TUSTEP only has the capacity for a few new puppy raisers every year, but the organization is immensely popular. We offer several options for our members to get involved with both our puppies, and those in the community.

 

Puppy Raising

 We select a handful of raisers each academic year, after an incredibly competitive selection process. Our dogs are delivered to campus in August at the beginning of the fall semester and from that point on, we devote ourselves to training these dogs on a strictly volunteer basis. Tulane’s funding of our club covers the veterinary bills; however, we are responsible for purchasing all the food, toys, and grooming supplies for the dogs. Over the next year and a half, we dedicate over 13,000 hours to these dogs, taking care of them night and day in preparation for their placement. The raising process entails training the dogs on thirty basic commands (including potty training,) etiquette in all manner of situations, and socializing them to different stimuli and environments.

 

Puppy Sitting

 

 One of the best ways to socialize our dogs (and to relieve our tired raisers) is to allow TUSTEP members the opportunity to puppy sit the puppies. Most puppy raisers need sitters at least once a week, be it to go to a lab class, study, or simply get some R&R, so there are plenty of opportunities to go around. To become a puppy sitter, you must attend a sitting class offered at the beginning of every semester, followed by a trial run with the dogs to ensure that our rules will be followed (there are a lot!) After you complete this process, you can puppy sit any dog, any time that they may be available. You can bring the puppy to class or into other buildings, just as raisers do, or simply play with and tire them out, depending on the raiser’s request. It’s fun, lower commitment than raising, and leads to tons of super cute photo opportunities!

 

Committees

TUSTEP has five committees that any member is eligible to join. Each committee has a unique purpose working toward TUSTEP’s mission and is run by an elected E-Board member and appointed committee head(s). 

Training Committee

Training Committee is a great way to get an inside look and learn more about what it takes to puppy raise/train a TUSTEP dog! Training Committee members attend the large club training sessions held bi-weekly, as well as more hands on training tutorials to get personalized instruction and experience in handling the dogs. Members of the committee also suggest ideas to help make large club training sessions more effective. The committee is overseen by the TUSTEP President. 

Community Service Committee

Community Service Committee aims to engage TUSTEP with the New Orleans community. We connect with local schools and other organizations to educate the public about service dogs and the etiquette and legislation associated with service dogs. Additionally, we arrange volunteering opportunities to support local animal shelters. The committee is overseen by the TUSTEP Secretary.

Engagement Committee

This committee is overseen by the TUSTEP Engagement Director. The purpose of the Engagement Committee is to provide opportunities to all members of TUSTEP to connect with each other through programming and voluntee events and as a result create a greater sense of unity within the organization. As a group, we will collaborate in planning in-reach events (geared specifically toward the members of TUSTEP), volunteering, and campus events throughout the semester. 

Fundraising Committee

Fundraising Committee plans and executes events to raise money for the puppies’ vet bills and other club expenses. Some past events have included Freshman Care Packages, Homecoming TAILgate, Puppies and Pastries, and Valentines Day PuppyGrams. The committee brainstorms new ideas, reaches out to potential sponsors and partners, and helps run the events. The puppies play an integral role in attracting people to our fundraisers, and committee members may have the opportunity to watch a puppy at an event if their raiser cannot attend. If you’re creative, love marketing and event planning, or simply want to get more involved, then Fundraising Committee is for you! The committee is overseen by the TUSTEP Vice President. 

Social Media Committee

Social Media Committee oversees both marketing and education outreach for TUSTEP. Committee members will have opportunities to design and sell TUSTEP merchandise, designing a TUSTEP website, coordinate social media posts and campaigns, and work closely with fundraising committee on fundraising events and announcements, such as making posters or obtaining merchandise and supplies. This committee is overseen by the TUSTEP Marketing Director.