Dogs Out Loud (DOL) provides training, behavior rehabilitation, and high quality care to medium to large breed dogs dying at shelters due to resource intensive behavior problems. We provide additional behavior and financial support services that address specifically identified gaps currently costing the lives of this subset of shelter dogs.
Dogs Out Loud has provided support to this population of dogs in myriad ways:
- Individual and group training both to the dogs and to the volunteers of the Orange Dot Crew and shelter staff who handle the dogs
- Adoption marketing and assistance to families looking to adopt dogs in the DOL program
- Post-adoption support for the life of the dogs in our program, including behavior and training, financial support, care and medical resources
- Fundraising, including large-scale hosted events as well as community-based efforts such as AmplifyATX and the ILiveHereIGiveHere campaign
- Grant applications for rewards from organizations like The Unexpected Pitbull and Animal Farm Foundation
- Special projects at Austin Animal Center, including the Thinking Walk, Treat for Calm stations, and puzzle toy drive and Real Life Rooms
- Direct and financial support for the Orange Dot Crew, which encompasses the program and group of volunteers on the ground at the shelter who work with the dogs day in and day out
Training: Provide the dog with the skill set and mental “muscle memory” to perform learned skills when he would usually act on instinct.
Behavior rehabilitation: Change the dog’s perceptions of and reactions to people/places/objects at a psychological level.
High quality care in a home-like environment: House the dog in a clean, temperature-controlled, low-stress environment suitable to human dwelling.
Medium to large breed dogs: Dogs approximately 30 lbs or over.
Resource intensive behavior problems: Behaviors that, to successfully change to an extent that readies a dog for adoption, require a more individualized solution, higher level of resources, or different environment than those a high-volume adoption shelter can reasonably provide.
Shelter environment: A traditional kennel-based facility where emphasis is on high-volume adoptions.
A Bit of Background…
Austin, TX is at the forefront of the No-Kill movement and, in 2011, became the largest city in the US to achieve a 90% or better save rate of the animals entering its city shelter . As we have accomplished this incredible milestone in humane achievement and lifesaving work, a new challenge and gap in services has come clearly into view.
No-Kill is defined as saving every “healthy, treatable, and rehabilitatable animal in the shelter.” What we have discovered is that a 90% save rate is not truly fulfilling that promise. Our city has incredible programs to support nearly all of the vulnerable shelter populations save one: medium to large breed dogs with resource intensive behavior problems.
While dogs with mild to moderate behavior problems can be supported through in-shelter behavior programs, there is a group of good, savable, rehabilitatable dogs that cannot. It is those dogs that are still dying in significant numbers at Austin’s city shelter. Dogs Out Loud was created to help fill this final gap, meet the needs of this last vulnerable shelter population, and contribute to making Austin a true No-Kill city and a leader and model for the rest of the world in what is possible in animal welfare and behavior work.