We would ask everyone to gather in the coffee shop in the main reception of the charity on arrival at the shelter where the volunteer coordinator will meet with you.
We will then give you a quick talk about your volunteering day and the work of the DSPCA.
As we are dealing with large groups we would ask, if possible, for you to bring some name badge stickers for your team so that the staff and volunteers can easily see everyones names. We can allocate people on the day if you wish or you may assign people as per the agreed schedule, just let us know which suits.
A few policies and guidelines for everyone:
Health & Safety - as you may be working with animals that may carry disease we ask that you wash your hands between animals. Please follow all health and safety notices and staff instructions. If you have any pets at home wash your clothes and your shoes and your hands before having any contact with your pets.
Medical Matters - If any of you have a medical condition that we should know about, please let us know. It is imperative that you are safe when working at the shelter, and we will be operate as best we can around any volunteer's individual medical condition.
Equipment - If anyone is doing cleaning could they bring some rubber gloves with them, we have latex gloves we use for cleaning but a good pair of marigolds are much better. If anyone would like to do gardening they are more than welcome to bring their own gardening hand tools (shovels, trowels, manual hedge clippers, etc) as our tools are pretty old. If your team members have any camera's they would like to use for the days feel free to bring them.
Walking Dogs. - Please ensure you follow all instructions regarding walking individual dogs like wearing a muzzle, etc. If there is a notice about checking with a member of staff before walking a particular dog, please adhere to this. It is imperative that all volunteers have the right leads/muzzles for walking particular dogs.
Toilets - Staff & Volunteer toilets are located beside the Staff Canteen.
Children - No children under 16 years of age are allowed volunteer for safety and insurance reasons.
Breaks - we have our coffee shop which sells hot and cold drinks and some snacks (crisps, biscuits, popcorn, chocolate, etc) and we have a staff canteen. For any corporate groups working a full day our lunch break is from 1-2pm and you are more than welcome to eat with staff and volunteers in our centre.
Dress Code - When working in the Treatment centre, Dog Rehoming or Cattery we advise you to wear mucking out clothes and boots, wellies or waterproof shoes, not open toe shoes. We also advise you wear long trousers and not skirts or shorts as the animals may get excited to see you and they may jump up on your legs. When working in the Treatment centre and Dog Rehoming we also advise that your shoes are comfortable for walking the dogs in the walking field. Our main advice is no Sunday best. Anyone doing maintenance or cleaning please wear old clothes as well. We recommend that you refrain from wearing dangling earrings or bracelets and necklaces for your own safety, leave your jewellery at home is our guideline. If you so choose you can buy DSPCA t-shirts in the shop in black, pink or white.
Personal Belongings - We would advise you not to bring any valuables with you to the centre. Please ask the staff where you can store your belongings in the area you are working in. The DSPCA is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage of personal items.
InjuriesAccidents - All volunteers are required to use all caution and established procedures when working with shelter animals. If a volunteer is bitten or scratched, you must notify a member of staff immediately. An accident report must be filled out, as required by our insurance carrier, and must be obeyed. For the safety of the animal, visiting public, volunteers and staff, all bites must be reported as a bite may be an indication of an animal’s health or behavioural problem and must be checked out. We have first aid kits throughout the centre.
Damaged or Broken Item - If you break something or notice something is broken or not working correctly, please inform a member of staff.
Smoking - Smoking is not permitted inside any of the buildings in the DSPCA. The staff smoking area is located beside the skip in the back yard. Please ensure all cigarettes are extinguished fully before leaving the area and please do not leave any rubbish, drinking mugs, etc there.
Unauthorized Areas - Volunteers are not to be in any unauthorized or unapproved area (i.e. isolation area or office areas) without staff approval.
Confidentiality - The DSPCA respects the volunteer’s right to privacy and confidentiality. In turn, volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all privileged information to which they are exposed while volunteering with the DSPCA. We deal with cruelty cases that have to remain confidential for legal matters. We do ask that all volunteers do not discuss any shelter business, animals, procedures, staff, customers, etc on any socal networking site or any other methods of communication like telephone calls, email, etc.
Fire Safety - Upon notification of a fire or explosion by the facility PA system, PA tone alarm, fire alarm, or as directed by staff, all volunteers should evacuate the building immediately in accordance with the evacuation routes and report to the assigned or nearest evacuation relocation point or location designated at the time. The main evacuation point is in the car park in front of the dog training field.
Feedback and Suggestions - We always welcome feedback and suggestions from our volunteers. As you go about your volunteer activities, you may notice ways to improve the quality or efficiency of your volunteer service. We ask that you share these ideas with the Volunteer Coordinator by email - Suzanne.McGovern@dspca.ie. If you and your team enjoys the day you are more than welcome to become a regular volunteer with us, email Suzanne.McGovern@dspca.ie if you wish to become a regular volunteer once you have completed your corporate volunteering day.
Thanks so much for your commitment and dedication to the DSPCA, we hugely appreciate it.