Hey Austin! Two busy, local ladies have hatched a brilliant idea that will make a ton of difference in the lives of shelter dogs, and they need your help. 

Catelyn Silapachai of The Distillery jewelry and home decor shop, along with close friend and dog lover Melissa Masello have teamed up to create a program that gets dogs out of their kennels and in front of potential adopters. They call it 1 Dog 1 Hour, because it takes away many of the excuses that arise when it comes to volunteering our precious time.

The concept is pretty self explanatory. “Our mission is simple: 1 HOUR of your time to walk 1 DOG. That’s it,” their website explains. “No commitment. No schedule. Just drop by your local shelter and offer to help give the dogs some exercise whenever you can.”

“After years of volunteering together in greyhound rescue and collaborating as female entrepreneurs, Catelyn and I knew that there had to be a way that we could leverage our influencer and business community to amplify our efforts — not just for the greyhounds, but for all rescue dogs and cats and other animals,” Masello told Austin.com.

“So, we started brainstorming ways that we could make it as easy as possible for people to get involved,” she added. “Many of our friends and colleagues told us that they were afraid of fostering, or even stepping foot in the shelter, because they didn’t think they’d be able to resist adopting.”

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“The process to walk a dog at Austin Animal Center is about as easy as it could possibly be, and you don’t even have to interact with other humans if you don’t want to,” the 1 Dog 1 Hour website explains. “Here’s how simple it is, and it requires no training…”

First, head out to Austin Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop, Austin, TX 78702

Follow the signs around the facility that give instructions on how to walk a dog, or ask a volunteer for assistance. Any medium or large breed dog with a green dot on their kennel card may be waked inside of the shelter’s perimeter without having to go through volunteer training.

After choosing a pal, take them through the interior shelter grounds for a long stroll, check out the agility equipment, or spend some time in one of the fenced-in dog runs for some off-leash play time.

Be sure to take a picture with your new friend and post it to your Instagram (and be sure to tag 1 Dog 1 Hour), along with any notes about their likes, dislikes, personality, anything you think potential adopters should know.

Log your visit on the volunteer board before you leave the shelter so that staff and volunteers know as much about the dog as possible.

Find 1 Dog 1 Hour on Facebook and Pinterest, and keep an eye out as they continue to grow and help even more shelter animals. They’ll also be hosting a launch party soon (date TBD, but check back with Austin.com for the info). Now, get to walking, Austin!


Featured photo by Chelsea Laine Francis, courtesy 1 Dog 1 Hour

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