Volunteer Work (Former Employee) – Austin, TX – June 12, 2018
I actually volunteered awhile ago and agreed to clean and walk dogs but instead was put on painting the ceiling and just other stuff I wasn’t qualified for. It was so uncomfortable.
Any who, I was scheduled for an interview recently even though the pay was near minimum wage but I knew it would be a rewarding experience helping animals live long, great, happy lives. I arrived 15 mins early to building C as directed and it was complete chaos in there! Nowhere to sit or barely stand. I waited in line to talk to the receptionist and people kept stepping in front of me trying to get her attention. By the time I told the front desk I was here for my interview, I was almost late. 20 mins LATER my interviewer came out unprofessionally and escorted me to the 100 degree weather to have the interview (I understand I’d be outside a lot working in this weather but I was in nice dark pants and a long sleeve shirt lol). The interview was so dull and uninteresting to both of us it seemed. Granted, I had bugs, birds, and ants attacking me during the interview so it was pretty hard to concentrate and sound motivated. She kinda BSed along the way saying she had several interviews that day (which I doubt) but that she’d email me the following day. Never happened of course. This place is run down, old, stinky, and unprofessional. Go to another shelter like Austin Animal Center.
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