Volunteer Section 3

Section 3

TFAWC Volunteer Program
Administrative Policies for Volunteers

True Friends Animal Welfare Center


To be successful in meeting the objective of protecting the lives of our homeless animals, the management team understands that it requires a United Community. Therefore, True Friends will keep the strong traditions of the shelter while expanding its functions to make it a true community center.


True Friends Animal Welfare Center
Volunteer Handbook

TFAWC Administrative Actions     

1.         Kennel Rules
2.         Conflict Resolution
3.         Volunteer Waiver
4.         Administrative Policies

Management Requirements

Volunteer’s Chain of Command – An established chain of command creates efficiency when reporting problems or communicating issues and/or questions. This is the formal line of authority, communication, and responsibility within the TFAWC organization for staff and volunteers.

Direct any issue, complaint, problem, and/or question to the acting TFAWC manager. Management has the authority to correct operational issues or day-to-day activities as needed. This can be communicated verbally and/or in writing. Try to work all operational issues out with the center’s manager before escalating the issue to the Board. If this fails, or if the issue is in reference to management, or the issue needs immediate attention and management is unavailable, then voice your concerns, (in writing if necessary) to the Board of Directors.

Please direct any scheduling issues to the Volunteer Coordinator.

Volunteer Attire – Volunteers must dress appropriately throughout all volunteer participation. Our insurance requires that volunteers be easily identified by the public as a TFAWC volunteer and that your attire be appropriate for the task at hand.

Event volunteers must wear a TFAWC shirt and/or name badge identifying them as a volunteer. Shirts are available periodically for pre-order or through our website as inventory is available. Attire requirements will be posted with each event’s information.

While dog walking, you are required to wear a TFAWC shirt, comfortable long pants, and closed heel and toe shoes, suitable for hike type walking. This will significantly decrease your chances of getting nips, scratches, and/or other injuries.

Kennel Policies

  • All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
  • All kennel notices must be observed and followed.
  • Never handle an animal with a warning sign or an “Authorized Only” sign unless you have had proper handling  training and have permission. ALWAYS PUT SAFTEY FIRST!
  • No admittance is allowed in TFAWC’s back kennel unless you have been trained, given permission, and are over the age of 18, or you are accompanied by an adult who meets the above requirements.
  • Communicate professionally, as human interaction is a requirement of ALL volunteer roles. No arguing, foul language, or confrontations with public, staff and/or other volunteers. We understand that shelter involvement can be stressful, but we are to present ourselves professionally at all times while representing TFAWC. Please report any issues to Volunteer Chain of Command.
  • Wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.

Dog Walker Policies

  • Never put yourself in a dangerous position or in any situation where you are uncomfortable. Be aware of your surroundings and look for any possible or potential problem
  • Take your cell phone with you and keep emergency numbers and the shelter’s number handy.
  • ONLY walk dogs you are capable of controlling in all circumstances.
  • ALWAYS use the appropriate equipment in the proper manner as trained.
  • Never let dogs approach other people, dogs or vehicles.
  • Keep dogs on shortly held leashes in the kennel area.
  • Avoid kennel or cage fighting by taking dogs out the back-side doors when possible and walking the dog as far away from the other dogs as possible.
  • Only walk in designated areas and clean up messes from the trail walkway.
  • Do not over-exercise animals that are not capable or are unwilling to walk, such as elderly, puppies, overweight or disabled dogs.
  • Use common sense when walking. Examples: do not stand on hot tarmac or cement for any length of time in hot weather; small or short coated dogs should not be out in cold weather for extended walks; be extremely careful walking in inclement weather, etc.
  • If a fight or potential fight breaks out between dogs, SCREAM for help, try and get a catch pole, but NEVER grab dogs’ collars or put your body or hands in the way of an engaged or potential fight.
  • Please be kind and courteous to the animals.
  • Report any problem or concern to the manager.

Cat Cuddler Policies

  • When handling the cats be aware of which cats are fractious or testy. Be careful and gentle when handling any cat or kitten to avoid bites and/or scratches.
  • Be especially careful and gentle when handling the kittens.
  • Never bathe a kitten unless it is approved by management.
  • Small children must ALWAYS be supervised one-on-one by a parent and shown how to properly handle a cat or kitten safely.
  • Use appropriate toys and equipment to play with or groom cats.
  • Use common sense when cuddling. Examples: Do not over-cuddle animals that are not capable or are unwilling to cuddle, such as elderly, very small kittens.
  • Please be kind and courteous to the animals.
  • Report any problem or concern to the manager.

The Four R Policy:
Read – Recognize/Respect and Respond

Please – Read the Signs: Know when an animal has had enough handling/walking or does not want to be handled/walked. Recognize & respect their limitations. Respond appropriately.

1. If an animal has just been brought into TFAWC and/or their kennel is marked as “Do NOT Handle”, please, respect management’s educated decision and do not handle that animal until the notice is gone.

2. If an animal appears to be tired, fussy or is known to dislike handling/walking, is older and having a bad day and is known to be injured, please do not handle/walk or play with that animal.

3. Weather plays a big part in outside handling, please be conscious of an animals behavior in extreme weather situations: To hot/cold = less time out, if any.

4. If an animal appears to be sick and/or injured contact Management immediately and do not handle/walk.

5. Most decisions will need to be made on the spot and using common sense, but NEVER hesitate to ask Management any questions. Always inform Management of any kennel concerns, injuries and/or illnesses.

Remember, if cage is not marked “Do NOT Handle”, please do not handle.

TFAWC Administrative Action
Leadership and Teamwork 

To be successful in meeting the objective of protecting the lives of our homeless animals, the management team understands that it requires a United Community. Therefore, True Friends will keep the strong traditions of the shelter while expanding the functions to make it a true community center.

TFAWC Administrative Polices
Conflict Resolution

We believe that the best way to handle any misunderstanding is to communicate honestly about it as soon as it happens. That is why we have an open door policy for bringing volunteer concerns to the attention of the people who can best do something about them. We stress that no member of the executive board is too busy to answer questions or discuss your concerns.

Although we believe that good communication among all volunteers will help prevent most concerns from arising, if you have a question or concern, here is what you should do:

Tell your Volunteer Coordinator your concern. You and the Volunteer Coordinator are encouraged to talk things over and resolve difficulties amongst yourselves whenever you can. A frank talk is usually the easiest and most effective way to deal with the problem.

If you do not find a solution to your concern or it is a subject that you prefer not to discuss with your volunteer coordinator, stop by and make an appointment with the President. The President will help you and your Volunteer Coordinator to gather the facts objectively and settle the matter. You should write down your issue and present your position to the President. The President will review all the facts, make a decision, and inform you of his/her decision in writing within thirty days, unless a complete investigation requires more extensive review.

It is the intent of the Executive Board of TFAWC that the President be the final arbiter of volunteer issues and/or concerns. In the event, however, that a volunteer’s issue or concern involves the President, then volunteers may present the issue of concern, either verbally or in writing, directly to any member of the Executive Board. The Executive Board will call a special meeting to discuss your issue within 30 days and the President shall recuse herself from said meeting. The Executive Board shall send a written notice of their decision within 45 days to the volunteer seeking the resolution.

Corrective Action Process

TFAWC reserves the right to terminate a volunteer’s connection with the organization at any time. However, the Volunteer Coordinator may provide verbal counseling and/or a written warning prior to termination, but is not required to do so.

Verbal Counseling – When a performance problem is first identified or inappropriate behavior is displayed, it should be brought to the attention of the volunteer as soon as possible. Informal discussion between the Volunteer Coordinator and the volunteer will often suffice as the corrective action needed for the infraction.

The Volunteer Coordinator should make and retain a written record of this conversation that summarizes the issues discussed and the date of the meeting.

Written Warning – If an informal discussion with the volunteer does not result in corrective action, the Volunteer Coordinator will prepare a written warning. This formal memorandum will highlight the prior counseling session and the subsequent infraction(s) leading to this warning.

This written warning should be addressed to the volunteer with copies given to the executive board and should include all of the information required by the disciplinary process.


If the volunteer’s performance continues to deteriorate or corrective action is not adhered to, the Volunteer Coordinator should, after consultation with the president, prepare and deliver to the volunteer a memorandum summarizing all previous corrective actions and the specific problem(s) that warranted the termination action. Possible reasons may include:

  • Failure to adhere to volunteer manual guidelines
  • Conduct on duty which could be detrimental to the organization and/or the animals, including any breach of confidence
  • Conduct off duty which could adversely affect the organization
  • Reporting to an event under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Theft of property or funds
  • No call/No show for two events
  • Any abuse or mistreatment of animals
  • Releasing of confidential information
  • Gross misconduct or insubordination

The decision for termination shall be made after securing the facts from all concerned parties. This decision may be referred to the executive board if the volunteer feels there is a grievance.

Volunteer Waiver
Release of liability

I recognize that working with animals places me at physical risk, and I agree to assume that risk. I realize that although TFAWC has taken all reasonable measures to protect me, accidents and injuries may still occur. Therefore, I hereby completely release and entirely discharge TFAWC from any and all claims and causes of action of negligence or gross negligence that I or another might have or bring relating to or arising from any injury or damage that I should sustain while assisting TFAWC or in connection with my volunteer work for TFAWC.

Understanding and acceptance of volunteer guidelines

I have read, understand and agree to the volunteer guidelines set forth in the TFAWC volunteer manual. I fully understand and agree that I am providing my services in a volunteer capacity without any expressed or implied promise of compensation. I agree to perform my volunteer duties to the best of my ability and to adhere to the guidelines detailed in the volunteer manual. I further understand that my volunteer involvement may be terminated for reasons including, but not limited to, those outlined in the volunteer manual.

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