Adopt-a-Shelter Program  

The Adopt-a-Shelter Program is designed to help municipal Animal Control Officers (ACO) provide a dog that is “ruff” around the edges a better chance of being adopted.  The program focuses on training basic life skills, providing impounded dogs with mental and physical enrichment and reducing kennel stress.  

The program was designed with the knowledge of the limited time and resources many ACO’s face in their daily jobs.  There are three program elements; quick tip sheets, volunteer visitation and support for the dog after adoption by offering reduced cost training classes to your adopters.   

The Our Companions belief is that every animal deserves a loving home.  By implementing the Adopt-a-Shelter Program we hope to help you find homes for canines that have found their way to your shelter.  

Quick Tip Sheets  

The Quick Tip Sheets provide quick and easy training exercises and enrichment ideas that can be incorporated into your current shelter operations. Please feel free to contact Our Companions with any questions, comments or success stories we can share with other facilities.  

O.C. Volunteer Visitation  

Many times, a dog that is very good natured but has no manners will find their way to your shelter.  If this is the case the Volunteer Visitation part of the program will help the making of an adoptable canine.  To be accepted into the program the dog must undergo a behavioral evaluation. This is conducted for the safety of the volunteer and to provide feedback as to what to focus upon during the visits.  

During the visit the volunteer may work on teaching the dog basic manners (sit, loose leash, a cute trick). The volunteer and the dog will practice settling and calm behavior to help the dog relax in the home environment.  Work will also include manners while greeting new people and calm exiting /entering the kennel.  

The volunteers that staff this program are members of O.C. Canine College program and have participated in a training program that addresses common concerns seen in shelter dogs.   This program is based on volunteer availability. We apologize in advance if we do not have a volunteer that can accommodate the need.  A written agreement outlining the volunteer visitation is attached. This will be completed prior to the volunteer working with the dog.


Adopt-a Shelter Program Contact and Information Sheet 

Our Companions Contact Information: 


(Our Companions Volunteer Name / Phone, Email)  


Program Administrative Contacts: 

Deanna Nickels Our Companions Canine College Manager 860-377-4922 [email protected]  

Marie Joyner Our Companions Canine Operations Director 860-372-8809 [email protected] 


Animal Control Facility Contact Information: 


Name of Dog(s) Involved in Program:  Rabies Certificates on File?


Dates and Times Agreed Upon for Volunteer Service: 


Specific Facility Procedures (training areas, kennel exit, and entrance, scheduling visits): 


Canine Concerns (diet restrictions, equipment required, dog reactivity): 


Training Goals:


Adopt-a-Shelter Program Volunteer Agreement  


I, _____________________________, am offering my volunteer services as part of my involvement in Our Companions  

(volunteer name) 

Animal Rescue’s Canine College Program at _____________________________, here in referred to as “Shelter”. 

(Shelter name) 


[ ] I understand that I will receive no compensation, employment benefits or insurance coverage of any kind from Shelter. 


[ ] I understand that since I will be working around and with animals I will be exposed to some risks of personal injury or property damage. By my execution of this document I acknowledge that I am aware of the extent and nature of those risks and therefore do hereby release Shelter from any and all liability. 


[ ] I will work at the Shelter only on those dates and times as noted on the Contact and Information Sheet and I will not bring any friends, guests or family members during my assigned work hours, unless agreed up by Shelter. 


[ ] I furthermore understand that this agreement may be revoked, rescinded, amended or voided at any time by Shelter. 


Volunteer Name: ________________________________ 

Signed: ________________________________________ 


Date: __________________________________________