Animal-Assisted Program Development at Rikers Island

  • East Elmhurst, NY, US

Interested? Please email danielle.kellizy@doc.nyc.gov or contact at 718.546.0914

The New York City Department of Correction is looking for volunteers to make an impact on our new Animal Assisted Programming efforts in the following areas:

Pet Therapy

Rikers Rovers Dog Training Program

The Youthful Offender Programs team is looking for animal care industry volunteers to help expand our Rikers Rovers dog training program and pet therapy at Rikers Island! We are looking for pet therapy teams, groomers, veterinarians and trainers to volunteer their time and expertise in various ways to teach new adolescent dog trainers all about caregiving, training and grooming dogs. For any students, ask how you can get credits! If you are able to spare your time in any of the following ways, we would love to speak with you more about our NYC history-making programs:

Flexible Weekday Scheduling: Mondays-Thursdays (12:00pm-3:00pm) and (4:00pm-8:00pm) Flexible Weekend Scheduling: Saturday/Sunday (1:00pm-5:00pm)

OPTION 1: PET THERAPY TEAMS

(will visit previously screened adolescent and young adult housing areas with therapy animals) Requirements:Strong knowledge of rewards-based, positive reinforcement animal training methods

Pet Therapy certifications (if applicable)

Examples of volunteer opportunities for pet therapy teams include but are not limited to:

  • Weekly or Monthly pet therapy visits
  • Demonstration/petting/relationship building with pet therapy animal
  • Speak to the participants about what exactly you (and your pet therapy animal) do, answer questions they might have.

OPTION 2: VETERINARY

Requirements: Standard Veterinarian or Vet Tech certifications/licensures

Examples of volunteer opportunities for veterinary track include but are not limited to:

  • Occasional vet services
  • Conduct demonstration or workshop on interesting vet topic
  • Speak to the participants about what exactly you do, answer questions they might have

OPTION 3: GROOMING

(demonstrate proper grooming/handling techniques)

Requirements: Currently a professional groomer

Examples of volunteer opportunities for grooming track include but are not limited to:

  • Occasional (monthly) grooming services
  • Conduct demonstration or workshop on basic grooming techniques
  • Speak to the participants about what exactly you do, answer questions they might have.

OPTION 4: TRAINING/BEHAVIOR

(teach through reward-based, positive reinforcement techniques only, training lessons to kids, agility, tricks, dog sports, etc…)

Requirements:

Strong knowledge of rewards-based, positive reinforcement dog training methodsAnimal behavior field students encouraged, not a requirementCPDT-KA preferred, not a requirement

Examples of volunteer opportunities for training/behavior track include but are not limited to:

  1. Weekly or monthly dog training services or dog sports equipment
  2. Work with Rikers Rovers designer to teach training and/or enrichment classes on a weekly/monthly basis
  3. Conduct demonstration or workshop on interesting dog training or dog sports topic
  4. Speak to the participants about what exactly you do, answer questions they might have.

The New York City Department of Correction Youthful Offenders The New York City Department of Correction Youthful Offenders logo

Areas of focus:

  • Rikers Island
    Hazen St.
    East Elmhurst, NY, US 11370
    See Map
  • Duration:

    3 months or longer
  • Time commitment:

    Occasional (weekly or monthly)
  • Times of day:

    Afternoons Evenings
  • Days of week:

    Weekdays Weekends
  • Schedule:

    Flexible schedule
  • Appropriate for:

    Groups

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The New York City Department of Correction Youthful Offenders The New York City Department of Correction Youthful Offenders logo

Areas of focus:


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