Getting Started With Your Rescue U Chapter:
Getting started with Rescue U is easy and anyone can do it. The first step is to fill out the Volunteer Application here. If you’re a college student, most colleges have pre-existing clubs that volunteer at local shelters. If your college has one, check with them and introduce the opportunities that Rescue U has to offer. The second step is to locate a shelter to designate as your Chapter’s Home Shelter and have them fill out the Home Shelter Application here. This shelter should be a well-organized 501c(3) or municipal-run shelter that is a Petfinder member.
Your Home Shelter is where your group will do most of its work. However, it is not necessary that all work be done at this one shelter. We encourage Home Shelters to suggest other shelters or rescue organizations that they partner with that need help. Your Home Shelter is responsible for signing off on any hours you log. Any and all supply, monetary, and matching grants will be granted through your Home Shelter. If you need help selecting a Home Shelter, Rescue U will be more than happy to help. Once you have your Rescue U chapter set up and a Home Shelter in place, you’re ready to get started. It is recommended that each chapter organize itself as we have listed below.
In order for to maximize the impact of your chapter, we encourage each member to take on a specific job based on his or her interets. We suggest designating at least one volunteer for each of the positions listed below:
- Home Shelter Liaison – communicates with Home Shelter, responsible for making sure all Rescue U paperwork is signed by Home Shelter Volunteer Coordinator, schedules meetings and events with Home Shelter Volunteer Coordinator.
- Adoption Coordinator – responsible for helping the Home Shelter photograph adoptable pets for their Petfinder site, may involve taking pictures of the pets, writing descriptions for pet notes page on Petfinder, and improving customer service at the shelters by promptly answering pet inquiries from potential adopters.
- Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator – responsible for thinking of creative ways to fundraise for your Rescue U chapter and Home Shelter. Petfinder Foundation can provide assistance with ideas for fundraising events and the promotion of those events. The Marketing Coordinator should also work to develop your Home Shelter’s social media presence.
- Public Relations Coordinator – responsible for working with Petfinder Foundation to promote all Rescue U chapter events by providing information and pictures for press releases
- Videographer – will work with the Marketing & Public Relations Coordinators to document the events and work that the Rescue U chapter performs
- Project Manager – will work with the Petfinder Foundation Rescue U Program Managers to coordinate events and projects that the Rescue U chapter conducts
In addition to these functions, all volunteers should participate in general projects assisting the shelter based on their needs. This can be anything from walking dogs to general shelter maitenance and should be coordinated with your Home Shelter Volunteer Coorinator.
Once your chapter is set up and your Home Shelter is in place, then what? Now it’s time to get into the Shelter. Most shelters have a lot of pets and projects to do and not enough time, resources, and people to accomplish everything, this is where the Rescue U chapters come in. Every shelter is going to be different as far as what they are going to need their chapters to do, so it’s a good idea to keep the lines of communication open with your Home Shelters. Click here for a list of suggested projects.
Requirements for all Rescue U Chapters
- Accurate recording of all hours spent in shelter signed off by Volunteer Coorinator
- Submit pictures and videos of work done at Home Shelter to Rescue U/Petfinder Foundation
- Participate in all Rescue U contests, drives, etc.
- Must have a minimum of 6 members to qualify as an official Rescue U chapter
- All Rescue U chapters must adhere to the Home Shelter’s protocol and training methods