As one of Austin’s largest pet shelters with a no-kill policy, the Austin Humane Society strives both to reduce pet overpopulation and to protect Austin's homeless cats and dogs. More than 1,000 active volunteers at the shelter work to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia through spay and neuter programs, pet adoption, an extensive foster program for vulnerable pets, and emergency animal-rescue operations. Between 3,000 and 4,000 pets are adopted from the shelter each year, and the shelter serves more than 10,000 animals annually. Its adoption counselors provide insight into each animal’s personality and history to ensure a good fit into their permanent homes.
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The zookeepers and storytellers at Tiny Tails to You! travel from town to town to organize pop-up petting zoos four days a week, and lease out hands-on learning experiences for festivals, summer camps, and private parties. What beasts turn up at these parties is up to the customer, who might arrange for anything from an avalanche of fluffy bunnies and baby birds to an encampment of chinchillas, hedgehogs, leopard geckos, and tortoises. The staff's love for animals extends beyond informative show-and-tells—head zookeeper Ed Bradfield offers pet-sitting services for dogs, cats, exotic pets, and house-trained rocks, and the zookeepers are nearly always offering baby bunnies for adoption.
Zoom Room?s dog training facilities have one cardinal rule: owners must be present during class. This is because humans need just as much training as their canine companions when building confidence and communication, and it?s important that owners learn the best positive-reinforcement techniques from the knowledgeable staff. Group classes cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific needs such as overcoming shyness. Other classes include Urban Herding, where dogs herd exercise balls into soccer goals indoors, Scent Work, where dogs learn to sniff out missing car keys or the TV remote, and Pup-lates, which is geared toward overweight or senior dogs, or those recovering from an injury.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room?s missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted fundraiser events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from their inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility?s selection of solution-oriented training gear, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.
Doody Free provides services for both waggy and whiskered companions. Pups, matured mutts, or dogs that just want a little time to themselves to build a sandcastle will appreciate the weekday walking service: a 40-minute stroll costs $20, with a $5 charge for additional animals or travel. Social snoutpals will appreciate the play-date service, where Doody Free will match your mutt with a canine companion for a day of playing, fetch, and tug-o-war. Barefoot-ready your backyard with the waste removal service ($8 daily or $24 twice a week).