Volunteer Procedures and Requirements

Volunteer Procedures and Requirements

5 Freedoms of Animals

Scruffy Tails Humane Society (STHS) is committed to providing the best care possible to the animals under our care. All STHS staff and volunteers are expected to treat every animal with kindness and ensure the five freedoms for animals are maintained:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and disease
  • Freedom to express normal and natural behaviors
  • Freedom from fear and distress
  • Animals are to be treated kindly, gently and within established guidelines. Volunteers must support STHS policies both inside and outside the shelter.
  • To accept realistic assignments
  • To respect all confidential information
  • To respect professional attitudes, methods, etc.
  • To follow rules and act as an ambassador of STHS
  • To state your limitations
  • To follow through with commitments

Some volunteer positions will require training. When needed, staff will provide training and ensure understanding prior to expecting completion by the volunteer. Areas requiring training include but are not limited to:

  • Safe Animal Handling
  • Techniques in Kennel Areas
  • Sanitation Requirements
  • Shelter Software
  • Customer Service Support
Minor Aged Volunteers

Any volunteers ages 13-17 are required to have a parent or guardian present on STHS property. Parents or guardians are encouraged to take part in volunteering but are not required to. Unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, within an arm’s reach, no one between the ages of 13 to 17 will be allowed to interact with the animals.

Alcohol and Drugs

The sale, use, possession or transfer of a controlled substance or alcohol on the STHS premises is prohibited and illegal. Volunteers found under the influence of alcohol or controlled drugs will be instructed to leave the premises immediately and may be subject to termination.


Any form of harassment by a volunteer or staff is not permitted and will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination. If you are a victim of harassment, please report it to a supervisor immediately.

Injuries and Accidents

All accidents and injuries must be reported to a staff member who will then alert the Shelter Manager. If an injury to a volunteer occurs, an incident form will be completed by the volunteer and alerting staff member. If medical attention is required, the volunteer agrees to seek appropriate medical care and alert the Humane Society of any further pertinent information.

Professional Attitude
  • Take your commitment seriously
  • Keep all client data confidential. No names of individuals, families, businesses, information and/or photos are to be disclosed outside of our organization.
  • Be friendly and courteous to the public, staff, and other volunteers at all times
  • Be neat and accurate
  • Ask the staff questions if you are not sure of the absolute correct answer
Social Media
  • All events, animals or shelter information should come from STHS, not individuals.
  • Giving advice, or speaking in “we” or “our” language on our Facebook page is strictly prohibited.
  • You can give your personal positive experience with a certain animal and we encourage you to do so. DO NOT suggest that a certain animal would do well in a home or make comments about why an animal was returned. DO NOT give advice or recommendations on which animals to adopt.
  • Do not make announcements about who was adopted or answer questions about who is still at the shelter. Always refer people to the shelter either by email, phone or visiting in person to get their questions answered.
  • As a general guideline, we do not want to get into the habit of having conversations with people on our Facebook page. If there is a serious or complicated issue, we will answer the inquiry or direct message that person privately in order to keep our FB pages full of our mission and successes. There are exceptions to this guideline, but in that case the reply should come from a designated official.
  • Please share the links, updates and information from Facebook on your personal Facebook page. Help us spread the word and SAVE MORE LIVES!
Proper Dress

Volunteers must:

  • Wear comfortable clothes with freedom of movement.
  • Clothing must be considered “PG” and not display any inappropriate images, words, or phrases including but not limited to drug paraphernalia, foul language, sexual innuendos or images, or politically extremeist views.
  • Be well groomed and wear clean clothing with no tears or holes.
  • Wear closed toed, non-slip shoes.
  • No lowrider pants, short shorts, tank tops, or low-cut tops are allowed at the shelter.
  • Wear long pants that do not drag on the floor.
  • Large hoop or dangling jewelry are not allowed
  • Any visible tattoos must be considered “PG” and not display any inappropriate images, words, or phrases including but not limited to drug paraphernalia, foul language, sexual innuendos or images, or politically extremeist views.
Personal Property

STHS is not responsible for loss, theft or damage of personal items. We recommend leaving any valuable items at home.

Visitors and Personal Guests

Volunteers are discouraged from receiving personal visitors. Volunteers may not bring children under the age of 13 to the shelter, at any time, while on duty. Children ages 13 to 17 must follow the application process and requirements. Volunteers may not bring guests or friends into nonpublic areas at any time.


When STHS is closed to the public for a holiday, High Commitment Level volunteers, on a schedule and in possession of a key, are still permitted to come in and volunteer with the Shelter Manager’s prior knowledge. If their commitment cannot be met, they are expected to contact STHS management. Flexible volunteers will not be permitted to work during closed hours unless arrangements have been made.


Volunteers are not allowed to use shelter equipment and supplies for personal needs. This includes shelter computers, printers and software, or other shelter equipment unless given permission by a staff supervisor.

Media Inquiries

All media inquiries must be referred to the Board President. Volunteers may not speak on behalf of the Humane Society in any capacity.

Unauthorized Areas

Volunteers are not permitted in any unauthorized areas without staff approval.


Adoptions are contingent upon the volunteer meeting the guidelines and necessary paperwork
and payment of all applicable fees. Animals will not be placed on hold. Adoptions will take place on a first come, first served basis during regular business hours. Volunteers are expected to follow the same adoption process and adhere to the same adoption policies as the public.

Reasons for Dismissal
  • Failure to adhere to and/or misrepresent STHS policies and procedures
  • Unable to follow specific, appropriate instructions
  • Any abuse or unauthorized removal of an animal from STHS property
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Making a false spoken statement damaging to STHS’s reputation
  • Openly challenging the authority of any staff member
  • Verbally harassing other volunteers, staff or members of the public
  • Falsifying volunteer hours, documents
  • Misappropriation of STHS money or property
  • Misuse and/or damage to STHS property
  • Use, sale, possession, or distribution of a controlled substance or being under the influence of a controlled substance including alcohol
Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans. Potential zoonotic agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and internal and external parasites.
To protect yourself and our shelter animals:

  • Sanitize and wash hands thoroughly after handling an animal
  • Do not enter healthy animal areas after being in areas of animal quarantine
  • Change your clothing and shoes after visiting the shelter
  • Do not touch your face to an animal’s face and avoid allowing an animal to lick you
  • Read all signage posted on an animal’s kennel as this will notify you if an animal requires special handling
  • Ensure you are up to date on your tetanus shot

By submitting a volunteer application, you are agreeing to the Procedures and Requirements listed above.

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