Volunteering

Every volunteer must fill in an information form, provide proof of civil liability insurance and sign a copy of these regulations to show that you understand them and agree with them. The refuge will also sign the regulations.

All minors must be accompanied by one of their parents who must also sign the regulations.

All new volunteers must be accompanied by an experienced volunteer for at least their first few visits and must agree to the following instructions.

  • As volunteers may be the victim of an accident, or may cause an accident involving another volunteer, insurance documents must be submitted at the beginning of each year as proof that you are personally covered by civil liability insurance for the year.
  • The signed copy of the refuge regulations along with your personal information sheet and a copy of your civil liability insurance will be kept in a file at the refuge. These are available to you and to any of the staff or those responsible for volunteers at the refuge.
  • Whatever tasks you undertake at the refuge, you must follow the direction and guidance that is on display around the refuge.
  • You do not have the right to give orders to members of staff, nor to criticise their requests either in front of them or in front of visitors.
  • Members of staff cannot give orders to volunteers. Only those responsible for the running of the refuge can do this (this may include senior members of staff, members of the steering committee, or the volunteer coordinator)
  • Each volunteer must respect other volunteers.
  • All suggestions about how to improve the running of the refuge or the conditions of the animals here are welcome
  • Any member of the steering committee has the right to ask a volunteer to stop what they are doing and forbid them from accessing the refuge site. The volunteer may ask to meet the steering committee, although in such matters, the opinion of the steering committee carries the most weight.
  • The animals of the refuge can carry illnesses and diseases. It is therefore advised that you change your clothes and disinfect your hands and the soles of your shoes before returning home or touching your own animals. It is also advised that you keep your own animals’ vaccinations up to date. You should also ensure you are up to date with your own tetanus vaccinations.
  • The majority of our dogs have often had a miserable or distressing past. As a consequence, we ask our volunteers to be conscious of this and to consider their actions before getting involved in our association.

You should:

  • always follow specific orders
  • respect the signs forbidding the taking out of certain dogs (for aggression or for health reasons)
  • never take any risk if you are faced with a dog who is growling or who is afraid in order that you avoid getting bitten
  • pick up information about unfamiliar dogs at reception
  • never throw treats or biscuits into the enclosures as this can cause fights
  • never give overweight dogs treats
  • never give treats to dogs who have specific health risks (marked on their enclosures)
  • ensure that you give treats to dogs in a way that is hygienic (do not drop treats on the floor) and avoids injury (be careful with dogs who do not have good food manners)
  • ensure you give treats in a way that is not likely to cause fights between dogs
  • socialise fearful dogs by sitting with them in their enclosures and familiarising them to your touch and to the lead
  • make sure the lead is always secure when you are walking your dog
  • never let dogs off outside the refuge: the parcs in the heart of the refuge are for this activity
  • keep to the edges of paths and corridors when passing other volunteers, dogs, walkers or people on bikes etc so that you do not run the risk of fights or of falling over
  • walk all of the dogs, even if it is inevitable that you will have favourites, you must treat them as equals
  • avoid taking out dogs that you are afraid of or who are too big for you
  • take dogs that you are sure you can control at all times on the walk
  • take dogs out as pairs, stay together and do not be afraid to take powerful dogs out with another couple, having one dog between two of you
  • do not underestimate how powerful a dog can be
  • make sure you close the gates to the enclosures securely
  • tell a member of staff if you notice any health problems such as blood, diarrhea or injury
  • never wear sandals or flip-flops
  • wear shoes that preferably have a rubber sole
  • make sure you put the pegs in the appropriate places
  • remember where you got the dog from and the name of the dog
  • read the guidance on the enclosure