Please complete this application form if you are interested in becoming a South Suburban Humane Society volunteer. Only Fields marked with an *asterisk* are required.

Once you complete the form, click the submit button at the bottom.

Name and address


Please indicate the days and times you are usually available to volunteer.

Volunteer Interests and Skills

Please indicate what volunteer opportunities you are interested in

Emergency Contact Info

Please provide at one person that we may contact in case of an emergency

Demographic Information

Your birthdate is required for our records. The other fields shown are optional.

Reason for Volunteering

Please provide your reason for wanting to volunteer with SSHS. We do not accept court ordered community service.


For the purpose of obtaining permission from the South Suburban Humane Society (herein referred to as “SSHS”) to perform services for the organization.

I have no physical or mental handicaps or impairments which might adversely affect the performance of the activities which I desire to undertake on behalf of SSHS. I propose to serve without compensation as a volunteer worker for a minimum period of six months. I understand my gratuitous voluntary services will be performed at the headquarters for the Society and at such other locations to which I may be assigned in the course of the SSHS operating personnel. I am aware of the dangers which are inherent in the handling and the presence of animals and the hazards which are encountered in the course of the normal pursuit of life and living. Therefore, I will abide to the Volunteer Handbook and observe all other policies and procedures of SSHS.

In consideration of the organization’s willingness to delegate to me assignments of work within the scope of the organization’s charitable purposes, subject to the revocation of such activities by me or by the commitments of SSHS:

1. I assume responsibility for all risks of loss or damage or injuries that may be suffered by me or to property owned by me or in my custody in the course of my activities on behalf of SSHS from any cause, including but not limited to ordinary negligence attributed or which might be attributed to SSHS or any of its agents, directors, officers, servants, employees, or volunteer workers, whether sustained or suffered at any premises under SSHS or at any other premises not under the control of SSHS, or when in route to or from all such places or premises by any means of travel, including but not limited to (a) privately owned vehicles, (b) my own automobile or vehicles borrowed by me, (c) vehicles owned or controlled by SSHS, in each case whether said vehicle is operated by me or other persons, and (d) public transportation.

2. I hereby release, discharge and indemnify SSHS and its agents, directors, officers, servants, employers, and volunteer workers of and from and in respect to any and all claims, actions and rights of causes of action, present or future, whether known, anticipated or unanticipated, on account of any personal injury, including death, or loss of, or damage or in connection with, my performance of activities as are described in this agreement.

3. I permit SSHS to use my name, likeness, and voice in all types of advertising and promotion. This includes photographs, video and audio recordings, and all other media in which my name or likeness may be reproduced.

4. I agree that I have read the SSHS volunteer handbook and recognize all rules and expectations laid out for volunteers. I understand that violation of these rules may result in termination.

The representations, conditions and commitments contained in this instrument shall be binding upon my heirs, next-of-kin and personal representatives.

Volunteer Code of Conduct

Volunteer Mission Statement- To aid South Suburban Humane Society in their mission to improve the lives of dogs and cats by donating time and talents to care for the pets, support staff in their daily activities, and assist in finding forever homes for the pets in our care.

As a volunteer, I am committed to:

1.Be dependable, recognizing the commitment and responsibility to my volunteer assignments, notify the volunteer coordinator if I am not able to volunteer at the scheduled time.

2.Accept feedback from my supervisor in order to do the best job possible.

3.Treat all individuals with a sense of dignity, respect, and worth. I will bring any issues with a fellow volunteer or staff member to the volunteer coordinator so that issues may be dealt with in a respectful manner.

4.Wear required identification and clothing.

5.Promote SSHS in a positive manner on social media.

6.Follow established safety procedures.

I have read and understand the volunteer handbook. I understand that volunteering for SSHS is a privilege.

Any violation of rules or procedures may end my volunteer service.

Essential Capabilities

There are numerous animal care needs within South Suburban Humane Society (SSHS) that are typically fulfilled by volunteers who work with companion cats and dogs. To safely and effectively serve as a volunteer, volunteers need to possess the following physical, mental, and emotional capacities. The volunteer’s signature on this form indicates the volunteer believes they possess these basic capabilities.

•Quick reflexes and ability to use both hands simultaneously (example: open a door while handling an animal).

•High level of manual dexterity to leash/harness animals.

•Ability to walk unaided on unpaved, uneven, rugged and sometimes muddy and slippery terrain.

•Ability to bend and squat in order to leash/harness and pick up an animal.

•Ability to stand for significant periods of time while walking dogs, assisting the public with visits and cleaning.

•Average vision (with or without correction) to move safely in a variety of environments, to be able to observe animal body language without difficulty, and to be able to read paperwork and instructions.

•Average sense of smell and touch in order to assess body condition of animals, and to note signs of illness or injury.

•Ability to hear if animal is growling or making sounds indicating fear or pain.

•Ability to speak and effectively communicate in English verbally as well as in written form.

•Ability to maneuver well in tight spaces and react and move quickly in order to prevent dogs from escaping, ability to quickly pursue and retrieve dogs who have escaped from your control in a safe manner.

•Ability to handle and restrain animals of small to large size (up to 50 pounds) with extreme caution and care. This requires average vision, hearing, steadiness of hands

and body, quick reflexes, physical strength, and mental alertness.

•Ability to deal with strong and unpleasant odors, fleas, feces and possible wounds or injuries to animals with whom we come in contact.

•Ability to cope with a loud environment due to animals noises.

•Ability to judge an animal’s reaction and to change voice to a soft or strong, authoritative tone in order to calm a dog’s response or to give commands.

•Ability to understand, remember and follow instructions and procedures.

•High level reading, writing, spelling and communication skills, and a mastery of the English language.

•Possess problem solving capability.

•Ability to be aware of potentially dangerous situations when working with the animals; ability to remain calm with animals who are upset, behave sensitively and confidently, show good judgment and act appropriately in these situations.

•Once trained, must be able to work with minimal supervision, yet must recognize limitations in knowledge and abilities, and ask for help when needed.

•Ability to work independently for periods of time, as well as work within a team atmosphere with other volunteers or staff.

•Ability to cope with unexpected animal behavior without assistance.

•Ability to cope with a highly emotionally charged environment.

•Ability to understand South Suburban Humane Society’s policies and procedures, and an ability and willingness to appropriately and accurately represent those policies when

interacting with the public or otherwise representing SSHS.

•Must be flexible and willing/able to change plans and directions in the moment.

Social Media Policy

Just as the internet has changed our world, social media has changed the way people communicate. The South Suburban Humane Society (SSHS) views social media and networking sites as powerful tools to strengthen our organization.

Social Media can take many different forms, including internet forums, blogs & microblogs, online profiles, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video, email, instant messaging, music sharing, and voice over IP, to name just a few. Examples of social media applications are LinkedIn, Facebook, Wikipedia, You Tube, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, WordPress the list is endless. When you are participating in social networking, you are representing both yourselves personally and SSHS. It is not our intention to restrict your ability to have an online presence or to mandate what you can and cannot say. We believe social networking is a very valuable tool and continue to advocate responsible involvement of all SSHS volunteers in this space. While we encourage this online

collaboration, we would like to provide you with an

organizational policy and set of guidelines for appropriate online conduct for our volunteers and to avoid the misuse of this communication medium.

Policy Guidelines:

•Do not post any financial, confidential, sensitive or proprietary information about SSHS, decisions made by SSHS, or any of our customers.

•Do not post or otherwise share decisions made about animals, adopting or return to owner situations, or investigations conducted by SSHS.

•If contacted by the media or member of the community about a decision, an employee, or volunteer matter, or any

information about SSHS, refer them to the CEO immediately.

•Speak respectfully about our current, former, and potential customers, partners, employees, volunteers, and competitors.

•Do not engage in name calling or behavior that will reflect negatively on your or SSHS’ reputations.

•Beware of comments that could reflect poorly on you and the organization. Social media sites are not the forum for venting personal complaints about employees, organizational decisions or the organization.

•As an SSHS volunteer, be aware that you are responsible for the content you post and that information remains in

cyberspace forever.

•Use privacy setting when appropriate. Remember, the internet is immediate and nothing posted is every truly private nor does it expire.

•If you see unfavorable opinions, negative comments or criticism about yourself or SSHS, do not try to have the post removed or send a written reply that will escalate the situation. Forward this information to the CEO immediately.

•Be respectful of others. Think of what you say online in the same way as statements you might make to the media, or

emails you might send to people you don’t know. Stick to the facts, give accurate information and correct mistakes right away.

•Do not post obscenities, slurs or personal attacks that can damage both your reputation as well as SSHS’.

•Be aware that you are not anonymous when you make online comments. Information on your networking profiles is

published in a very public place. Even if you post anonymously or under a pseudonym, your identity can still be revealed.

•SSHS may monitor content on the web and reserves the right to remove posts that violate this policy.

Users who violate the Policy may be subject to termination of your volunteer agreement. If you have any questions about this policy or a specific posting out on the web, please contact the CEO.


I understand that I am not an employee of South Suburban Humane Society, its agents or Departments. I understand further that I will not receive any compensation and am not eligible for any coverage under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. No promises or contract exists between South Suburban Humane Society and the undersigned. I am serving as a Volunteer and understand that no obligations exist on the part of South Suburban Humane Society to compensate me in any way. This understanding applies to all volunteer activities that I may engage in with South Suburban Humane Society for the duration of the term of my volunteer work agreement. By checking this box I acknowledge and agree the terms of this agreement.