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michelle40

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Humane Society Silicon Valley
July 31, 2010

I have volunteered for the HSSV for about a year and a half as a dog socializer and assistant to behavior staff. They have a fabulous training program to promote consistency in handling of dogs across all the volunteers, and although many dogs are adopted quite quickly, I have seen the incredible difference HSSV staff and volunteers can make working with an animal over time. One dog in particular went from 75 pounds of jumping up, dragging people on leash, overwhelming exuberance to a dog who could sit to be leashed, walk nicely, knew basic commands, and was a pleasure to be around. And it was all done with only positive reinforcement, and a dog with only positive associations with people. These folks take in overflow from other shelters, and dogs that need more work than other shelters can give (medical or behavioral), and love them till they can find their "forever homes." The facility itself is marvelous, with two dog parks (for big and little) and daycare, and summer camp programs, and lots of beautiful animals to visit. I love having "TLC a dog" as part of my volunteer duties!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Teaching dogs how to be good canine citizens in a loving, postive, fun way, and teaching people how to understand a dog's perspective and to encourage desirable behaviors without punishment.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand access to the dogs in-person for potential adopters. There is often a waiting list for people to meet a dog they're interested in, and the new facility, while fabulous, doesn't allow people to interact with dogs without an appointment.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Learning how to interact with all kinds of dog breeds and personalities, and helping to improve their quality of life with TLC and walks and treats and games...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Other dog socializers and the Behavior Staff, and the volunteer coordinator Kris Gunderson.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Save more animals! Expand access to training for volunteers and the public! Do more public outreach on how to be a great pet owner (spay and neuter, train your dog to be a good citizen, socilialize with people and other dogs).

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to volunteer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and public education.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This shelter does not euthanize for space reasons, only for safety or health reasons.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I help dogs become comfortable around people and learn basic manners.