Becoming a Volunteer
Dogs 4 Rescue is a home-based rescue run predominantly by us and a hand full of dedicated volunteers. Volunteering isn’t pretty and often is more about cleaning than interaction with animals – it is about making this place the best it can be for them and enriching their lives.
We rescue dogs for rehoming but also have a number of other animals that we have rescued over the years who have come to live here permanently. We hope to re-home the majority of the dogs into forever homes but where we cannot re-home them, we provide them with permanent sanctuary. We would never euthanise a healthy animal, we are vegans, all life is precious.
Volunteering isn’t often what people imagine and it certainly isn’t sitting surrounded by dogs dishing out cuddles and treats. It’s the hard graft behind the scenes but still, for the right people, it can prove just as rewarding and enriching as we see the environment, that we are creating for these guys, reach it’s true potential.
We have zero tolerance regarding trouble causers, bullies, ego problems or hidden agendas which blight so many rescues. Ours is a helpful, happy team who pull together and are doing this solely for the benefit of the animals and their futures.
If this is something you think you are interested in.. please read on..
Induction – All volunteers need to carry out basic training prior to helping out. This training commences with an induction, normally following the more experienced volunteers. Then it will be volunteering under supervision to build up experience.
Supervision – The sanctuary has such a variety of different animals all having varying needs, so volunteers need to have a level of experience gained over several weeks of volunteering, before they can be left unsupervised. As volunteers gain experience and gain our confidence, we reduce the supervision accordingly until they can help unsupervised.
As we have a such a large range of animals, it can take a lot of time and effort on our part to train new volunteers, to reach a standard where volunteers can be left unsupervised, to care for the animals, without supervision and without putting themselves or the animals at risk. As our time is very limited, we can only train so many new volunteers at any one time.
Sadly, this means we therefore cannot offer volunteer places to persons who want to volunteer for short periods or work experience.
Due to insurance purposes we are unable to accept under 18’s for volunteering.
Times –Most of the main animal care work is completed by lunchtime, the afternoon is used for projects, deep cleaning and less priority work.
We do have limited parking therefore volunteers need to come at a variety of times and these need to be pre-arranged to ensure we have capacity.
Hard Work – We do want our volunteers to enjoy themselves, but please remember it is hard work, which has to be carried out 365 days a year, no matter what the weather. Some of the work can be physically demanding and the majority of it is cleaning.
What Do I need to be a Volunteer?
Reliable -If volunteers fail to show up and let us down, this can put a lot of pressure on other volunteers, the animals still need to be cared for. We understand that sometimes there are good reasons why people can’t come when they said they would, but we do need people to do their best to show up when agreed and at least communicate when they are unable to.
Age – Unfortunately, for insurance purposes, we cannot offer volunteer places to persons below the age of 18.
Medical Fitness – We do not want people to put themselves at risk. If you have any concerns about your medical fitness, we advise speaking to your GP before volunteering.
Experience – We are not specifically looking for people with experience of handling or caring for animals, but you do need to be comfortable around them, especially different kinds of dogs.
We need people who are not put off by hard, mucky work and who are enthusiastic and reliable.
Clothing – You need to come dressed appropriate for the weather and the likely tasks, generally you will get dirty, so bring your scruffs, Wellington boots and water proofs.
Animal Welfare – Each and every day there are dozens of spaces to clean, animals to feed, water and check over.
We also like to spend time with our animals to enrich their lives, assess their personalities to prepare them for re-homing and to tame them.
There are pig sties to muck out, sheep, birds, ferrets, rats and goats to poo pick and clean out too.
Home Checker – We check every potential new home.
We need people to carry out simple checks in local area before we re-home a dog to someone. A short induction to explain what we would be looking for on a home check would need to be completed before you could become a home checker for us.
Project Work – As we are still very much developing the rescue centre, there are always plenty of chores from erecting fencing to decorating and many more DIY tasks. So if you have a particular trade, we might have a project for you?
Fund Raiser – We need over £50,000 a year to carry on the vital work we do, without the funds we can do nothing. We are always looking for those with experience and ideas for helping us generate extra funding.
What will I be doing?
No day is the same and with our dogs changing all the time and also numbers of helpers we are unable to give a “regular schedule” but the list, which is not exhaustive, is an example of the jobs there are to do and unfortunately people are unable to pick and choose but will be allocated jobs dependant upon experience, length of volunteering and ability.
- Feeding and cleaning out farm animals and birds.
- Feeding and cleaning out the small animals, ferrets, rabbits, rats etc.
- Changing waters for all.
- Cleaning doggie rooms which involves, walls, windows floors, couches, beds, doing washing.
- Poo pick the fields
- DIY – painting, repairing, building fencing, new enclosures
- Organising storage areas and dog stuff.
- Later in the day when all are fed, watered, cleaned and the basic care jobs are sorted there are other activities such as:
- Socialising and assessing the dogs
- Dog walking
- But please note these are not jobs we allow volunteers to help with who don’t get involved with all the other jobs they are needed for.
Can I do Work Experience?
We are unable to take short-term volunteering unfortunately.
If you can offer help, please email us with your basic information. Name, age, contact details, when you are available for volunteering and any necessary experience you have (plus of course anything medical we may need to know which could affect your volunteering for us).
You will need to attend a new volunteer induction day, we run every 1-2 months. Once we have received your application, we’ll be in touch when a date for the next induction is confirmed.