Essential Capabilities of KC Pet Project Volunteers

To serve as a volunteer safely and effectively at KC Pet Project, individuals need to possess the following basic physical, mental, and emotional capabilities. Completion of our Volunteer Orientation and Shelter Tour indicates you believe you possess the basic capabilities.

Please note: some accommodations can be made and will be taken into consideration relative to role placement. Please discuss any needs with the Volunteer Department.

Essential Capabilities for All Roles

Essential Physical Capabilities for all roles

  • Ability to move on unpaved, uneven, rugged and sometimes muddy and slippery terrain.
  • Average vision (with or without correction) to move safely around the building, to be able to observe animal body language without difficulty, and to be able to read notes on animals’ paperwork.
  • Ability to hear calls of alarm such as audible warnings from others or sirens.
  • Ability to speak and effectively communicate with other volunteers, staff, and members of the public.
  • Must not have strong allergies to animals or to chemicals, such as those used in grooming or cleaning, that can’t be managed by medication.
  • Ability to deal with strong and unpleasant odors, fleas, feces and possible wounds or injuries to animals in our care.
  • Ability to cope with a very loud environment.
  • Ability to operate normal kitchen equipment; retrieve items from standard upright model refrigerator/freezer.
  • No known concerns about tolerating exposure to zoonotic diseases such as ringworm and mange.

Essential Mental Capabilities for all roles

  • Ability to understand, remember and follow instructions and procedures.
  • High level reading, writing, spelling and communication skills (example: understand words such as ‘quarantine’).
  • Possess problem-solving capability.
  • Ability to receive, incorporate and sustain instruction and feedback.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with the public including providing customer service and education on topics as it pertains to the volunteer assignment.
  • Possess a professional and positive attitude with a “Solutions, Not Excuses” approach when facing challenges.

Essential Emotional Capabilities for all roles

  • Ability to cope with a highly emotionally charged environment and in the presence of animals who are homeless, abandoned, injured and/or abused.
  • Ability to understand KC Pet Project’s policies and positions regarding companion animals, animal control, and other key animal welfare issues and an ability and willingness to appropriately and accurately represent those policies when interacting with the public or otherwise representing KC Pet Project.

Essential Physical, Mental & Emotional Capabilities for animal interaction and handling roles*

  • Ability to cope with unexpected animal behavior without assistance.
  • Ability to be aware of potentially dangerous situations when working with animals; ability to remain calm with animals who are upset, behave sensitively and confidently, and show good judgment and act appropriately in these situations.
  • Average strength to assist with lifting small to medium size animals (up to 50 pounds).
  • Ability to hear if an animal is growling or making sounds indicating fear or pain.
  • High level of manual dexterity to leash/harness animals.
  • Quick reflexes and ability to use both hands simultaneously (example: open cage door while handling and animal).
  • Ability to bend and squat in order to leash/harness, clean kennels or pick up an animal as needed.

*KC Pet Project volunteers must be 18 years of age to give service in animal handling roles