For Students

Welcome to the Maddie’s Lifesaving Academy

Please bookmark this page as reference for your apprenticeship. This page includes many answers to commonly asked questions and details regarding your apprenticeship. We look forward to welcoming you to Austin!

Before You Arrive

Social Media Toolkit

As part of your apprenticeship, we hope that you will share your experiences on your social media profiles. Below we have included sample posts for both Facebook and Twitter.

Please feel free to use this language, embellish, or create your own content. Make sure you remember to tag Austin Pets Alive! or Austin Animal Center (instructions below) and to use #thankstomaddie (if attending a Maddie’s® Apprenticeship).

If you have any questions related to social media posts for your apprenticeship, please reach out to Jessica Powers at

Sample posts for announcing your acceptance

Just heard from @austinpetsalive that I have officially been accepted to participate in the Maddie’s® [program name] Apprenticeship, where I’ll learn how to set up a [program name] program here at [@TAG YOUR SHELTER]! #thankstomaddie for this incredible opportunity!

I have officially been accepted to participate in the Maddie’s® [program name] Apprenticeship at @austinpetsalive. #ThankstoMaddie for this opportunity!

Sample posts for your organization to post about your acceptance and participation

Our very own [@tag your colleague] has been selected to participate in the Maddie’s® [program name] Apprenticeship at [@austinpetsalive or @austinanimalcenter], where [s/he] will learn how to set up a [program name/type] here at our shelter! #thankstomaddie for this incredible opportunity!

#ThankstoMaddie, one of our own has been accepted to the Maddie’s® [program name] Apprenticeship at [@austinpetsalive! or @austinanimals]

Posting while you're at APA! and AAC

We’d also love to see you post on your social media profile while you’re at APA! or AAC for your apprenticeship or internship, and once you start implementing the APA! or AAC protocols at your home shelter so we can follow your progress!

Here are some reminders for in-program and post-apprenticeship posts:

  • Include photos and/or videos
  • Check with your teacher/program manager if you have a question about any content or photos/videos you’d like to share
  • Tag Austin Pets Alive! by typing @austinpetsalive and selecting the main shelter page OR
  • Tag Austin Animal Center by typing @austinanimalcenter on Facebook or @austinanimals on Twitter
  • Use the hashtag #thankstomaddie

Cancellation Policy

Students who need to change their apprenticeship due to illness, death in the family, etc., are asked to notify us at With your notice of cancellation, please inform us of the reason you need to cancel and if your organization would like to send a replacement student. If sending a replacement, our instructors will review and confirm acceptance.

Students who need to cancel their apprenticeship are asked to notify us (at the email address above) at least 4 weeks in advance. This will allow enough time for another applicant to be notified and invited.  Cancellations less than 4 weeks in advance or No-Call/No-Show’s, may forfeit their organization’s opportunity to participate in other apprenticeships at the Lifesaving Academy.


Students who attend an apprenticeship or master class will receive a Certificate of Completion via email once they complete their Feedback Survey.


The Academy is provided through a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund, Students attend at no cost to the organization. Travel stipends are provided to students attending apprenticeships. The stipend is provided to assist your organization with your travel costs and to off-set your expenses. This may not fully cover the cost of travel, lodging and meals.

The stipend amounts vary per program and are listed on the Maddie’s Fund website under the individual program you are attending.

  • Stipends are mailed out after your Apprenticeship (7-14 days after first day of class)
  • Attendance is confirmed on the first day of instruction prior to any stipends being processed
  • Stipends are made to and mailed to your home organization
  • Stipends are flat rates and determined by program and number of days, no receipts or expense reports are necessary from the students or organizations
  • Per the Department of Labor, any stipends related to Apprenticeships must be used for travel (airfare, taxi, etc), meals, and lodging. Please reach out to your internal accounting department with any questions on the use of these stipends.
  • Stipends are not provided to organizations located outside of the United States, however, international students are welcome to apply.
  • Beginning in 2019 W-9’s will be required for all organizations receiving stipends

Please forward this information to your financial team so they are aware prior to your apprenticeship, any further questions regarding your stipends may be sent to

Planning Your Trip – Learn more about weather, travel, shelter locations, lodging & food.

Student Agreement –  Please review prior to your arrival. A copy of this must be signed and returned by students on the first day of the apprenticeship. An additional copy will be included in the educational materials provided to students upon arrival.

Purchase Handbooks:
Students of the Maddie’s® Lifesaving Academy are offered exclusive purchasing access to the AmPA Handbook. This guide is an all-inclusive handbook designed for those in animal protection and welfare organizations.

The cost of these books is currently $40 and can be picked up at our TLAC location, please ask for a member of the Academy Education department. At this time, we are unable to mail out Handbooks. More information about the handbooks is in the student binders you’ll receive on the first day of instruction.