Some of our Education Department Volunteers own dogs with fantastic temperments that are utilized in the community to help educate the public on various animal related topics, as willing listeners for our Wags & Tales program, and much more.
Education dogs assist their handlers (Education Volunteers) as they bring knowledge, compassion, and kindess to the community.
Education dogs are utilized during presentations in the community. We often teach children about pet safety, careers in the animal world, pet overpopulation, and more. The presence of an Education dog brings an extra special touch to presentations and provides children with the opporunity to interact safely with a pet.
Education dogs are also utilized in our Wags & Tales program, which is a reading program set up in Broward County Libraries and Schools. Children sign up to practice their reading skills to the loving and non-judgemental canine friend.
Education dogs are also utilized for community events, children’s programs at the shelter, and more.
The use of animals during educational activities and interactions with the community helps to provide a tangible aspect of learning and provides the community an opportunity to interact with a pet in a safe and fun environment.
Through this program, our Education Volunteers visit various facilities with their certified Education Dogs. Below are some of the types of facilities we visit:
- Schools (primary and secondary)
- Community Events (i.e. City Night Out, Family Fun Days, etc.)
- Camp and Kids Club at the Humane Society of Broward County
- Dogs must be one year or older to participate
- Dogs must be spayed or neutered
- Dogs must be well-behaved and have mastered their basic obedience cues
- Dogs must be in good health and have up to date rabies and vaccinations.
- Dogs must be 100% potty trained
- Dogs must be non-aggressive in all situations towards humans and other animals
- Dogs must be interested in meeting new people
- Dogs should have no history of aggression, including lunging, biting, growling, or seriously injuring either a person, child or another animal
- Dogs should enjoy being around people of all ages, especially children
- Handlers must enjoy working with children
- Handlers need to be comfortable with public speaking
- Handlers must be 18 years or older
- Handlers must have owned their animal for a minimum of 6 months
- Handlers must be able to read their animal’s particular stress signals
- Handlers must be able to anticipate their animal’s responses, behavior and body language
- Handlers must advocate for the safety and well-being of their animal at all times
- Handlers must represent themselves in a professional manner at all times while representing the Humane Society of Broward County
- First, you must attend a HSBC Volunteer Orientation. You can sign up for an upcoming orientation on our Volunteer Services page. This orientation will teach you all about the shelter, what we do, and you will take a tour of the facility.
- Secondly, after orientation you will onboard as a Humane Society of Broward County Volunteer (this will require a background check and purchase of a volunteer shirt).
- Then you will set up to meet with the Education Department’s Volunteer Manager. During this meeting you will discuss the various opportunities available, criteria needed for your dog to become an Education Dog, and steps to set up an Education Dog evaluation.
- After 3 shadowings and a successful independent presentation, your dog will be awarded its official education dog vest. The education dog vest is $50.00 and purchased at the volunteer’s expense.