BADRAP's facility was designed to serve as a modest but effective shelter for homeless dogs in crisis as well as a working classroom for adopters, shelter staff and rescue workers. Most of the dogs in BADRAP's adoption program start out in the kennels here and stay in the homelike setting for a few days or several months, and depending on what they need from us, rest, heal and recover before moving onto foster homes or adopted families. In some cases, dog with severe medical or behavior challenges stay here as a gentle ending to a difficult life. (Read about: Compassion Cases)
The barn, as described by Missy Seu for The Coastal Canine Magazine:
The facility sits on a half acre in the Oakland hills. The main structure is a “barn,” unlike any other. It is configured with indoor kennels. Each one has a comfortable homelike setting complete with overstuffed chairs, as well as an outdoor hatch. All indoor kennels also have windows letting in natural light so the dogs can look out each morning to see the sunrise. In addition, the windows provide a warm patch of sunlight to nap in at least once a day. There are also five outdoor dog runs. The large exercise area on the property includes agility equipment to add an extra dimension to playtime. Link to ARTICLE. To see the full photo spreads detailing the barn's features: FLIPBOOK (Page 18-21)
Our dog handlers become an important anchor for the dogs during this time at the barn. They serve as the dogs' family and provide everything from clicker training to nose work fun to toenail trims to play parties to plain old fashioned cuddling on the sofa -- all of it is crucial to the dogs' well being and recovery. In addition to meeting the dogs' daily needs, the BR crew works with potential adopters and visitors who want to learn more about the breed, both at the barn and during our weekends at Berkeley Animal Care Services. They're a wealth of information to a world that is waking up to the joy of the American Pit Bull Terrier and its mixes. Does it sound like we're bragging? We are. This is a very special group of people who give their heart and soul to the dogs. It's not all hugs and happies though. Cleaning up smelly kennels with smeared dog poo is less than glamorous, some of the dogs' intial behaviors (whining! barking! jumping up and demanding attention) can test even a true Saint's patience and the compassion cases that occasionally come to spend their final days with us tug at all our heartstrings. You have to learn to accept the good with the sad with this work, but the rewards are life changing, to say the least.
If this kind of work interests you, please
1. Read our job description to learn more about job requirements, then
3. Consider signing up as a shelter volunteer with Berkeley Animal Care Services to gain necessary skills in BADRAP's Pit Ed class.
4. After our barn orientation and an informal interview, you may be invited to sign on for a mentorship and recieve on the job training. Barn crew members commit to several hours of mentored shifts before 'graduating' to full membership status. We train you and in exchange, you make a longterm commitment that includes 4-6 hours of volunteer work per month.
We hold orientations for Barn Crew prospectives 2-3 times a year. After we have a brief email exchange and review your application to learn about your current skills and interest, you will be put on a short wait list until the next orientation - usually within the same season that you submit your request. If you want to jumpstart this process, we strongly encourage you to join us at Berkeley's weekend Pit Ed classes to learn favorite techniques for helping (shelter) diamonds in the rough get ready for adoption. Our very best dog handlers and team members start out this way. Going through Berkeley Animal Care Service's orientation is quick and easy, and lines you right up to be a Pit Ed handler with our crew on weekend mornings. More info on BACS' volunteers and orientation dates: HERE.
Thanks so much for your interest! For more backstory on the Barn Crew, visit: