Volunteer Section 2

Section 2 

Welcome to TFAWC
Volunteer Program

Process – Requirements – Expectations  

True Friends Animal Welfare Center is proud of the community support shown through its volunteer program. The goal of the volunteer program is to cultivate a dedicated, capable volunteer community that is meaningfully engaged in achieving the mission of True Friends Animal Welfare Center. New volunteers are always needed and a welcomed addition!


True Friends Animal Welfare Center
Volunteer Handbook

TFAWC application Process

1.       Volunteer Application Process
2.       Volunteer Participation Requirements
3.       Volunteer Expectations

TFAWC Volunteer Application Process
Definition of ‘Volunteer’

A “volunteer” is anyone who, without compensation or expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of an agency. A “volunteer” must be officially accepted and enrolled by the agency prior to performance of the task. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered as “employees” of the agency.

TFAWC Process – Requirements – Expectations

Requirement of Application – All volunteers must fill out a volunteer application prior to participation in any event with TFAWC. In addition, a waiver must be signed prior to participation in our events. All volunteer participation is subject to the exclusive discretion of TFAWC.

Age Requirements – Volunteers must be 18 years or older to volunteer at True Friends Animal Welfare Center. Many of the dogs that come to us have unknown histories. All persons working at our shelter need to be able to manage unpredictable situations.

In order to ensure the safety of the animals, staff and volunteers, True Friends Animal Welfare Center’s Liability Insurance company has determined that generally youth under the age of 18 are not appropriate for volunteering to walk the dogs with the organization. 

TFAWC understands that most youth have varying maturity levels. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to appropriately assess these differences and thus our policy is to limit our volunteer program to those 18 years of age or older.

Youth volunteers 17 and younger may participate through a parent or legal guardian in attendance with them. All TFAWC Teens members must fill out an application, sign a code of conduct agreement, and have their parent or guardian sign a release on their behalf. A handbook will be issued to TFAWC Teen participants at the start of their program.

Reference Checks – As part of the application process, foster parent applicants are asked to provide a veterinary reference for reference checks. The foster coordinator will call to check all veterinary references prior to a foster parent’s participation. If you do not have a veterinary reference available, please contact and establish a relationship for future veterinary visits. We will need to talk to the veterinary’s office and have them verify you have established contact with them. You will need to provide three personal references who also have knowledge regarding your ability to foster a pet. All foster homes function at the exclusive discretion of TFAWC.

Interview – All volunteer applicants are subject to personal interviews by the volunteer coordinator and/or members of the executive board. At TFAWC’s discretion, foster homes may have in-home interviews conducted in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regulations.

TFAWC Volunteer Participation

Attendance – All volunteers must participate in activities and/or events to be considered an active volunteer. Volunteers who sign up to participate in events but are no-shows for two events without just cause and notification will be removed from the volunteer list, pending review by the executive board.

Training and Supervision – Volunteer training will vary according to the volunteer’s position. All volunteers must attend an orientation with the volunteer coordinator or member of the executive board. After the orientation, the Volunteer Coordinator will make an evaluation to determine how best to utilize a volunteer’s time and skills.

Volunteers must be completely trained the day of the event or activity through the pairing of a Volunteer Mentor as well as a short demonstration given prior to the time that the event is open to the public and/or specialized animal training.

At the discretion of TWSFC, foster parents will be required to attend one foster parent orientation session before fostering and will continue to be supervised by the respective Foster Coordinator.

Volunteers are encouraged to explore multiple areas of TFAWC volunteer opportunities, as their time and experience will allow. Occasional online training sessions will also be provided to keep you up-to-date on our programs and goals.

Outside Training – Outside opportunities for training will be posted on our volunteer forum, as they are made available to us. TFAWC will not cover these costs unless specific grants or scholarships are made available.

Meetings – In place of formal meetings, TFAWC utilizes an online message board system. The message board postings allow for Q&A for volunteers on duties, policies, etc. Meetings will be held offline as needed and adequate notice will be provided. If you cannot attend an offline meeting, please notify the Volunteer Coordinator to make alternate arrangements.


Online Forum -TFAWC utilizes an online forum to coordinate activities and discuss our programs. Registration is open to anyone who wishes to volunteer his or her time with TFAWC

Event Participation – TFAWC participates in and hosts events, and volunteer commitment and ideas are essential to the success of our events. These events are designed to promote the adoption of our animals, encourage donations, and provide information to the public about our organization.

Required Community Service Hours – Volunteers needing certification of required community service hours must present all forms to the Volunteer Coordinator or assigned member of the executive board prior to start of volunteering. Signed forms will only be returned at the completion of all required service hours and will be subject to the approval of TFAWC.

TFAWC Volunteer Expectations

Volunteers are expected to be committed to TFAWC mission and philosophies and to conduct themselves appropriately when attending events. If you have questions regarding our programs or activities, please ask before participating.

Volunteers are not required to attend every activity or event, but if you agree to participate in an activity or event, you are expected to adhere to that commitment. If you choose to do so, you may cease volunteering with FTAWC upon the completion of any volunteer assignment, or when you are not currently engaged in an assignment. You may stay subscribed to the e-mail lists as long as you wish, regardless of your volunteering status with us. If you should decide to not volunteer with us any longer, we would appreciate it if you would please send the Volunteer Coordinator an e-mail to let us know that you will no longer be volunteering with us. We ask that you notify the Volunteer Coordinator so that other arrangements may be made in a timely manner, prior to our next event.

Confidentiality – All volunteers are expected to maintain confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer. This includes information that may involve board members, other volunteers, clients, sponsors and/or the overall business of TFAWC.

Conduct – As a volunteer, you are a representative of TFAWC. When involved in our events or when wearing your volunteer attire, you are expected to present a good image of the organization at all times. This includes language. Please be respectful of our attendants as well as your fellow volunteers. If you disagree with another volunteer, potential adopter, sponsor or event attendee, please refer the matter to the event coordinator. It is unacceptable to act unprofessionally at any time while at a TFAWC sponsored event or function.

Fundraising for TFAWC – You may encourage donations for TFAWC at any time. Donation jars may be made available to you as requested. Any direct or indirect solicitation of commercial businesses must be done through prior Board approval. You may feel free to present your lead at any time, but all correspondence needs to be handled through the board to keep our books in order and eliminate any miscommunication.

Media Procedures – So efforts are not duplicated and information is accurate, it is essential that any dealings with the media be brought to the attention of the TFAWC Management and/or the executive board. Media includes anything printed, broadcast, or televised about TFAWC. We welcome any contacts or story ideas you may have and ask that you direct them to the Board President.

Harassment – TFAWC maintains a policy forbidding harassment of volunteers whether by supervisory volunteers, fellow volunteers, or other individuals that a volunteer may come into contact with as part of their assigned task or event. Harassment is deemed to have occurred when the conduct interferes with the volunteer’s performance at the assigned task or event or creates a hostile environment for the volunteer. In turn, this policy is binding for any volunteer to be followed with strict adherence toward TFAWC employees, Board Members and/or the public.

TFAWC requests that any volunteer who may experience such harassment promptly notify the Volunteer Coordinator, the President (CEO), or an executive board member in order that an investigation can take place and appropriate action be taken.

Drugs and Alcohol – Drugs and alcohol are not to be used by volunteers during activities and events.

Theft – Theft of any TFAWC materials is cause for immediate dismissal from the volunteer program. Depending on the severity of the theft, legal action may also occur.

Health – All volunteers should be in general good health. Any physical limitation should be noted on the application for volunteer service so appropriate work may be selected. If it is discovered at the assigned event that you are unable to fully perform an assigned task, please consult with the Volunteer Coordinator promptly so that you can be assigned an alternative task.

Medical Coverage – All volunteers are required to sign a hold-harmless waiver for the protection of the organization and are required to have their own health insurance coverage before participating.

Communications (business documents, email, forum, blogs):

Business Documents
 Any documents produced or received by a volunteer during the course of his or her participation are the proprietary property of TFAWC and therefore, are not to be copied or transmitted to any other parties by any method, including but not limited to, E-mail transmission or physical removal, without the prior written consent of the President.

 The e-mail and Internet access provided by TFAWC to volunteers are solely for business purposes and therefore, TFAWC reserves the right to access and review any and all volunteers’ e-mail messages and Internet activity that stem from the sources provided by TFAWC. Thus, there should be no expectation of privacy in regards to any email or Internet activity that is derived from sources provided by TFAWC. In addition, TFAWC in its discretion may disclose the contents of e-mail messages and Internet activity when it determines that there is an appropriate reason to do so. All e-mail messages and records of Internet activity are also subject to backup or other form of electronic storage or reproduction.

Volunteers are not permitted to access the e-mail or Internet activity of any other volunteer without the approval of that volunteer or the approval of the President.

No one may solicit, promote or advertise any organization, product or service through the use of TFAWC e-mail accounts without approval of the Board President. Volunteers are not permitted to send e-mail that contains ethnic slurs, racial epithets, or anything that may be construed to harass or disparage others based on their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious or political beliefs.

TFAWC reserves the right to determine when a volunteer is sending excessive or improper e-mail.
The e-mail is TFAWC’s asset and is subject to review or monitoring at any time without notice.

If at any point you receive any e-mail that you feel is inappropriate, for any reason, and you believe you have received it in conjunction with your involvement with TFAWC, please forward the email and other details about the communication to the Volunteer Coordinator immediately.

Forum – 
The volunteer forum exists to facilitate ideas between volunteers, coordinators and the executive board. All participants are expected to be respectful of others. Profanity, sexual content, and harassment will not be tolerated. Messages are monitored and will be removed as needed. Your participation in the forum is exclusively at the discretion of TFAWC; therefore, if you post profane, untrue or harassing messages, your privileges to the forum may be revoked. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

 – Blogs by volunteers are encouraged to chronicle experiences with animal rescue. Volunteers are expected not to defame the organization or other volunteers. You must realize that blog content is held to the same standards as print and may be subject to libel claims. Your participation in the blog is exclusively at the discretion of TFAWC; therefore, if you post profane, untrue or harassing messages, your privileges to the forum may be revoked.

Suggestions – As you go about your volunteer activities, you may notice ways to improve the quality or efficiency of your volunteer service. We ask that you share these ideas with the Volunteer Coordinator through daily conversation, in meetings, or through a note via email, or you can use the volunteer forum to explain your idea. After considering your suggestion, the Volunteer Coordinator will let you know whether or not your suggestion will be implemented and, if so, what action will be taken. Be on the lookout for improvements. Your ideas can make a difference in the level of our success and the quality of our volunteer program.

Recruitment of Other Volunteers – Tell your friends about our program and entice them to volunteer their services.

Online Safety – The safety of our volunteers is important to us. To that end, TFAWC will not release a volunteer’s phone number, age or other personal information to anyone outside of our organization or to any other volunteer without that volunteer’s written permission to do so.

Photo Release – During my volunteer time with TFAWC, I understand my photo may be taken at various events and projects. By signing below I also hereby grant TFAWC permission to use my likeness in photograph(s) and/or video(s) in any and all of its publications or on the World Wide Web, whether now known or hereafter existing. I will make no monetary or other claim against TFAWC for the use of the photograph(s) and/or video(s).

True Friends Animal Welfare Center
“Giving Animals a Safe Refuge & Hope for a Second Chance.”