Before you Arrive – Volunteer Dog Handling Program

Volunteer Dog Handing Program Apprenticeship

Austin Pets Alive! Town Lake Animal Center (TLAC):
1156 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78703 (downtown Austin)
**Please note: This address can confuse Google Maps, if so, use “1200 Reserve Road, Austin TX 78703” for the most accurate directions.
Parking locations can be found here.

Recommended To Bring
  • Leash (4-6 ft)
  • Treat pouch
  • Training Treats
  • Clicker
  • Notebook
  • Camera or phone camera
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Hat and sunblock (if you burn easily)
  • Written questions or concerns to make sure all of your questions get answered
  • A great attitude!
Prework

All students should complete their pre-work through Maddie’s University prior to their apprenticeship, this is tracked for completion. Information to register for Maddie’s University and receive your pre-class information is in your class registration confirmation email sent by the Academy. Some courses have not been released and this page has been provided to assist you or provide a refresher prior to your attendance.

Start and End Times

2019 Apprenticeships, 5 days: Students should plan to arrive at APA!’s TLAC Facility at 10:00 AM on the first day of their apprenticeship. The daily schedule will vary, and will be communicated to the student on Day 1. Students can expect to be released by 4:00 PM on Day 5 to allow for travel that evening.

2020 Apprenticeships, 4 days: Students should plan to arrive at APA!’s TLAC Facility at 10:00 AM on the first day of their apprenticeship. The daily schedule will vary, and will be communicated to the student on Day 1. Students can expect to be released by 5:00 PM on Day 4 to allow for travel that evening.

Upon arrival, students should report to the Davenport Building on Day 1 and will be met by their instructor, Carrie, the Dog Behavior Program Co-Manager.

What to Wear

Activities will be classroom based, in the shelter and outdoors. Students will spend time working hands-on with dogs and should wear clothes that they are comfortable getting slightly dirty.

We recommend:

  • Close-toed shoes
  • Pants or Jeans
  • Layers
  • We encourage all our students to proudly wear shirts or items from their home shelters!

Texas weather is unpredictable, so it is recommended to check the daily weather forecast prior to your visit. You can learn more about our weather here.


If you happen to be staying at a dog friendly hotel or AirBnB and you would like to take an APA dog overnight for a sleepover, we always need sleepover fosters to give us those valuable home notes. No pressure- but just in case anyone is going to miss a dog taking over the bed at night!  If you’re interested, you can start by filling out the form HERE and just note that you’re in town for the Volunteer Dog Handling Program Apprenticeship & would like to have a dog for a sleepover while in Austin.