The talent, services and contributions of volunteers are essential to the Retrievers. Although volunteers are not employees, it is important to have guidelines and standards for volunteer services so that both the Volunteer and the Retrievers understand the parameters of the volunteer relationship. This Volunteer Agreement describes the arrangement between the Retrievers and you, the volunteer.
THE RETRIEVERS MISSION STATEMENT, VISION & VALUES
: We help families bring their missing dogs home and ensure the safety of stray dogs.
: To bring peace and closure to families and to prevent the death of dogs on the loose.
: Collaboration | Commitment | Innovation | Responsiveness
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE RETRIEVERS:
When selecting volunteers the Retrievers does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. the Retrievers is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all volunteers.
All volunteers are expected to give a minimum of 5-10 hours a week of their time volunteering for the Retrievers.
Role assignments are based on qualifications of the volunteer, and the volunteer's abilities and interest in the role offered to them. Volunteer job descriptions, can be requested from the Director of Operations at any time.
Volunteers are expected to execute their duties by the guiding values of the Retrievers; collaboration, commitment, innovation, responsiveness.
Upon acceptance of your volunteer application you may be assigned a mentor to work closely with you and train you on your new role with the Retrievers.
Training for setting up, operating, and properly using the Retriever’s traps, trail cams and related equipment will be provided at Spring and Fall Team Meetings. You may also be able to arrange with your mentor a date and time to do one-on-one training. Volunteers will arrange appropriate trainings with their mentor to ensure understanding of the necessary tools and procedures to complete volunteer duties.
Upon successful completion of training and demonstration of commitment and proficiency in your role with the Retrievers, your mentor will petition the Board of Directors to make you a full-fledged member. Your team patch, signifying you as a seasoned member of the Retrievers, will be awarded to you at the next Spring or Fall Team Meeting.
Equipment and Tools
Upon becoming a volunteer of the Retrievers, you will be given access to necessary accounts and technologies needed to complete your duties.
The Retrievers will provide necessary equipment, documents, and tools to assist you in your duties. This may include, but is not limited to: traps, trap accessories, trail cameras, trail camera accessories, and microchip scanners. The Retrievers organization is not obligated to provide volunteers with laptops or cellphones to complete their volunteer duties.
The Retrievers organization retains ownership of all equipment, documents, and tools issued to volunteers. Should you resign or be terminated, you are responsible for returning all of the Retriever’s equipment and tools in a timely manner, or you will be billed the full retail cost of equipment kept, damaged or lost.
The Retrievers will pay for the maintenance and upkeep of all team equipment and tools. It will be your responsibility to report to the Board of Directors any maintenance needs prior to any expenditures on repairs.
Reimbursement of Expenses or Payments
Prior approval by the Board of Directors is required before any expenses may be incurred requiring reimbursement to the volunteer.
Any expense requiring reimbursement to the volunteer must be accompanied by copies of any and all receipts and invoices totaling the amount of requested reimbursement. These receipts and invoices should be submitted to the Treasurer for proper record keeping.
The Retrievers do not normally reimburse volunteer travel expenses. However, in special circumstances this may be allowable and will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If the volunteer feels travel expenses should be reimbursed, prior approval should be obtained from the Board of Directors before embarking on the trip.
Volunteers are unable to receive payments for functions and duties performed as a Retriever. In addition, volunteers may not accept any reward money that may be offered either by the owner, Good Samaritan, rescue or other.
The Retrievers Will Provide Service to Volunteers Through The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors will remove barriers and create opportunities for Retrievers volunteers in order to fulfill its mission and values. As new positions are created, there is a shared responsibility between each volunteer and the Board of Directors to review and ensure volunteers are being enabled to complete their volunteer responsibilities.
The Board of Directors will make decisions that align and agree with our mission and values regarding all aspects of the organization’s needs.
WHAT THE RETRIEVERS EXPECTS FROM VOLUNTEERS:
The Retrievers Mission and Values
Volunteers will uphold the Retriever’s mission and values in the course of their work.
Policies and Procedures
Volunteers will comply with all policy and procedure documents adopted by the Retrievers that may not be explicitly defined in this Volunteer Agreement. These policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as necessary. You will be notified of each new revision.
Conflict Resolution Process
In the scope of your volunteer work with the Retrievers, you may occasionally be confronted with adverse situations. When faced with difficult choices, team members must always prioritize the Retriever’s best interests to ensure that our long-term viability is not jeopardized by actions that could negatively impact our reputation, legal liability and/or financial well-being.
Maintaining Confidentiality and Ownership of Products of Work
In the course of volunteer duties, volunteers may encounter confidential information of varying degrees. All information should be handled with discretion.
Documents created in the service of the Retrievers shall be retained and owned by the Retrievers.
All documents and web pages intended for public consumption must be reviewed by the Marketing Director for adherence to the Retriever’s brand standards.
Client/Case Manager Relationship
In order to run a successful lost dog search, the Retrievers has found that building a close working relationship between the Case Manager and Client is paramount to the success of the case. As such, once a Case Manager agrees to take a case, all communication, suggestions and ideas should be first run past the Case Manager.
Should any irregularities arise from a case, the Case Manager will contact the Board of Directors for guidance. Such circumstances may include but are not limited to: a stolen dog, inability of the client to properly care for the dog when found, custodial issues involving the pet, client noncompliance with the "Engaging with the Retrievers" guidelines, misconduct and unlawful activities.
Interacting with the Public
All media inquiries about the Retrievers should be directed to the Marketing Director. Media inquiries about a particular case should be directed to the dog's owner or Case Manager.
Social Media Etiquette
When participating in online discussions in the context of lost dogs, it can easily be assumed that you are speaking as a Retriever. Therefore, you agree to maintain courteous and professional conduct in discussions about lost dogs.
As a volunteer, you authorize the Retrievers to use your name and photographs at the Retrievers activities, in future promotions, publications, or press releases to further the mission of the organization.
Over the course of a lost dog case a volunteer may encounter the need to enter privately owned property. Always ask permission before entering private property, and always discuss with the property owner what activities you wish to perform on their property, whether it be a ground search, feeding station placement or setting up a trap or trail camera.
The Federal Volunteer Protection Act (1997) will protect against personal liability when performing as a Retrievers volunteer, if you are 1) providing service to the Retrievers for little or no compensation and 2) acting in the scope of the Retrievers’ volunteer duties, even if your negligence (but not “extreme negligence or acting in a criminal manner”) caused harm. This protection does not extend to the operation of a motor vehicle, as your mandatory automobile insurance provides this liability protection.
Release of Liability
Both the Volunteer Agreement, and the Release of Liability below must be signed simultaneously to volunteer with the Retrievers.
Dismissal of a Volunteer
Volunteers who do not adhere to the rules, policies and procedures in place or developed by the Retrievers may be subject to dismissal. Possible grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to: misconduct, insubordination, theft or misuse of the Retriever’s materials or funds, abuse or mistreatment of any volunteer or animal, whether or not it is in the Retriever’s care, failure to abide by the Retriever’s policies and procedures, or failure to perform assigned volunteer duties as agreed.
Dismissal of a volunteer will be decided at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY
This Release of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into on the date below by and between The Retrievers, Inc. a Minnesota non-profit corporation ("The Retrievers"), and the undersigned person or persons in consideration of the risk of injury while participating in "Lost and Found Dog Search Efforts" (the "Activity'') and other related activities.
INHERENT RISKS OF DOG SEARCH EFFORTS AND OTHER RELATED ACTIVITIES
BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, THE UNDERSIGNED ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE/SHE IS FULLY AWARE OF THE EXTREME DANGERS AND CONDITIONS THAT CAN BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF WORKING TO SEARCH FOR DOGS AND OTHER RELATED ACTIVITIES INCLUDING: (1) THE DANGERS OF SERIOUS BODILY INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND DEATH INHERENT TO PARTICIPATING IN DOG SEARCHES AND DEALING WITH DOGS; (2) THE PROPENSITY OF DOGS TO BEHAVE IN WAYS THAT MAY RESULT IN DEATH OR INJURY TO PERSONS ON OR AROUND THEM SUCH AS BITING, OR AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR; (3) THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF A DOG'S REACTION TO THINGS SUCH AS SOUND, SUDDEN MOVEMENT, UNFAMILIAR OBJECTS, PERSONS, OR OTHER ANIMALS; OR (4) NATURAL HAZARDS SUCH AS SURFACE OR SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS.
THE UNDERSIGNED ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT LOST DOGS ARE NOT NECESSARILY TRAINED, CAN REVERT TO FERAL BEHAVIOR AND HAVE AN INCREASED PROPENSITY FOR UNPREDICTABILITY, MISBEHAVIOR AND REACTIVITY TO STIMULI. THE RETRIEVERS DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF ANYONE CHOOSING TO VOLUNTEER FOR LOST DOG RESCUES OR HANDLE A LOST DOG FOR THE RETRIEVERS.
BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, THE UNDERSIGNED ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE/SHE FULLY APPRECIATES THE INHERENT RISKS OF DOG SEARCH EFFORTS AND OTHER ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES AND HAS VOLUNTARILY CHOSEN TO ENCOUNTER THEM THEREBY ASSUMING ALL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH ACTIVITIES.
In consideration for his/her participation with The Retrievers' dog search efforts and other related activities, the undersigned agrees to release, discharge, and hold harmless The Retrievers and its agents, employees, officers, directors, representatives, assigns, members, owners, affiliated organizations, insurers, and others acting on its behalf (collectively "Associates") of and from all claims, demands, causes of action and legal liability, whether the same be known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, due to The Retrievers' or its Associates' negligence. Furthermore, the undersigned agrees to reimburse The Retrievers' for its attorney fees and costs incurred relative to defending against any such claim, demand, legal action, or cause of action released hereunder.
This Agreement is made on behalf of the undersigned as well as the undersigned's minor children or legal wards participating in The Retrievers' dog search efforts and other related activities.
SIGNATURE OF AGREEMENT
I have read and agree to the above policies and procedures outlined in the Retrievers Volunteer Agreement and Release of Liability.