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Become a DAS volunteer and help to give dogs a second chance

Like dogs? Want make a practical contribution to the welfare of hundreds of dogs in the ACT? Want to enjoy regular exercise in a bushland setting close to Canberra? Become a volunteer at Domestic Animal Services (DAS)!!

DAS registers your dog, controls ACT pet laws and encourages responsible pet ownership though its education programs. Its shelter in Symonstown has up to 50 dogs at any time. Around 2500 dogs go through the shelter each year. That is a LOT of dogs.

Most dogs are strays or have been abandoned by owners. Some are brought in for re-homing including much loved pets who cannot accompany owners moving into aged or inappropriate accommodation, or overseas.

It’s a popular misconception that if owners don’t turn up to claim their dogs most are enthusansed. But that is not correct. DAS, helped by wonderful volunteer dog rescue groups, works very hard to find new homes for these dogs and the re-homing rate in the ACT is one of the best in Australia.

When the dogs at DAS get regular exercise and training, they are less stressed and remain the friendly family pet they were when they were brought in. And if they are comfortable with strangers they are more attractive to potential new owners. DAS tries to keep dogs as long as possible to find them new homes, but this also means they need to be regularly taken out and exercised.

This is where the DAS volunteers are a huge help. DAS rangers have heavy and unpredictable workloads, leaving little time for exercising shelter dogs. However DAS has recently instituted a formal volunteer program. There is already a small and passionate group of volunteers who exercise the dogs but the program needs many more.

DAS has two exercise yards and a well-marked walking track. Volunteers usually take out dogs for 15-20 minutes each. They can schedule for time that best suits them. The dogs are overjoyed to get out of their pens. They are delightful, friendly, active and ready to have fun. Many are ball dogs. Many too just want a cuddle. They respond immediately and enthusiastically to human kindness.

To be a DAS volunteer you need to like dogs and be genuinely interested in their welfare; and be at least 17 years old, or be accompanied by an adult. There is no age limit but you do need to be relatively fit.

As a DAS volunteer you get terrific outdoor exercise with lovely friendly dogs while making a real and practical contribution to their prospect of finding caring new homes. What a really great way to make a difference!!

To find out more contact DAS on 6207-2424 or e-mail dogcontrol@act.gov.au.





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