Parking in the shelter parking lot is reserved for the public. All volunteers are expected to park on the street. Please be mindful of the red zone in front of the mail boxes and do not block the back gate, even when it is closed.
We recommend that during your volunteer time at the shelter that you lock your personal items in your vehicle. We can store small items such as cell phones in a drawer, but have very limited space for such items as purses or backpacks.
Volunteer Sign‐in / Badges
Whenever you volunteer at the shelter, please make sure to sign in and out of the volunteer binder at the front desk, and have a staff member initial for you. Also, when signing in. please take a volunteer badge to clip to your clothing to identify you as a volunteer.
In the case of an emergency, we need to know who is here. In addition, we track volunteer hours to include in various reports to both the City and the public, and when writing grants.
For safety, no open toed shoes, tank tops, or shorts. Volunteers will be asked to change clothes or will be allowed to work only in the Laundry room. Volunteers are expected to wear:
- A t-shirt or swearshirt
- Jeans/cargo pants/scrubs (no sweats, yoga pants, or active wear pants) that completely cover your ankles
- Comfortable sneakers that you don't mind getting wet or dirty
The City of Chico Animal Shelter is a smoke‐free environment. If you need to take a smoke break, please go to the designated smoking area in the back field. Please make sure to extinguish all cigarettes and discard them properly. This will help keep our grounds neat and clean.
Off Limits Areas
The following areas are off limits unless instructed by a staff member, or if your volunteer duties involve passing through these areas in order to do your tasks.
Med Room – animals are treated here, and sick and potentially contagious animals can be housed in this room.
Intake Room – this is where animals are first examined when brought to the shelter
Connex Box – outdoor storage unit where supplies are kept.
Dog and Cat Quarantine Rooms – controlled areas where animals are being housed for Rabies observation, only vaccinated staff is permitted in these areas.
Livestock Shed / Workshop – tools, extra litter pans and cages, and other items are stored here.
- Work your assigned shift and be on time. Please notify a staff member as soon as possible if you are unable to make your assigned shift.
- Leave friends and family at home, unless they are also trained volunteers. Pets should be left at home as well, for their own safety and well being.
- Observe and follow all policies and procedures. The animals at the shelter depend on staff and volunteers to keep them safe and healthy. Preventing the spread of disease is a priority at the shelter, and many policies are based on keeping animals from getting sick. Animals are often very stressed in a shelter environment, and often don’t behave the same as they would in a home setting.
- Rules are in place to keep volunteers, staff, and animals safe in the shelter. Volunteers should be willing to respect all policies and procedures and act in a safe manner at all times.
- Be self‐motivated and thorough. You will be expected to work with a minimum amount of supervision. Being able to follow directions and retaining what you learn is vital. Please feel free to ask questions! Follow through on tasks and completing assignments ensures that animals are getting the best care possible.
- Be observant. When working with animals in the shelter it is important to be aware of any changes in an animal’s condition and to notice anything that seems unusual. We can provide training and support to help you learn what to look for.
- Be part of the team. Volunteers are expected to understand and support the policies of the Chico Animal Shelter so they can represent them to the public and the community at large. Our goal is to inform volunteers of our policies so the volunteer can determine whether volunteering is a good fit or not.
Working with the Public
If you are assigned to an area where you will be working with the public, please be respectful and courteous at all times. There is a binder under the front counter with policies and procedures and FAQ’s that you can refer to when needed. Answer questions and be helpful when you can. If you are unsure of any information, DO NOT GUESS, please refer questions to a staff person.
As a volunteer you may have access to records and conversations that are confidential. Any information pertaining to records and cases to which you may become privileged, including but not limited to names, addresses, phone numbers, or details of cruelty cases, is confidential and my not be discussed with others or removed from the shelter. This includes the personal information of adopters, donors or people surrendering pets. Under some circumstances staff may be prohibited from discussing with you specific details regarding cases that are under investigation, or pending criminal court action. Volunteers are specifically prohibited from discussing any aspect of records and cases with any representative of the media, as this is the sole responsibility of Animal Services staff. Any violation of this policy will lead to immediate dismissal and further action if deemed necessary.
Volunteers should direct all “media” requests to the Animal Services Manager. The term “media” includes all TV, radio, and print reporters, producers, photojournalists or print media, and/or anyone else associated with these mediums. Volunteers are encouraged to post and share on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, volunteers are not to represent Chico Animal Services or the City of Chico in their posts.
Only volunteers that have been trained by staff are permitted to handle animals or clean
cages. Animals still in their holding period are not to be handled by volunteers unless expressly directed and supervised by a staff member. Animals that have a “Quarantine”, “Contagious” or “Caution” sign on their cage, or other sign indicating they should not be handled, should not be touched by volunteers. Volunteers should not be showing animals, even animals available for adoption, to the public, unless specifically trained and assigned as an Adoption Volunteer. Please direct questions about specific animals to a staff member.
If an animal gets loose or escapes from its enclosure, DO NOT TRY TO CATCH THE ANIMAL. Immediately secure the area (close doors, gates, etc.) and notify a staff member.
The City of Chico Animal Shelter strives to provide a safe, hazard free workplace. Accidents
do happen, but with training, forethought, attention to detail, and personal responsibility
for keeping areas hazard free, we can greatly reduce the number of accidents in our shelter. Accident prevention is everyone’s job. If you see a safety hazard (such as urine on the floor, spilled kibble, etc.) please address it immediately. If you don’t know what to do, or if you are unsure if it is a safety hazard, please talk to a staff member right away.
Immediately report any injuries, no matter how small, to a staff member. This includes any scratches or bites that break the skin caused by any animal at the shelter.
Drugs and Alcohol
For safety reasons, volunteers should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription medications that might impair reflexes or decision making abilities.
Volunteers found to possess, use, sell or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on City property, or while volunteering for City events will be dismissed immediately, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.