There are many steps in the process of getting a dog ready to go up for adoption, and one of those steps is their behavior evaluation. Marin Humane’s Dog Evaluation Volunteers (DEAs) play a crucial role in this important part of the process!

In addition to getting the evaluation room ready and gathering the necessary paperwork, DEAs enter all the minute details of the evaluation into Shelter Buddy, and believe me, there are a LOT of details to remember. Adding dates here, removing them there, checking the medical/vaccination history in the file against what’s in Shelter Buddy, adding vet checks and indemnities, not to mention all of the entries in the behavior portion of the evaluation. There are a lot of things to remember and the evaluators rely on the DEA’s Shelter Buddy data entry skills to keep things on track.

Big dogs or small, it’s the DEA’s job to help the evaluator wrangle the dog for medical procedures, including nail trims, ear inspections, vaccinations, and blood draws for heartworm tests. Some dogs are compliant for these procedures but others present quite a challenge on how to restrain them properly while keeping everyone safe. Sometimes two DEAs will be holding the dog while a third person sticks a spoonful of cream cheese in front of the dog’s snout while the evaluator does the blood draw!

One of the most important jobs a DEA has, however, is to be another set of eyes on the dog. A DEA might notice the dog freeze over a food bowl when the evaluator approaches, or that the dog has a hitch in their gait. They provide valuable input on a host of other behavior assessments or observations. The communication between DEA and evaluator is critical in making sure that when a dog finishes their evaluation, whether their status becomes Awaiting Spay/Neuter, Under Vet Care, or Available for Adoption, there are no errors or hang-ups that might delay the dog’s progress towards finding their new home.

We applaud our Dog Evaluation Volunteers for their Dedication to Animals!

Marin Humane’s Dog Evaluation Volunteers include: Katie Ai, Dana Christensen, Liz Duchesne,  Cindy Flinn, Susie Harper, Betsy McGee, Rosemary Oliveria, Leslie Robbins, Vivienne Ruggiero, Linda Vallee, Ali Vorhies, and Elfi Weideli.