Dog Walker (Former Employee) – Austin, TX – June 9, 2019
I worked at APA! for three months as a Part-Time Dog Walker. At first I loved it because everyone was so nice, friendly and accommodating. After my first month, I noticed it was a lie. People are forced to communicate with one another so as to seem friendly to potential adopters, and get more animals adopted. Seems like an okay thing at first, but then come the performance reviews, which despite my best efforts, I never exceeded expectations, regardless of my many improvements and money spent on my own gear to be more efficient. The upskilling they offer here is fast paced and done by a person from a very small team that reads off a piece of paper that never seems to have the proper information. Also, advancement is mandatory as a Staffed employee. You are required to work in all weather conditions, and the location on Cesar Chavez, where I worked, was notorious for flooding. With flooding, comes disease. They have animals that have distemper, parvo, ringworm, scabies, and demodectic mange, and when it floods, if you don’t have the proper gear (which isn’t provided to you) like rainboots, work pants, or a hat to wear, you can catch any of those or carry it on your clothes. That’s dangerous if you have pets of your own. Not to mention management has a terrible attitude, and will judge you visibly if they find anything to not like about you. After my second month of working there, they released an attendance policy. Let me say that again...AFTER TWO MONTHS, they released an attendance policy, meaning there wasn’t one to start with. Yet somehow they gave me write ups for havingmore... a broken AC to deal with at my apartment complex for 8 days, and pets of my own to keep from overheating in 88 degree weather. All in all, it’s a terrible place to work. Don’t even bother trying to be nice or even yourself with these people, cause if you don’t fit their views of what you should be or should do, you are immediately considered an outcast and not included in any of their “team” meetings or activities. Oh! And also? You don’t get a break if you’re Part-Time, so if you aren’t used to walking 3-5 miles a day for 5 hours straight, and are prone to heat exhaustion in 90 degree+ heat, you’re better off without knowing these people. They seriously only care about their animals, and have absolutely no idea how to run a business when it comes to their employees.less
Snuggle time with dogs, sometimes
Poor management, poor treatment of staff, overall feelings of being used
Vet Tech (Current Employee) – Austin, TX – April 11, 2019
The mission that APA works towards, keeping Austin no kill, is fantastic. Because of this, the staff that are attracted to work there are generally great, and everyone is in it for the right reasons. This sense of community and "all in it together", and putting the animals first, is the greatest thing about working there.
The issues come from upper management. There's such a focus on volunteer retention and foster retention, while staff are seen as expendable or replaceable. Discipline can be harsh or unfair, and great employees end up leaving because no one made them feel valued enough to stay. Rates of pay vary enormously from department to department in an arbitrary way.
I wouldn't recommend working there with the current staff culture, because it's all on you but you get the least amount of latitude and support. However, they treat their volunteers/fosters amazingly and that teamwork culture really thrives in those spheres. If you're committed to helping the animals in Austin, I would highly recommend volunteering or fostering, but find some other way to pay the bills.
Cheap healthcare/benefits, flexibility to change departments, great animals
No room for constructive negative feedback, staff receive poor feedback and personal development, little to no training, disorganized management style