the wrist loop at the end of the leash and then hold the leash with your left hand. If you are left-handed, do the opposite.
Now we are walking ...
- When walking, do not tie a dog to a post or tree and leave it unattended at any time.
- Use caution when approached by other dogs; make sure the shelter dog is by your side (do not let him or her lunge toward the loose dog.) Stand tall and stay calm. Walk by the stray dog or walk away as calm as possible, always keeping your eyes on the dog. Never turn your back to the dog or try to run from the dog.
- Do not let the dogs pull you around while on the walk. If your dog pulls on the leash use quick little snaps on the leash to get them to ease up. Do not jerk hard on the leash.
- If any stranger wants to pet the dog while you are walking, ask them to gently approach and monitor how the dog responds.
- Avoid letting the dog drink from puddles. The water may contain runoff fuel/chemicals or waterborne parasites/organisms that will make the dog sick if ingested.
Always be prepared for emergencies
- Please report any injury immediately to an ADLA representative
- If your shelter dog escapes while you are on your walk, do not run after him as he may think you are initiating a game of chase which may only cause him to move further away from the shelter or run at a faster pace. Try turning in the opposite direction, crouch down and call to him in a happy voice, or throw treats on the ground. If the dog will not come back to you, return to the shelter and immediately inform a staff member.
Back at the shelter
- Let us know how your dog did!
- We'd love to start this so donate if possible: A whiteboard to list the dogs and checkmark when one is walked. Once we have our whiteboard, the volunteer will be in charge of putting the checkmark next to their dog.
- Ask about our ADLA shirts! The cost is $15 and it all goes towards our mission. Then you can wear your shirt on the next walk you sign up for.
Even if you can only spare a few minutes of your day to walk an animal or two, the dogs, the shelter staff, and other volunteers will be glad you did.
|| Amanda Collazo