Goals of the Volunteer Program

Goals of the Volunteer Program

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Volunteer Handbook

Goals of the Volunteer Program

  • To recruit and retain a group of dedicated volunteers who are willing to take on the tasks necessary to support the mission of the HSSEMO
  • To provide initial training and periodic updates to ensure that all volunteers are up-to-date on current policies and procedures
  • For volunteers to become ambassadors for the safety and welfare of animals in our community
  • To provide volunteers with pride and a sense of purpose in making a difference in the lives of homeless animals

Volunteering at HSSEMO

HSSEMO relies almost entirely on volunteers to keep the shelter functioning day in and day out. There are a wide range of opportunities to volunteer within the agency. From serving on a committee to walking a dog, all persons who donate their time play a vital role in improving the life of the animals we serve.

Volunteer Process: Informational Session, Screen, and Training

All potential volunteers must attend a Volunteer Informational Session and fill out a Volunteer Application, including waivers. The application will be reviewed by the Volunteer Coordinator, The purpose of the screen is to best match the needs of the shelter with the applicant’s interests, abilities, and time availability. After this is completed you will be contacted regarding training


After the prospective volunteer attends the volunteer informational session and turns in the required documents, then they will be contacted by a Volunteer Coordinator within 1 week. The Volunteer coordinator will arrange a time to have this training session. All volunteers MUST attend the specific job training for their area prior to volunteering.


All volunteers are expected to wear their HSSEMO volunteer badge in a visible location when volunteering at the shelter or events. A badge will be issue to volunteers once they have completed training. Our badges are an expense to the shelter and a replacement charge of $3.00 will be required for lost badges. If you fail to bring your badge you will be asked to leave.

Age Qualifications

Volunteers must be 16 years or older to volunteer on their own.

Volunteers under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18 or older) who has attended the volunteer informational session and training. They must accompany the minor at all times. No volunteers under the age of 12.

Visitors and Personal Guests

Only HSSEMO approved volunteers and employees may handle or transport animals in shelter care. Any guests wishing to shadow a volunteer must be pre-approved by the Volunteer Coordinator and will not be able to interact with the animals.


Because the shelter is reliant on volunteers, we require that all volunteers be reliable and punctual. Volunteers scheduled for an event are expected to inform the Volunteer Coordinator as soon as possible.

Volunteers Must:

  • Support the mission of HSSEMO both inside the shelter ad in the community
  • Take their commitment as a volunteer seriously
  • Treat animals, fellow volunteers, staff and the public with respect, compassion and acceptance.
  • Adhere at all times to policies and procedures that have been established
  • Communicate – we are all working together and need to stay informed
  • Be a team player, it takes all of us to keep HSSEMO successful
  • Know HSSEMO volunteers are accountable to entire organization for their actions while actively volunteering with the HSSEMO.


As with any paid or unpaid position, it is asked that you notify your supervisor as soon as you are aware that you will be unable to fulfill your volunteer shift so a replacement can be found.

Procedures

A volunteer logbook is located in the volunteer cubby. All volunteers are expected to record their name, the date, duties performed, and hours work. This information helps us track the tasks performed and the volunteer hours worked each month, which is crucial when applying for grants and funding.

Appropriate Dress

When working directly with the animals or performing cleaning duties, it is recommended that volunteers wear comfortable clothing and convey a neat, professional image when working with the public. HSSEMO shirts are available for purchase, but not required for volunteers.

ON-SITE* / Required / Allowed / Not Allowed
  • Plain (or HSSEMO logo), intact t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, sweatshirts.
  • Name tags.
  • Generic labels (at the discretion of the Volunteer Supervisor or Administrator)
  • Offensive language.
  • Any picture of any kind.
  • Tank tops.

  • Plain, intact, floor length jeans. Capri pants that fall below the knee.
/ -- /
  • Scrub pants
  • Shorts
  • Skirts

  • Closed toed, sturdy shoes (tennis shoes)
  • Closed toed athletic shoes with a back strap or heel.
  • Open toed shoes
  • Clogs (without back strap or heel).

MISC / -- /
  • Plain or patterned hats and scarves
  • Gloves (sanitation concern)

OFF-SITE / Required / Allowed / Not Allowed
TOPS / Informal Events
  • Plain (or HSSEMO logo), intact t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, sweatshirts.
  • Name tags.
Formal Events
  • Notification of formal dress code will be given by Volunteer Supervisor.
/ Informal Events
  • Logos for particular groups volunteering for the HSSEMO (e.g. fraternity or sorority logos)
Formal Event
  • Pins or tags associated with a particular group volunteering for the HSSEMO (e.g. fraternities or sororities)
  • Organizational logos other than the HSSEMO or particular groups volunteering for the HSSEMO (e.g. fraternity or sorority logos).
  • Offensive language.
  • Any picture of any kind.
  • Tank tops.

PANTS / Informal Events
  • Plain, intact long pants (jeans, khakis)
Formal Events
  • Dress pants.
  • Skirts that hit at the knee or lower.
  • Dresses that hit at the knee or lower.
/ Informal Events
  • Skorts.
  • Capri pants
Formal Events
  • Dress shorts that hit at the knee or lower.
  • Shorts shorter than 5”
  • Mini skirts (hits at mid-thigh or higher)

SHOES / Informal Events
  • Close toed, sturdy shoes
Formal Events
  • Dress shoes
/ Informal Events
  • Closed toed athletic shoes with a back strap or heel.
  • flip-flops

MISC / -- / -- / --

* Includes Pet Mobile Adoptions. Volunteers will be handling the animals directly and require clothing appropriate for handling animals.

Harassment / Discrimination

HSSEMO is committed to providing a harassment-free workplace for both staff and volunteers. HSSEMO will not tolerate any speech or conduct that is intended to, or has the effect of, intimidating, abusing or harassing any employee or volunteer because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to any person associated with the organization.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

HSSEMO is committed to maintaining a safe and productive working environment for all individuals. The use of drugs or alcogol by individuals associated with HSSEMO could create a serious threat to safe and productive operations. Therefore, to protect the health and safety of fellow volunteers, employees, the general public, and the animals the HSSEMO has adopted this Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy.

Volunteers who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination from the volunteer program.

HSSEMO prohibits the manufacture, distribution, possession, concealment, use, sale, purchase, transfer of or being under the influence of alcohol, inhalants, illegal drugs or controlled substances while on the job.