Policies and Procedures for Volunteers
- Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age to volunteer at the shelter. Volunteers that are between the ages of 14-17 must go through an interview process before volunteering, and will need to be accompanied by a parent to all trainings and shifts for the first 3 months. Not all volunteers between the ages of 14-17 will be accepted.
- Time Committment and Shifts
- Volunteers will be required to make a minimum time commitment of at least 2 hours/week for 3 months to be considered. Shifts will be the same time every week and we will do our best to accommodate volunteer schedules and requests. We will try and accommodate requests for lower hours if possible, but none of these projects will involve working directly with the animals
- Customer Service
- Volunteers need to be professional and friendly during any interaction with a customer. Only volunteers that have trained as Animal Care Specialist volunteers will be able to assist customers with animal visits. All customer requests can be forwarded to the front desk to be resolved by an employee.
- Privacy Information
- The Chameleon database contains information protected by confidentiality laws and volunteers are not allowed to share any information contained in Chameleon with outside parties. Information stored in Chameleon is not to be changed or altered in any way. Door codes and computer login information are also not to be shared. Unauthorized release of information may result in legal proceedings.
- Proper footwear is essential while working at the shelter. Closed-toe shoes, preferably athletic shoes, need to be worn while working with the animals. No sandals are allowed. Long pants are also encouraged. Short skirts are not allowed. Please wear comfortable clothing as these are hands-on jobs. Volunteer aprons need to be worn when working with the animals. Each apron should have a bottle of “Direct Stop” in it and a bottle of hand sanitizer.
- We encourage volunteers to foster if they are able. All fostering needs to be approved through the adoption department and proper forms need to be filled out.
- Off-Property Volunteers
- Certain dogs are allowed to leave the property with volunteers to go to parks and for longer walks in the neighborhood. Any volunteer leaving the property with an animal needs to check with an Animal Care Supervisor or Lead before leaving. Please have all dogs back by 4:30 and they cannot be gone over 3 hours. Please do not take dogs further than neighborhood walks on Saturdays, since it is the busiest adoption day.
- Disease Protocol
- Volunteers can now work with cats in the Cattery. Please sanitize your
hands before and after each individual cat you touch. When working with
cats in the Cattery (or taking them to the Cat Socialization room), hands
MUST be sanitized between animals. Make sure not to handle animals that
have signs indicating they are being treated by the veterinarian.
When working with dogs it is important to sanitize hands between each animal. Sanitizer can be found in the volunteer room and should be carried in your apron at all times. Remember to clean up after animals that you have been socializing both inside and outside of the shelter.
- Kennel Safety Basics
- Please always be aware of your surroundings. Watch to make sure that
you do not remove animals from kennels when other animals or customers are
walking nearby. Animals can react unpredictably when in a stressful kennel
environment. Do not walk a dog near other animals while in the shelter.
Also look into an outside run before bringing a dog outside.
Remember to always check an animal’s body language before removing him from the kennel. If an animal shows signs of fear or aggression in their body posturing, do not remove him from the kennel.
- Dog Fights
- There is always the potential for dog fights to happen in a kennel environment.
In the event of a fight, do not attempt to break the fight up yourself.
Try to split animals up through use of air horns, kennel hoses, or quickly
find a staff member to assist you. Dogs should not be taken out together
if they do not share a kennel.
It’s important to remember some basics about dog behavior to avoid dog fights:
- Dogs that get along with some dogs do not necessarily get along with ALL dogs
- Dogs that get along with another particular dog in some situations (such as kennel mates) will not necessarily get along in all situations (such as around toys outside in the yard)
- Walking through the shelter is stressful for an animal. Keep him/her away from all other animals walking nearby
We ask that volunteers not come in large groups (more than 2 or 3 individuals), since our shelter space is limited.