SDHS Volunteer Agreement and Release from Liability

Volunteer Guidelines

As a new official San Diego Humane Society volunteer, I agree to:

  • Read and agree to content in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Perform all volunteer tasks and follow all procedures as outlined during volunteer training and as updated thereafter.
  • Ask questions if I am unsure of how to do something.
  • Keep my contact information (address, email and phone numbers) updated with the volunteer engagement department.
  • Arrive promptly for all scheduled volunteer shifts and notify my program coordinator if I will be late or unable to complete my shift.
  • Complete the minimum monthly hour requirement for my program.  I understand that after two months of not meeting the requirement, I will be placed in the inactive list and my spot offered to volunteers on the wait list.
  • Refrain from allowing guests who are not volunteers to accompany me during my shift.
  • Notify a staff member immediately if I am injured during my volunteer shift.
  • Communicate any concerns I have with potential solutions to my program coordinator or the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Return all keys that I borrow at the end of my shift.
  • Not enter off limits areas of the campus.  This includes all holding and isolation areas, the veterinary hospital, serenity room and all spaces marked “Staff Only.”
  • Preserve the confidentiality of information entrusted to me. This includes information on animals not available for adoption, adopters, relinquishing owners and patients, residents or students I visit as part of Pet-Assisted Therapy or Education programs.
  • Never volunteer under the influence of alcohol or other mind altering substances. 
  • Refer all media communications to the Public Relations Coordinator or Director of Volunteer Engagement.  Media includes TV, radio, newspaper and internet as well as posting information on websites about San Diego Humane Society animals.
  • Provide excellent customer service and form positive and professional relationships with staff and my fellow volunteers.


Volunteer Health and Safety

What to do if you are injured while volunteering:

  • Notify a staff member immediately.
  • Take care of the injury.  The staff member will assist you with first aid if necessary.  In case of a bite or scratch, please wash the wound well with soap and water.
  • Complete paperwork.  The staff member must complete certain forms, please help them by providing all the required information including details about what happened before and during the injury.
  • End your volunteer shift.  It is best if you stop volunteering for the day if you have been injured.  It is not uncommon for your stress level to rise after even a simple injury and that can affect your interaction with other animals.
  • Ask your health care provider.  In case of injury, please seek advice from your health care provider.
  • I authorize the San Diego Humane Society to seek emergency medical treatment for me in case of accident, injury or illness.
  • I understand that because I may handle animals, it is important to discuss the tetanus vaccine with my health care provider. 
  • I will notify a staff member immediately if I am injured while volunteering.
  • I acknowledge that there are certain risks involved with working with animals, including but not limited to bites, scratches, zoonotic diseases and allergic reactions.



I agree to work for San Diego Humane Society & S.P.C.A. (SDHS) as a volunteer.

As a volunteer, I understand that I will not be compensated for any time spent volunteering, nor am I entitled to benefits, including employment insurance benefits, upon the termination of this agreement or as a result of this service. I also understand that the SDHS does not provide any health insurance on my behalf and that in the event of injury I will have to rely on my own health insurance.

I am aware that participation as a volunteer may require periods of physical activity such as standing and lifting and will require the exercise of reasonable care to avoid injury. I am voluntarily participating in this activity with knowledge of the hazards and potential dangers involved, and agree to accept any and all risks of personal injury and property damage.

As consideration for volunteering for SDHS, I hereby agree that I, and my assignees, heirs, guardians, and legal representatives, will not make a claim against or sue SDHS or its employees, agents or contractors for injury or damage resulting from the ordinary negligence, whether active or passive, or other acts, however caused, by any of its officers, employees, agents, or contractors of SDHS as a result of my volunteering. I HEREBY RELEASE AND DISCHARGE SDHS AND ITS OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND CONTRACTORS FROM ALL ACTIONS, CLAIMS, OR DEMANDS THAT I, MY HEIRS, GUARDIANS, AND LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES NOW HAVE, OR MAY HAVE IN THE FUTURE, FOR INJURY OR DAMAGE RESULTING FROM MY PARTICIPATION IN THE PROJECT.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IF I AM INJURED IN THE COURSE OF THE PROJECT, I AM NOT COVERED BY SDHS’ WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PROGRAM. I authorize SDHS to seek emergency medical treatment on my behalf in case of injury, accident or illness to me arising from my involvement as a volunteer. I understand that I will be responsible for medical costs incurred by such accident, illness or injury.

During and after my volunteer period, I will not use any SDHS property for any purpose other than for the benefit of SDHS. Except for business uses related to the performance of my work as a volunteer, I will not remove from the SDHS premises any SDHS property without written consent of my supervisor. In the event of my termination as a volunteer, or at any time at the request of SDHS, I will return all SDHS property.

I hereby authorize SDHS to use, reuse, and to grant others the right to use and reuse my name, photograph, likeness (including caricature), voice, and biographical information, and any reproduction or simulation thereof, in any media now known or hereafter developed (including but not limited to film, video, and digital, or other electronic media), both during and after my volunteer project, for whatever purposes SDHS deems necessary.

I agree that all copyrightable material, notes, blog posts, articles, advertising copy, records, drawings, photographs, video, designs, inventions, improvements, developments, discoveries and trade secrets (collectively, “Developments”) conceived, made or discovered by me as an SDHS volunteer are the sole property of SDHS.  In addition, any Developments which constitute copyrightable subject matter shall be considered “works made for hire” as that term is defined in the United States Copyright Act.  I agree to assign (or cause to be assigned) and do hereby assign fully to SDHS all Developments and any copyrights, patents, mask work rights or other intellectual property rights relating thereto.

I agree to comply with the Volunteer Guidelines.


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