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VOLUNTEERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

 

The Front Street Animal Shelter welcomes volunteers of all abilities. However, not every volunteer activity is going to be the right fit for every volunteer. Most volunteer activities require a full range of seeing, hearing, bending, and stooping and an ability to lift heavy objects.

Adults Volunteering with Assistance

Individuals who do not meet the criteria for independent volunteering must always volunteer in the company of another adult, such as a family member, friend, or professional support staff, that is capable of assisting them. The Front Street Animal Shelter is not able to provide assistants or mentors on an ongoing basis. Generally speaking, adults who require regular assistance with physical or cognitive tasks in their daily lives will not be able to volunteer without an assistant.

Expectations for Assistants

In addition to helping someone have a fun and fulfilling time as a volunteer, assistants are there as a backup in case anything goes wrong. For this reason, we hold assistants to the same high standards as we do with our regular volunteers when it comes to training. Assistants should pay attention during classes and be able to demonstrate the same core concepts that we expect from all of our volunteers.

Assistants are expected to:

  • Create a volunteer profile

  • Sign up for a New Volunteer Orientation

  • Take all required training classes

  • Provide the contact information for their agency to our Volunteer Program Manager, Janice Wagaman

  • Conduct themselves in accordance with Front Street Animal Shelter's standard volunteer rules

Requirements for Independent Volunteering

  • Attend and pass all required classes.

  • Be able to remember and follow all instructions and safety rules

  • Be capable of recognizing and reacting appropriately to potentially unsafe situations.

  • Be able to clearly communicate questions or problems via speech or handwriting.

  • Be able to read.

  • Have stable footing and good hand-eye coordination.

  • Be able to see and hear as the shelter is a chaotic environment and volunteer safety is paramount.

  • Be able to navigate safely through busy kennels and on uneven ground.

Special requirements for dog handling

Because working with shelter dogs involves many physical, visual, audio, and vocal cues, any volunteer with a physical, visual, or hearing impairment may not be able to become a dog handler. However, we are happy to work with each volunteer independently to create a plan to enable participation in certain activities while maintaining safety for volunteers, staff, and our shelter animals.

 


The Front Street Animal Shelter reserves the right to make reasonable additions or exceptions to a volunteer's requirements depending on each individual's circumstances.

 

For more info, please email the Volunteer Program Manager, Janice Wagaman.