Stage 1: Animal Enrichment and Volunteer Programs (15 hours)
- Assist in dog walking and other physical enrichment
- Assist in animal socialization (dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens) via petting and social enrichment
- Learn dog and cat body language and communication styles
- Assist in teaching basic dog manners
- Learn to properly sanitize kennels and cages in the adoption areas
- Assist with laundry
- Learn the adoption “meet and greet” process at OCAS
In order to proceed to the next section of the program, the student must demonstrate the ability to safely approach and remove dogs from kennels, apply collars and/or harnesses correctly, and pick up and hold cats and kittens. Students should understand biosecurity, disease prevention and proper sanitation in a shelter setting.
Stage 2: Animal Husbandry (20 hours)
- Feeding and watering cats/dogs/pocket pets
- Cleaning and sterilizing feeding bowls and toys
- Cleaning kennels or cages for cats/dogs/pocket pets
- Preparation for the next day such as stocking litter boxes or food
- Assist with adoption process “meet and greet”
In order to proceed to the next section of the program, the student must complete the meet and greet PowerPoint, basic sanitation and behavior webinars, and demonstrate the ability to identify signals of aggression in dogs and cats.
Stage 3: Assisting the Veterinary Staff (15 hours)
- Clean instruments and wrap surgical packs
- Check animal health status and assist with medical rounds
- Identify animals in need of medical attention
- Assist with patient preparation for surgery
- Assist with restraint of animals for physical examinations
To pass the final section of the program, the student will receive literature about common shelter illnesses and diseases and be quizzed on the information.
Several sections of the program can be physically demanding such as husbandry, dog walking, restraint of animals, etc. Any student with concerns should consult their doctor prior to beginning the program. Any student that has any allergies to dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. should consult their doctor prior to beginning the program.