Caring for the dogs and puppies during your volunteer time with Pup Squad is the most important part of the day. We are all here to make sure the puppies are well cared for; both while in Pup Squad’s care and in their forever homes and no one appreciates your commitment and care like the dogs and puppies.
Pup Squad is different than many rescues as the majority of dogs come from foster homes. During the week these dogs and puppies are cared for as members of the family. They receive treats and play time, so they are happy and healthy when they arrive at an adoption event. This is a positive aspect for Pup Squad in that, not only are the dogs happy when they arrive, but the fosters also know them well and can give great insight into their personalities. Please remember to read the write ups which the foster should have brought with their dog(s). If they have noted a quirk in dog or puppy’s personality, it is because this is something they have seen first hand. If it is noted, for instance, that the dog does not get along with cats, please take care not to walk the dog near the cats that are for adoption and deter potential adopters that have a cat in the family.
Since the dogs and puppies leave directly from their foster’s homes in the morning to be brought to the event, many have had some time outside prior to arriving and have received food and water. Even with that, dogs often do better with a treat to chew on and everyone could use a water break throughout the day. Also, please remember that the foster dogs are happy in their foster homes and are used to a family setting so the adoption event can be a little overwhelming to them. Incessant barking might be an indicator that the large amount of dogs surrounding them or time in a kennel has been too much for them and they could use a break from the area by having a nice walk around the block. A shaking puppy is also an indicator of fear so picking them up and talking softly to them could help ease these fears.
At Pup Squad one of our main goals is to make sure all the dogs and puppies are healthy before going up for adoption. All the dogs and puppies are kept in foster homes for a length of time to ensure that no viruses or bacteria present themselves. Even with that, we can not always be 100% certain of health. Due to this we ask that you never place a dog in a kennel or pen another dog has been in unless the kennel you are moving them to has been properly cleaned and new bedding has been put in it. Also, please remember to disinfect your hands as you pet different dogs throughout the day.
Caring for Adult Dogs:
- Most of the adult dogs are house trained which means they really do not want to mess up their kennels. In order to help them we need to walk them several times a day while they are up at the adoption event. When taking a dog out of the kennel, it is imperative that you have control over the dog at all times. If you open the kennel before the leash is properly attached, they can run for the doors and with the traffic around the event they are sure to be hurt. In order to have control at all times, open the door of the kennel just enough to put your hand through it, slip the leash around the dog’s neck and then open the kennel. As with getting a dog out, when you put the dog back from the walk, place the dog in the kennel, close the door most of the way and then remove the slip leash from the dogs neck and close the door. While we never want to see a dog escape, if you note that one has, please shut all the doors to the outside as quickly as possible.
- When walking the dog, please make sure to bring the doggy bags with you and properly dispose of any waste. It is very important to respect the businesses of downtown Houston since they ultimately have a say in our placement next to them and being kind neighbors is a way to make sure dogs continue to find homes from this area for a long time to come. We must walk them around and within the Pavilions perimeter.
- Once the dog has been walked, please put the time the dog was walked on the sheet on top of the cage so the next shift can keep track of when the dog last went out.
- Like humans, dogs will do what they can to protect their own. As humans we would do anything to protect our families and our homes. Our dogs share this aspect of protection with us. The difference with dogs is each will consider different things when deciding what needs to be protected. Some dogs will protect the walker while on the leash, some dogs feel very strongly about protecting their kennel or their toy and like some humans, some dogs just don’t like other dogs. In order to make sure the dog’s time at the event is as stress free as possible and no need arises to protect anything, please do not walk dogs by other cages when leaving the area and do not walk dogs together. If you pass another walker on the way, be in tune to what the dog’s body language is telling you. If he has hair that bristles on his back, the dog has a low growl or suddenly stands stiffly and/or the tail is not wagging make sure to separate the two dogs or person the dog is protecting against immediately.
Caring for Puppies:
- Puppies are like babies in that they do not have a developed immune system. Due to this, we ask that you do not take the puppies for walks. This will help to keep them healthy until they are mature. A good rule to follow is if the puppy is under 4 months old, it should stay inside and not be taken out for walks.
- Due to the developing immune system of the puppy, every one who holds the puppies should use the hand cleaner found throughout the adoption site. If you note a potential adopter who has been holding other puppies show an interest in the puppies in your care, please recommend they sanitize their hands before picking up a puppy from a new litter.
- Every puppy pen should have a piddle pad in it. If you note the pad has been used, please pick up the soiled pad and place a new one down. Also keep an eye on the blankets throughout the day. While some puppies know to use the pad, many don’t and will use any soft surface they can find. If the blanket is soiled, pick it up, remove any solid waste and properly dispose of it, and then put the blanket in the laundry bag for someone to bring home and wash, and place a clean blanket in its place.
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