Volunteer Policies

Volunteer Policies:

Our Mission: We provide care and shelter to animals in need while maintaining a safe community where we promote responsible pet ownership through outreach, education, and enforcement. 

Responsibilities and Dedication: All animals at Eagle County Animal Shelter & Services are to be treated with respect and kindness. Any rough handling is strictly forbidden. Our volunteers are expected to support our mission both inside and outside the shelter facility. 

Standards of Conduct: All of our volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner when dealing with the public, other volunteers, and staff. We appreciate your knowledge and insight when speaking to interested parties about the animals and if you are unsure about an animal, please ask a staff member. 

Safety: All volunteers are required to sign a waiver and take all required training appropriate to the activity they are volunteering for before handling our animals. They are also expected to follow our procedures when handling animals in order to keep themselves and our animals safe. If there is an animal you are not comfortable handling, please refrain from doing so.  

Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, dirty or torn. Our dogs are still learning manners and to not jump up, and most of our cats have their claws so they can poke into your clothes. Wear close-toed and rubber soled shoes, Yaktrax are recommended in the winter if there is snow on the ground. We also recommend when handling dogs to wear either a treat pouch or fanny pack so you can be prepared to reward them when you are working them and encourage good behavior. When you are at the shelter or out walking a dog you will need to wear a volunteer tag. That way interested adopters will know your status and may ask questions concerning the animal you are working with. Who knows, you may get an animal adopted during your shift because of your help! All other equipment for handling the animals will be provided.

Supervision: All volunteers are supervised by the Eagle County Animal Shelter & Services staff. If there is a problem, incident, or concern, please bring it to the attention of the staff. All volunteers age 10-15 must be supervised by their trained parent/adult chaperone at all times.  If you are not following our procedures or violating our policies the staff at Eagle County Animal Shelter and Services will speak with you directly about it. If it continues to happen you may be asked to leave and may not be allowed to continue volunteering.

Children: We appreciate volunteers of every age but want everyone to have a safe and positive experience. Due to this, children under the age of 10 can not handle animals in the shelter, but we do have other projects they can get involved with the help make the animals experience in the shelter less stressful. Children between the ages of 10-15 can come in and socialize with the animals, however, they must always be accompanied by an adult and both the child and the adult must take the appropriate trainings and sign their release forms/waivers. Anyone 16 and over may volunteer without parental supervision, but parents will still need to sign a release form/waiver for anyone 16-18 years old. 

Scheduling: Due to COVID-19 we are currently requesting our volunteers to sign up for shifts ahead of time for routine animal handling visits and for coming to help as poop fairy. Once fully trained, you may sign up for shifts through the volunteer portal. We also ask that you sign up for scheduled adoption events if you are planning on attending so we can bring the appropriate number of animals to staff/volunteers. If you sign up for a scheduled activity, please cancel ahead of time if you aren't able to attend as we will be counting on your help if you are signed up. In addition, we ask that you give at least a 3 visits/month commitment and plan on coming regularly for at least 3 months. We want our volunteers to be involved as it is more impactful for you and the animals. We also want our time spent training volunteers to be well spent. If you know you will be absent for long periods of time, seasonally, medical issues, etc., please let us know ahead of time. If there are changes while you are absent we may require some additional training upon your return. 

Holidays and Shelter Closings: The shelter observes most major holidays recognized by the county and will be closed to volunteers and the public on those days. At this time, we are only utilizing our volunteers during regular business hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10am-3pm unless there is an after hours event. Sundays & Mondays are always closed to the public and volunteers. Additional closures will be posted ahead of time on the front door of the shelter.

Friends of Volunteers: Volunteers may not bring friends in to assist them. If friends are interested in volunteering, they will need to go through our registration and training process. This is for everyone's safety.

Smoking: Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building or when walking the dogs. 


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