Volunteer Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk
In consideration of the services of the City of League City, the City of League City Animal Services, and their agents, owners, officers, volunteers, participants, employees, and all other persons or entities acting in any capacity on their behalf (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “City”). I hereby agree to release and discharge the City on behalf of myself, my children, my parents, my heirs, assigns, personal representatives and estates as follows:
I acknowledge that working in a municipal animal control center entails known and unanticipated risks which could result in physical or emotional injury or damage to myself or to third parties. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity.
The risks include, among other things: animal bites, scratches, abrasions, a disease contracted through the handling of animals, slipping or falling on wet slick surfaces, the negligence of other paid or volunteer workers or visitors, musculoskeletal injuries and/or head injuries, or my own negligence.
Furthermore, the City and its employees have difficult jobs to perform. They seek safety, but they are not infallible. They might be ignorant of a volunteer’s fitness or abilities. They may give inadequate warnings or instructions, and the equipment being used might malfunction.
I expressly agree to accept and assume all of the risks existing in this activity. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary, and I elect to participate in spite of the risks.
Indemnity-I hereby voluntarily release, forever discharge, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City from any and all claims, demands or causes of action that are in any way connected with my participation in this activity or my use of the City’s equipment or facilities, including any such claims, which allege negligent acts or omissions of the City.
I verify that I have no medical or physical conditions, which would interfere with my safety in this activity, or else I am willing to assume-and bear the costs of all risks that may be created directly or indirectly by any such condition.
In the event that I file a lawsuit against the City, I agree to do so solely in the State of Texas, and further agree that the subdivision law of the State shall apply in the action without regard to the conflict of the law rules of the State.
Core Values of League City Animal Shelter*
Innovative- Question Everything
We reject the belief that killing pets is inevitable so we innovate to find the lifesaving solutions. We lead the No Kill movement because we are constantly solving the “unsolvable” problems in lifesaving sheltering. We can build a better machine than the killing one.
Inclusive- People Are The Solution Not The Problem
We meet volunteers, adopters, fosters, donors, advocates, shelters and communities where they are, because we recognize that the vast majority of people are good. We bring people into our tent to share data and resources we have to help fight for No Kill, either as a single act or as their mission.
Driven- No Kill Now
It is our obligation to overcome the obstacles to lifesaving, and we are driven to find measurable, attainable solutions to shelter killing fast as humanly possible. The only way to stop the killing is to actually stop the killing, and we must diligently measure our actions against the outcomes of kill rates. We will not allow ourselves to be deterred or distracted from saving lives by the outspoken few that choose to focus on the negative.
Resourceful- Perfect Is The Enemy Of Lifesaving
Until pets are not at risk in shelters of death for a cost of $2.00, we will never insist on buying new, wasting resources, using only paid staff, or outsourcing. We rely on ourselves, our hands and minds, and the things around us to save lives who have nothing else.
Respectful- Respect Life
We pride ourselves on the respect, value, and love we give to each individual animal, and balance that with respect we give to pets as a whole group. We strive to extend that to each individual human, no matter the circumstances, and to the whole world we live in.
*Thank you to Austin Pets Alive for Core Values
Our mission is to provide humane education to the public, promote responsible pet ownership and humane treatment of all animals, dedicate compassionate care to animals and find homes for homeless animals while working to support public safety through the enforcement of city ordinances and state laws pertaining to animals and the welfare of the citizens of League City.
Workplace Culture Expectations
Create and Maintain a Safe Workplace:
- Take responsibility for keeping yourself, coworkers, volunteers, visitors and animals safe.
- Be part of creating and maintaining a culture of safety, even when you’re in a hurry.
- Know your own limitations and seek help when needed.
- Bring safety concerns to the attention of your supervisor.
Strive for Excellence:
- Make customer service a priority and strive to constantly improve the customer experience, both internally and externally.
- Be willing to continue to learn and improve oneself professionally through training, reading and other learning opportunities.
- Educate yourself on national and regional best practices in animal welfare.
- Be thorough, careful and precise in all work.
- Think and act constructively and look for solutions to make things better for animals and people.
Support a Collaborative Animal Shelter:
- Practice “we” thinking. We achieve goals together or not at all.
- Understand that whether as an individual or work groups, we all share the same goals and play different, valuable roles in achieving them.
- Support, mentor and uplift coworkers.
- When faced with conflict with individuals or between teams, focus on the situation or problem rather than the individual(s).
- Maintain constructive relationships with coworkers and between teams.
- Lead by example.
- Set each other up for success by sharing information, helping each other and keeping workspaces organized and stocked with supplies.
Demonstrate a Commitment to Healthy Communication:
- Communicate with staff, volunteers, other professionals and the public in a professional, positive and helpful manner.
- Respond to emails, phone calls and in-person requests in a timely manner.
- Deliver and receive complaints, suggestions and other communications in a respectful and open-minded manner.
- Share information that affects others with them in a timely manner.
- Take a stand to stop gossip, grudges, cliques, conflicts and negativity and be part of solutions.
- Take time to listen and understand before responding.
- Respect different opinions and workstyles.
- Respect decisions made and directives given.
- Show compassion for and have patience with your co-workers.
- Respect all employees and volunteers equally, regardless of job title, seniority, position or opinion.
- Expect differences, know differences are not wrong and how to handle conflict with individuals or teams constructively.
- Look for the contribution each person makes in helping animals and people in need.
- Take responsibility for yourself and be accountable for your own actions.
- Commit to working for a safe, humane future for animals and people.
- Build trust in all your interactions, regardless of who they are with.
- If you have questions or concerns, communicate upward, rather than complaining to or gossiping with others.
- Provide accurate, thorough, objective documentation.
- Follow instructions carefully, meet deadlines when assigned.
- Ask for help and training when you don’t understand something.
Acknowledge the Emotional Aspect of Our Work:
- Remember to have a sense of humor, but never at the expense of others or professionalism.
- Identify healthy ways to reduce and relieve stress.
- Take care of yourself, paying attention to your work/life balance.
- Find appropriate ways to express strong emotions as they arise.
- Respect others’ response to emotions - they may be different than yours.
- Treat your colleagues as members of your Animal Services and police department family.
- Have fun!
- Remember why you have chosen to work in animal welfare.
- Practice appreciation at all levels and every day.
- Acknowledge people when they do good things. Shout-outs should be a daily occurrence!
- Thank others when they make your day better and brighter.
Be Safe and Compassionate When Handling Animals:
- Treat all animals in your care with patience, kindness and compassion.
- Become adept at reading animal behavior to make sound, safe handling decisions.
- Pursue and take advantage of training opportunities offered at the shelter to help you become a better animal handler.
- Recognize each animal is an individual and should be treated as such. Avoid stereotypes and generalizations about breed, type, etc.
- Model safe, humane handling to other staff, volunteers and the public. You are the expert.
By signing this document, I acknowledge that, if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my rights to maintain a lawsuit against the City on the basis of any claim from which I have released them herein.
If I am under the age of 18, I am required to have a parent and/or guardian to sign a written document that will be provided by the shelter in regards to this waiver and liability release.
I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it, and I agree to be bound by its terms.