Monday, March 21, 2011

Now Taking Volunteer Apps for the Barn Crew!

... Chunk, Bouncer, Atomic Betty, Nita, Ayse, Danny, Clive, Captain Spanky ...

... They're some of the dogs who've spent time in BR's Rescue Barn since we first opened our doors last summer. This modest facility in the Oakland hills serves as a halfway house for dogs in crisis - specifically, victims of shelter overcrowding, cruelty, foreclosures and emergency medical cases. .The quiet environment and natural setting have been ideal for helping stressed dogs get their bearings and allows them to be healthy, happy dogs again. As they relax, we can learn who they are and design next steps in their transition towards life with permanent families.

The handful of dogs that live here at any given time stay for a week or so until we match them up with foster homes, while others stay on for several weeks until they find their forever families. During that wait they're vetted, trained and socialized to several dogs in regular play sessions. It's like summer school meets summer camp.

Our dog handlers become an important anchor for the dogs during this time at the barn. They serve as the dogs' family and provide everything from clicker training to nose work fun to toenail trims to play parties to plain old fashioned cuddling on the sofa -- all of it is crucial to the dogs' well being and recovery. (Left: Donyale bonds with Winnie, shortly after her arrival from a cruelty case in Gadsden County FL)

In addition to meeting the dogs' daily needs, the BR crew works with potential adopters and visitors who want to learn more about the breed, both at the barn and during our weekends at Berkeley Animal Care Services. They're a wealth of information to a world that is waking up to the joy of the American Pit Bull Terrier and its mixes. Does it sound like I'm bragging? I am. This is a very special group of people who give their heart and soul to the dogs.

It's not all hugs and happies though. Cleaning up dog poo is less than glamorous, and the compassion cases that occasionally come to spend their final days with us tug at all our heartstrings. You have to learn to accept the good with the sad with this work, but the rewards are life changing, to say the least.

We're ready to expand our team and hope to add up to six new volunteer dog handlers who value this mission. We'll provide the training and you provide a long term commitment to the dogs who land here on their way to new lives. Interested?

Barn Crew Job Description

We know that your free time is precious so look forward to talking with you to see if this kind of volunteer work is a good fit. Please check out our job description linked above and then contact for an application. We'll be conducting informal interviews at our next Open House Sunday, April 1st. INFO

Thank you!


Samantha Laine said...

Wish I could magically transport my pack and live in Oakland for six months so I could be a barn volunteer. You guys are amazing.
"Action is eloquence." W. Shakespeare

Donna said...

Build it and they will come (to you!) Samantha! Besides, east coast barns are so much cooler than ours!

Meredeth said...

I am totally with Samantha. BadRap is my favorite Pit Bull organization and to volunteer with you would be an honor. I've tried to get my man to let us move to SF (for years, mind you) but family obligations keep him here. Sad but true. Maybe someday I'll have my wish.

Good luck with the applicant search.

Anonymous said...

Sending love and good wishes from Florida. You'll get some awesome volunteers, I know it!!

Crystal said...

Same for me, I WISH I lived closer I would be there in a heartbeat!

If anyone knows of a Pit Bull Rescue in the Inland Empire (So Cal) that needs volunteers I'd love to hear about it!

Donna said...

Thanks everyone! Crystal -- are you close enough to SD? Just a Dog Rescue is run by Nicole Rattay who did so much work with the Vick dogs. She's got a great group going on and would love your help if you're close enough (maybe not). Karma Rescue is near LA, too.

Aimee Chagnon said...

Hey that's a pretty cool addition to the barn! Who's your architect (ha ha)?
Cheers to you from the Wine Country!