Volunteering – Animal Care Assistants (VACA’s)
Who can apply?
The role of the VACA is open to anyone over the age of 18, with an interest in animal care and/or experience of caring for animals. With over 200 animals here to care for every day, the staff at Bristol Dogs and Cats Home appreciate the help that the VACA’s are able to provide.
What do VACA’s do?
VACA’s provide additional support to our team of Animal Care Assistants (ACA’s), caring for the residents at Bristol Dogs and Cats Home. Most VACA’s start off learning about, and working on our ‘small animal unit’, with the support and supervision of our ACA’s, and then progress on to the ‘dog blocks’ (if we are happy and we feel you could manage – and of course if you are happy and feel ready to progress). VACA’s assist staff with tasks and activities like exercising the animals, feeding duties and cleaning tasks.
What are the volunteer working hours for VACA’s?
The VACA’s day starts at 8am and finishes at either 12 Noon or 5pm (unfortunately we are unable to offer afternoon or evenings positions. We are also unable to offer VACA positions on Monday, as we shut for staff training). The Home closes between 12 and 1pm for lunch every day.
Our public opening hours are from Tuesday – Sunday, from 10am till 12 Noon, and from 1pm till 4pm.
What sort of commitment is required?
We ask that our VACA’s commit to one day or morning per week, and that this is the same day each week. VACA placements last for a minimum of six months, due to our team needing to invest their time in the continual training of all of our VACA’s.
Once we have received your application we will contact you regarding an interview if we feel that you would be suitable for the role and if you are successful at this stage you will then be asked to come in for an induction.
Please be aware that this is a physical role that some people can find quite demanding. We ask that you are serious about wanting to be part of the team before applying. Please see below for more detailed information.
Please also note that it is important that you inform us, on your application form, of any medical issues or allergies that could affect your work (it will not necessarily mean we will refuse you the chance to volunteer, but it is important that we are aware of them).
Volunteer Animal Care Assistant Profile
At Bristol Dogs and Cats Home (BDCH) we aim to provide a high standard of care for animals residing with us. Based within BDCH, we are looking for bright and motivated individuals, who are keen to gain some valuable experience as a volunteer working with our dedicated team of Animal Care Assistants (ACA’s).
Tasks and Responsibilities:
We require volunteers to provide additional support to our team of ACA’s. Working within a small and friendly team, you'll receive full training and support.
- Clean, disinfect and maintain a high standard of cleanliness of all animal accommodation including exercise areas, and ensure the provision of clean bedding.
- Undertake cleaning of other facilities and equipment, such as the kennels kitchen, as required.
- Prepare and provide food, and a constant supply of fresh drinking water for all animals.
- Provide general care including: exercise, grooming & socialisation.
- Meet and greet visitors and potential adopters.
- Generally assisting ACA staff with all aspects of animal care and operations of Bristol Dogs and Cats Home.
To be a member of this team you will need:
Awareness of animal welfare.
Previous experience desirable.
A good knowledge of different species of animals and their requirements.
The ability to communicate with the public in a professional manner.
Able to follow all safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment.
Assertive but diplomatic approach.
A friendly and flexible attitude.
Must be reliable.
Commitment & Application:
We are looking for dedication and a regular commitment. Applicants would need to complete and return the Volunteer ACA Application form, enclosing a current CV and two passport sized photos. The next stage would be to attend an interview, induction and training sessions before taking this position. Volunteer Animal Care Assistants must be over 18 years of age.