Group Volunteer Coordinator at Austin Animal Center
Lorian Epstein has been a devoted animal lover since she was old enough to coax the stray neighborhood cats and dogs off the street and help return them home (or adopt them!). As a youth, she got involved with (and subsequently obsessed with) dog training and behavior modification with a rescued stray dog, Loki, who taught her about separation anxiety and the incredible bond that animals and humans can develop. Lorian spent hours researching and practicing training methods, and eventually became a certified dog trainer at Petco where she taught private and group dog training classes modeled after Patricia McConnel’s positive, reward-based training publications. In 2015, Lorian started volunteering at Austin Animal Center, fell in love with the animals and people at the shelter, and, inspired by the No Kill commitment, was determined to make shelter work a part of her career. Lorian was hired as the Group Volunteer Coordinator in August of 2016, and then moved into the role of Adult Dog Foster Coordinator in January of 2017. In addition to expanding on the existing foster program, Lorian co-coordinates the Maddie’s® Medium and Large Adult Dog Foster Apprenticeship, which brings shelter leaders from across the country to Austin, Texas to learn how to implement and maintain foster programs for adult dogs. Lorian continues to volunteer and expand her knowledge and skills with positive reinforcement training, especially with local group Dogs Out Loud, and is passionate about finding excellent, permanent homes for AAC’s longest-stay, adult dogs by way of the foster program.
Lorian currently lives with her soul-dog, Bentley, who came into her life with generalized high anxiety, separation anxiety, and leash reactivity and the two have spent 9 years helping each other learn and grow into better, balanced beings!