Greetings Volunteers,

Happy 5th day of spring!

Shelter update: We currently have 94 animals in our care: 46 animals in foster and 48 in the shelter. The shelter residents include: 19 dogs, 3 puppies, 17 cats, 2 pigeons, 4 rabbits, 2 hamsters, and 3 guinea pigs. For those of you keeping score at home (there’s my one March Madness reference for the day :), we have done 1,799 adoptions since March 16, 2020! 

Adoptions update:  Spring has sprung and if you could use a little extra brightness, just watch the adoption slideshow to see some lucky animals who found their furever homes last week! Don’t forget to tell your friends about No Place Like Home as another avenue to find animals available for adoption.

High Five for Dog Training Assistants (DTAs)! Our Dog Training Assistant (DTA) volunteers have always been a major key to the success of all of the dog training classes Marin Humane offers to the public. Without the support and coaching they offer the students with their dogs, our classes would be smaller and we wouldn’t be able to meet the need of our Marin Humane community.

One year ago, the state required Marin Humane to shut our doors due to the pandemic. As we all struggled with the transition from being on campus to staying home, our Behavior and Training department was already thinking about and creating plans for how they could safely offer classes outside. After all, with so many people now staying at home and adopting a new dog, the demand for training classes skyrocketed!

Once they had their plan in place and all of the safety procedures written up, they knew they needed DTAs to assist in classes. The plea went out to all of our DTAs to see if anyone might be comfortable early in the pandemic to step up to help. There were a very few volunteers who felt no hesitation to be the very first to begin volunteering in outdoor classes. Their experience was positive and soon B&T began adding more and more classes to their roster. Additional classes meant we needed more volunteers. Over time, the DTA list grew and we were able to launch classes in the Dog Training Pavilion with all of the doors and windows open. The dog training staff breathed a sigh of relief and the volunteers were delighted to be doing something meaningful.

A DTA’s role is varied between some administrative work, setting up and cleaning up after classes, and most importantly coaching people who are learning to teach their dog a new skill. It is the perfect position for someone who enjoys working with people and loves learning more about how to train dogs! Our DTAs have always been the “behind the scenes” heroes of the B&T department. In this past year, though, they have become our front lines Super Heroes! They put aside their worries about COVID-19 as they felt assured we provided them a safe place to do their work. And, they have worked hard to keep classes running smoothly, supporting the trainers, and providing terrific customer service to the students in the classes.

We are so grateful for our Dog Training Assistant super stars! High Five and Two Paws up to these amazing volunteers!

Happy ending: Sometimes, we get the name just right! Rockstar the dog found his happy ending a few weeks ago and his new mom says this: “Rockstar, now Loki, is seriously the most perfect dog ever! I am so glad I was able to swoop him up. Thank you and everyone else there so very much. As soon as there is an opening I will get him into the Family Dog training class.” Another match well-made :).

Tails of Marin: In this week’s Tails of Marin, we tell the story of Buckey, an abandoned puppy found by a woman who brought him to Marin Humane. The poor little pup was in bad shape as he had clear deformities in his legs and couldn’t walk. Read on to learn about the amazing work done by our amazing veterinary staff.

B&T Blog: You’ll want to bookmark the Behavior & Training blog for fun stories on training triumphs and foibles, cat and dog foster challenges and happy endings, along with general musings on living life well with animals. Blog posts are written by staff and volunteers alike. Hope you enjoy this week’s post from Dawn Kovell, Toy Crop Circles.

Hope you’re doing well!

Anne and Candace