Dog and Kitty City Shelter Volunteer Orientation

Thank you for your interest in volunteering
for Dog & Kitty City! Volunteers are truly the lifelines to our shelter’s success, and
we appreciate any time you can offer. Without your help, our shelter wouldn’t be able to
provide homes for hundreds of animals in need. The Humane Society of Dallas County, also
known as Dog & Kitty City, was founded in the 1970s, but moved to its current location
in 1994. We are not associated with the SPCA or the Humane Society of the US. We are a
non-profit organization that runs solely on donations, so volunteers are vital to our
operation. Our staff is easily recognized by their dark
blue shirts and they focus on shelter management, which includes shelter cleaning and maintenance,
as well as providing most of the medical care for the animals. The shelter is open from 11:45 to 5 every
day except for Tuesdays and major holidays. If you’re looking to do court-appointed community
service no orientation is needed, just come at 9 ready to work. Throughout this video we’ll ask you to write
down answers to three questions to ensure you watch the video carefully. When contacting
the shelter, please include the answers to the questions in your message. To volunteer you must be at least 13 years
old to work with the cats and at least 16 years old to work with the dogs. Volunteers
must volunteer at least 4 hours per month for 6 months to remain a qualified volunteer. When volunteering, you must wear your light
blue volunteer shirt that you will be given on orientation, closed-toed shoes, clothes
that can get dirty, and we recommend long pants. Any other belongings such as handbags
should be left in your car before you enter the shelter. Volunteering is open from 11:45 to 4:30 on
the days that the shelter is open, which is every day except for Tuesday and major holidays.
When you’re looking to help out at the shelter there is no need to schedule an appointment;
you can simply show up at the shelter. The main role of the volunteers is to socialize
the animals, but volunteers are expected to clean up after themselves and are welcome
to assist staff in cleaning the shelter. Now let’s go over the CAT ORIENTATION. You must be 13 to volunteer with the cats. At the shelter, the main job for the volunteers
with the cats is cat socializing. Cat socializing is simply playing with and petting the cats.
There are brushes, treats, and toys that volunteers can use to entertain them. However, you want to be sure to remember what
the colors of the collars mean. Please write down what each of the colors mean as the first
answer to our three checkpoint questions. BLUE means it’s a boy,
PINK means it’s a girl, GREEN means it’s friendly but not adoptable,
and RED means do not touch because the cat could bite. There are between 100 and 150 cats in the
shelter, so there should be plenty of cats to play with when you’re there! Also, there are some rooms that are prohibited
to volunteers. If there’s a room that has the door closed, most likely volunteers are
not allowed inside. There will always be signs showing that some rooms are off-limits, so
please read the signs before entering any room. Finally, there are small cat doors that lead
to an outside area; please leave the doors as they are so the cats can stay in the right
places. The most important thing to remember is to
have fun with the cats because the love and attention from the volunteers is very important
for the animals’ happiness. Now on to the DOG ORIENTATION. You must be 16 to work with the dogs. The main volunteer jobs associated with the
dogs are dog socializing and walking the dogs. Dog socializing is your chance to play with
the dogs in the yard while they get their chance to be outside of their kennel. Dog
walking is also very important for the dogs’ mental and physical well-being, and we love
knowing our dogs are going on as many long walks as they can. The times for dog walking are very strict,
so please write down the times you can walk the dogs during the summer as the second answer
to our three-question checkpoint. Dog walking begins at 9 in the morning in the summer and
is prohibited in weather hotter than 100 degrees because the pavement just gets too hot for
their feet. Outside of the summer, dog walking is allowed during normal shelter operating
hours. When opening the kennel door, please open
the door toward the inside of the kennel to keep the dogs from running out. The dog
must also be in a harness and have a leash attached to the collar and the harness. Each
dog has a designated harness that must be kept with it or in its kennel that will be
used for the walks, and you can only take one dog for a walk at a time. Make sure you
carry treats and poop bags with you on your walks. Once the dog is walked, please place
the WALKED sign on the dog’s kennel and return the harnesses and leashes back to where they
belong, so they can be easily found for the next volunteer. Be sure you can handle the
dog you’re going to walk. If you can’t control a large dog, please take a smaller one for
a walk. Also, be very aware of the signs on each kennel.
Some dogs have special needs, so please ask a staff member before entering a dog’s kennel. Volunteers can also socialize the dogs inside
their kennels if they are not going on a walk. Finally, please do not switch the dogs in
and out of the yards from their kennels. The staff knows which dogs play well with one
another and which do not, so for safety purposes for the dogs, staff, and volunteers, only
the staff may move the dogs from their kennels to the yard. There are also many opportunities away from
the shelter for volunteers to help. As the final question to our three-question
checkpoint, please write down the location of the two OFFSITE PROGRAMS. The Adopt-a-Pet program is every Saturday
from 11 AM to 3 PM and is located at the Petsmart at Inwood and Forest and serves as a temporary
offsite shelter for some of our animals, so some people can become aware of possible adoptions.
At Adopt-a-Pet, volunteers can help take care of the animals that are hoping to get adopted
by walking and socializing them. The Luv-a-Pet program is also located at the
Petsmart at Inwood and Forest, but takes place every day as an offsite adoption center for
Dog & Kitty City cats and kittens. Volunteers can visit the animals there, as well as interact
with potential adopters. One of the most important programs to Dog
& Kitty City is the FOSTERING PROGRAM. Volunteers provide temporary homes, love, and medical
care for animals that are not ready for adoption due to illness, injury, stress, or age. Most
of the animals that are fostered are small kittens with or without a mother, and puppies.
You can be a foster owner from one week to a month or more, depending on the situation.
We supply all the supplies, food, and medical care, so you get to focus on providing the
fun and love. If you are unable to foster or get involved
at the shelter or the offsite programs, social media volunteers or photographers are always
needed. You can promote the shelter’s events through social media or take photos of the
animals to use on our website and promote adoptions. If you are interested in volunteering, please
email the shelter at [email protected] and include the three pieces of information
you were asked to write down throughout the video: color of the cats’ collars, dog walking
times during the summer, and location of Adopt-a-Pet and Luv-a-Pet. Again, thank you for your interest in Dog
& Kitty City! We truly appreciate all of our volunteers and the work you do to keep the
shelter going.

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