Volunteer Weekly Newsletter

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Hello everyone!  Happy summer vacation! Congrats Grads! Happy sunshine and sunburns! I am excited to get out and get to the river, do some camping, take the dogs to the park, even just take a late evening stroll in the cool night air.  This weather is going to be brutal or beautiful or brutiful.   Enjoy this weeks newsletter!
[toggle title=”Behavior Nook”]Red Tag Tidbits
Congratulations to new Red Tag Dog Walkers:
Allen Pfeiffer and Kelsey Weber!
Red Tag training classes are coming soon! We have a new training program with two classes to help you improve your dog training and handling skills as you gain more experience. If you have completed both the Bouncy class and the Shy/Fearful class and are ready to be assessed, let Kim know and we’ll set up an assessment for you right away. Meanwhile, watch the newsletter for the next class dates.
Behavior Nook
Thank you to our fabulous Canine RX volunteers! We are able to get our most needy shelter dogs the behavioral attention they need and deserve thanks to them! Canine RX handlers have taken a training class with Jessi Keller, Behavior and Training Coordinator and are working with dogs like Dolce and Duramax who need to learn that they can be polite and that their needs to chew, play, romp and relax will all be met by our dedicated team. Sound like fun? Talk to Jessi or let Kimmi know that you’d like to be an RX helper. We have two shifts daily and the more, the merrier. Every dog (and cat!) in the shelter will benefit from the RX program. Dog walking is great but the RX program is where you’ll truly bond with the shelter dogs and help them how they need it most.
Chemeketa Classes
Congratulations to the Chemeketa Professional Dog Trainer Certification Preparation Course students who have completed their spring classes!
Allen Pfeiffer, Kristy Berg, Robbie Gambino and Kristie Moser have completed the entire 50 hour course of lecture, projects, homework (a TON of reading!) and practical experience working dogs. HOORAY!
Nina Feltmann, a professional dog trainer from Corvallis, completed the entire 30 course lecture series and plans to take the practicum in the fall.
Fall classes begin in September and will be on MONDAYS. Talk to Catherine Comden if you would like more information about this comprehensive course!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Jr. Trainers Camp”]Thanks to everyone for your kindness and patience during this week’s Jr. Trainer Camp!
Our camp dogs were Mossy, Elsa, Oso, Oliver, Jude, Daisy, Tara and Hunter. Kimmi’s Favorite and Vinny helped out when the shelter dogs had had enough treats.
The campers had a GREAT time with the dogs and kittens (from foster homes). They are so excited to be learning clicker training and how to bring changes to behavior with gentleness and fun.
On Thursday of camps, we’ll be off site most of the day, doing chicken and parrot training! You’ll see a big school bus transporting us. Wave to our Jr. Trainers!
Thanks so much for making them all feel so welcomed and cared about – you guys are the best!
The following dates are the start of camps- 7/13, 7/27, 8/13
[/toggle][toggle title=”Shout Outs”]Don’t forget to take your kudos if you want them I am going to empty the box this week!
Big shout out to Joan Fraser, Nancy Sanchez, and the Tuesday morning walk shift! On the 16th I got to witness firsthand how well you guys communicate with each other, I saw you guys working together to make sure all the dogs needs were met. It seemed pretty seamless. Thank you for supporting playgroups. It was a perfect example of how Playgroups benefit a walk shift as well since the team was short staffed you quickly got 9 dogs out to playgroup so that means the team still had all the dogs potty walked and had time to spend one on one with them before the end of their shift. When we envisioned playgroup in this time slot this is exactly what we imagined! Thank you again!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Playgroupies”] I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce to you playgroup. Now we have all heard this word and maybe even seen a group happening way out in the far yards, but what is playgroup exactly?
Playgroup is a time where the dogs get to get out of their kennels and just be dogs. They see and hear each other and smell each other repeatedly on a daily basis. They get frustrated that they cannot say hi. They cannot learn about each other, they cannot share their enthusiasm for life with each other because leashes and bars separate them. Playgroup is a great way for our dogs to alleviate that stress and frustration. By reducing this stress it also reduces the amount of leash re-activity we deal with and it keeps our dogs from getting depressed as well.
Playgroup is a time where dogs get to be off leash, they get to feel free to express themselves in the most natural way possible. Bars of a kennel and leashes hold dogs back from how they would normally act or react in certain situations. This is akin to that annoying game siblings play where whenever you start to talk they talk over you and after about 4-5 times you either want to hit them or cry. The dogs feel this stifling of expression day in and out and it will wear on them significantly but playgroup gives them a reprieve from this feeling.
Playgroup is a time where a dog can expel a large majority of its energy. Every dog holds and uses its energy differently some are more mental energy while some are more physical. Playgroups give them a chance to burn that energy their way and as rigorously as they like on an almost daily basis. This means they are more likely to relax in their kennel, to rest and to keep quiet. This vastly improves their kennel presentations and makes them more adoptable and helps them to stay sane for their time with us. This is especially wonderful for those dogs who are unfortunately long term residents.
Playgroup teaches dogs how to interact with each other. Dogs that come to us with little to no dog to dog skills or rough skills have a chance to learn not only from other dogs but from people as well. They learn what is and is not acceptable and how to communicate with each other. This builds their doggy resume making them a better fit for more families as they become more adaptable to new situations.
Playgroup is a way for us to learn more about them. Take away the blinders of the shelter and the limitations of movement and expression and we learn more about a dog’s play-style, energy level, motivators, and ability to accept information from people and other dogs. All these things give us a better picture of what this dog needs to be happy and healthy in their forever home. This makes finding them an adopter who won’t return them much more likely. It gives dogs a second chance and sometimes a third or fourth.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video about playgroups, click here. If you have questions or concerns about playgroups we would love to talk with you about them. Feel free to contact Kimmi Berg, Lee Nichols, Jessi Keller, and Catherine Comden. For other videos from Aimee Sadler and her Playing for Life program here is her you tube channel ( there are a couple of WHS videos in there from her last visit here) as well as her website which includes access to their manual so you can better understand how we want to run playgroups here and why.
If you would like to be a part of this excellent experience for our dogs please e mail Kim.Berg@whs4pets.org to get started.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Stay cool out there it’s getting crazy hot!!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Cat Volunteers”]Clinic Humane Traps
Just a heads up in case customers ask us about traps to catch cats on or around their property. WHS does not offer traps for the public to borrow or rent. Our clinic has traps to use as part of our TNR program meaning the person who sets an appointment at our clinic for a cat will come get the trap and catch the cat bring it in for its appointment then take the cat home and release it then bring the trap back to WHS to use again for the next TNR. If customers would like to rent a trap in order to bring in cats to surrender to us they can contact other places in town such as United Rentals.
Water Bowls
Do not fill cat water bowls more than half way in A cats and B cats. When opening and closing kennels they splash all over the cats, their bedding, the floor and people. This just makes more mess and more work. Thank you for keeping everyone clean and happy!
Cat Cots
The green and white cots that we have in the cat kennels do not leave the cat kennels except to be moved to another kennel. They get cleaned in the kennel the same as the kennel itself. Wipe off any organic matter, virkon, let sit for 10 minutes, wipe off with a clean damp rag then wipe dry. You can clean it as you are cleaning the kennel it is in. The bleach that we use for the dishes is too harsh for these beds and the heat and soaking will cause excessive wear and we only have so many. We would like to take precautions to make sure they last as long as possible. Thank you everyone.
[/toggle][toggle title=”Tidbits and Goodies”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvsfB7sf4QU
[/toggle][toggle title=”Volunteer Opportunities and Events”]At Natures Pet Market 4555 Liberty Rd S
Offering the area’s first Pet Tech First Aid Certification and Training program. The class will be held Saturday, July 25th from 8am-5pm and the fee is $125.00
The course is designed for shelter employees, rescue personnel, kennel staff, groomers, obedience trainers and pet sitters, and pet parents. Those attending will learn how to effectively deal with chocking, breathing issues, bleeding, poisoning, muzzling, heat injuries, senior and dental care as well.
Classes are hand on and taught by Suzanne Brean a certified instructor and professional dog trainer.
Register online here
Bring your lunch on the day of the course. Snacks and Drinks will be provided. For more information, Call Suzanne Brean at 541-974-0324 or mylittledogtraininbiz@yahoo.com
Humane Fest!!
To kick off the celebration of WHS’ 50th year we are hosting Humane Fest on July 18th from 2-6pm here at the shelter. If you have been to a Yappy Hour before than you will really love this event. There is going to be food and drinks, live music, playgroup, vendors, and its family friendly. Pack all the kids in the car (both two and four legged) and come on down to enjoy some sunny fun to celebrate with us!
Pints for Paws!
Monday the 29th of June is our favorite kind of Monday, the 5th Monday. That means beer with BJ, fundraising for fuzziest, and hanging out with some of the coolest cats I know, the staff and volunteers I mean. We will be at Santiam Brewery from 4-9pm and we hope to see you there. You must be 21 years old to attend.
If you are an active dog walker and you are interested in taking an adoptable shelter dog to this event please let me know.
[/toggle][toggle title=”Willamutt Strut is a success!”]Willamutt Strut is a success!!
• We had 100 more people register this year than last year!
• We had $4000 more in sponsorships this year than last
• This event brought in over $24,000!!
Check out all the fun!
Willamutt Strut
2015 Video
[/toggle][toggle title=”Meet the Staff”]Catherine Comden
Catherine Comden Web
Catherine is the behavior program manager here at WHS. She is in charge of creating training classes for people and their pets here in the Willamette Valley. She also works with the staff and volunteers to make sure that we have the training we need to help the dogs in our care.
Catherine is a certified pet dog trainer and a member of the association of pet dog trainers. She has experience training service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs and sports performance dogs.
This bubbly friendly staff member is happy to answer your questions as well as
[/toggle][toggle title=”Playgroup Shennanigans”]
Playgroup1  6-17 (1) Playgroup1  6-17 (2) Playgroup1  6-17 (3) Playgroup1  6-17 (4)
Fun in the sun!
This week we had 22 dogs come out on Wednesday morning! So many smiles, so many tired happy dogs. They make friends and I make memories. I invite anyone who is interested in watching a playgroup to come in on a Wednesday morning from 8-10 and see what all the fuzz is about!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Reminder”]Please make sure that you breakdown your cardboard boxes before you put them in the recycle container out back. Recently, a staff member had to get inside the container to retrieve boxes that were on the bottom that had not been broken down. This creates a space issue. In addition, one of the boxes still contained packing materials. Breaking down your boxes will ensure this does not happen. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter!
[/toggle][toggle title=”Have you Seen a Set of Keys?”]A volunteer lost their car keys on a walk shift. If you have seen them or if you have them please let Kimmi know. One of the keys has a black plastic top that has a crack in it. There is a Brighton Silver heart on the key ring. You can return them to the lost and found in the volunteer room, at the customer service/intake desk, or you can bring it to Kimmi’s office.