Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
All volunteers must be 21 years of age or older to participate in our volunteer program.
Is there a time commitment for volunteering?
We ask our volunteers to make a commitment to our program of 3 months with a minimum of 6 hours in each month. Due to the extensive training requirements, we are not able to accept short-term volunteers for most of our positions. Please visit our volunteer page to find out more details about specific hours.
What if I can’t make the 3-month commitment?
We will review requests on an individual basis if you have special circumstances that prevent you from volunteering for 3 consecutive months.
Can I continue volunteering after my 3 month commitment is fulfilled?
We would be purrfectly happy to have you stay in our volunteer program after you have completed your initial 3 months of service. To remain an active member of our team you will be required to complete 6 hours of service a month for as long as you would like to stay in our program. If you have been inactive for three consecutive months or more without prior communication we will move you to an inactive status. If you wish to return to the program you may have to re-train or reapply to the volunteer program depending on the length of time you were inactive.
Can I work in more than one service area?
Yes and no. It depends on the day and what is available that day. Once you come in and have finished the duties set out for you we can discuss another area needing improvement/help.
I have court appointed hours or community service hours due; can I fulfill my requirement at BARC?
Yes and no. If you have court appointed hours you must email us personally at email@example.com. You must say how many hours, what you did, and when you need to complete the hours by. We reserve the right to deny your request to volunteer for any reason.
Can I come in just to play with or socialize with animals?
Yes and no. Only volunteers who have gone through our orientation are allowed to handle the animals. While we believe that all of our animals are outstanding, they require care that only trained animal handlers can provide. You must also complete any duties set out for you prior to socialization.
Can we bring friends and family members with us to help?
Volunteers are not allowed to bring friends, family members or pets with them during their scheduled volunteer shifts. Only people who are over the age of 21 and have been trained as a volunteer in our program are allowed to be in the facilities. Volunteers may bring their friends and family members to the adoption hours outside of their scheduled volunteer hours.
What if I have any concerns or questions as a volunteer?
Volunteers are encouraged to discuss any concerns with a supervisor/staff member. They may also take their concerns, complaints or suggestions to the supervisor/staff member. Written documentation (e-mails are acceptable) of any serious concerns or safety matter should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should I worry about taking an illness home to my pet?
Always be sure to wash your hands and change your clothes before handling any of your own animals. Also, be sure that your animals are current on their vaccinations. If you have further questions, you should talk with your own veterinarian.
What should I bring with me?
You MUST bring in your Volunteer ID that you received as a result of attending out Volunteer Orientation + Government issued ID every time you come to volunteer.
What should I wear?
We ask that you wear long pants/sweats, sneakers/closed toe shoes, and we encourage you to wear a BARC volunteer shirt. The shirts are available for purchase at the counter in the main lobby, just tell a staff member your size and pay the fee. (online store is under construction)
Expectations of Volunteers during a Shift
- Volunteers must wear the appropriate attire for the position while volunteering as explained in the FAQ.
- Volunteers need to perform the essential functions as they are instructed during orientation and by the Staff.
- Volunteers are not allowed to bring friends, family members or pets with them during their scheduled volunteer shifts. Only people who are over the age of 21 and have been trained as a volunteer in our program are allowed to be in the facilities.
- Volunteers are responsible for maintaining confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as volunteers, whether this information involves a single staff member, volunteer, client, animal, other person or overall BARC business. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination from the program. All volunteers may be required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement as a condition to volunteer.
- The use of cell phones and other electronic devices is strictly forbidden when handling any of our animals. This is for the safety of the animal and the person handling the animal. You may use these devices only when you are not handling an animal.
- While volunteering with BARC, volunteers must not engage in the following:
- Discriminatory or racist statements or behaviors.
- Sexual harassment, for example, jokes, innuendos, insults, sexist remarks, and the display of derogatory or pornographic pictures, leering, touching, or kissing.
- The use of any alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Any unlawful or inappropriate activity.
- Volunteers must promptly leave the site they are volunteering after they have completed their volunteer shift.
- Reasons of involuntary termination include but are not limited to:
- Cruelty to animals.
- Insubordination or outright refusal to follow directions of a supervisor.
- Reporting for duty under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Failure to be respectful of staff, customers or other volunteers.
- Failure to follow BARC’s policies and procedures.
- Harassment of any kind.
- Utilizing BARC's property for any illegal or unauthorized purposes.
BARC in its sole discretion, reserves the right to reassign or dismiss any volunteer when such action is in the best interest of either party.