Welcome New HCAS Volunteers !
Please read the guidelines below to help acquaint you with some of the HCAS Volunteer ”Safety Rules and Policies”
BEFORE WORKING AT THE SHELTER, ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST COMPLETE A HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY VOLUNTEER APPLICATION AND ATTEND A VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION.
Link to Volunteer Application Form. Please print, fill out, and bring with you to the shelter when you attend orientation.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Volunteers 16 or 17 years of age require parental permission which must be completed on the application form.
Please wear appropriate clothing. You may get dirty with feces, urine, and food. Please keep this in mind. You must wear closed – toed shoes, long pants, Capri length pants or long walking shorts. You must wear your volunteer t-shirt and name tag. T-shirts and Scrub shirts are available. Please contact Terrie DiSalvo for pricing and shirts.
Volunteer T-shirts are $10. Please bring cash, as we cannot accept debit or credit cards or checks.
Please remember to sign in and out. The volunteer sign-in book is located in the shelter hallway by the Supervisor’s offices. Also, please call in advance to let us know if you can’t work on a day you are scheduled. Saturdays tend to have more people than Sundays. We are usually in need of people during the week, especially now that we are open 7 days a week.
When interacting with the public always be courteous and friendly. Always wear your name tag. If you are asked questions and you are unsure how to answer them, please have a staff person or senior volunteer assist you.
Report and hazards to staff (wet floor, spilled liquid, etc) or clean them up.
When you go in and out of the shelter through any of the gates, you MUST CLOSE THEM BEHIND YOU.
Use of computers and phones. Animal Service office phones, cell phones and all computers are for business use only. Please refrain from using any of these items for personal use. Any violation of this guideline could result in termination of service. Use of your own personal cell is permitted when on a break, not when handling animals and for limited time frames.
Any information pertaining to Hillsborough County records and cases which you may become privileged to (including names, addresses, phone numbers, etc) as a result of your position is confidential and may not be discussed with others. Under some circumstances Animal Control staff may be prohibited from discussing with you certain specific details regarding cases that are under investigation , or pending criminal court action. Volunteers are specifically prohibited from discussing any aspect of Animal Control records and cases with any representative of the media.
Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas only. Please check with a supervisor or staff member for location of these areas.
Remember you are working with dogs and cats that may bite and scratch. If an animal appears afraid, do not approach it. Wait and see if their demeanor changes, or ask staff for assistance. IMMEDIATELY REPORT any animal bite or scratch DIRECTLY to a supervisor OR volunteer coordinator.
When walking a dog always pick-up after it.
Use caution and common sense getting a dog in or out of a kennel or cat out of a cage. ** Only volunteer who have completed the animals handling/shelter safety class can walk or hold animals.
Remember to go into the kennel and shut the door behind you to leash up or unleash. An extra precaution against a dog getting loose is to shut the door leading to the kennels before entering the cage.
Do not go into the ‘sick’ cat room, cat investigation room, or the dog investigation kennels unless you are trained to work in these areas.
**Remember- a sick animal can easily spread disease throughout the shelter. Cats easily spread respiratory illnesses. Do not let any cats ave nose to nose contact. Handle animals one at a time. Report any potential illnesses to vet services.
** WASH YOUR HANDS IN BETWEEN HANDLING ANIMALS!**
Please report any unusual activity. This may include the way the public is handling an animal, or a cat sneezing – or has weeping eyes. Maybe unusual looking feces or vomit in a kennel. If you are working with a family with small children remind the parent to closely supervise their children. Cats can scratch and dogs can bite.