An is one of our incredible animal welfare officers and has worked in our Adoption Centre for three years. Prior to this, she was a Lort Smith volunteer while studying a Masters of Animal Science at The University of Melbourne.
A typical day at Lort Smith for An involves; lots of cleaning, behavioural assessments, behavioural modification and providing enrichment for the dogs, engaging with volunteers, assisting vets with medical examinations, getting animals ready for adoption and placing them in carefully matched new homes.
An primarily works with our shelter dogs and has always had a soft spot for the nervous and anxious pooches.
“Working with them can be the most challenging, but also the most rewarding when I start to see them learn to trust, gain confidence and just be a dog again. It warms my heart even more when the most amazing families welcome these dogs into their home. The post-adoption updates are constant reminders of why I love doing what I do here at Lort Smith,” says An.
Lort Smith supported An to complete a certificate in dog training and behaviour through the National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF).
“This was an amazing opportunity for me to develop my skills in; reading dog behaviour, understanding the influence of genetics on dog behaviour and their breeds, and constructing behavioural modification and training plans. As part of my complex skill assessment, I taught an enthusiastic English Staffordshire terrier to ride a skateboard on cue,” said An proudly.
The Adoption Centre has seen quite a few changes put in place since the covid-19 outbreak.
“The biggest change is the introduction of thorough telephone screenings of all potential adopters. Currently, we are unable to have visitors casually pop in to view animals as they normally would. In an effort to reduce foot traffic, the Adoption Centre is now open by appointment only. Therefore we need to have in-depth phone conversations with all potential adopters to ensure that only people who are suitably matched to an animal are invited in,” explains An.
An believes there are countless reasons why choosing to adopt a shelter animal is the right choice.
“The biggest reward is knowing that you are not only giving them another chance at life, but also helping the shelter to continue its work assisting other animals in need.”
Thank you An for all that you do for our shelter animals.