Melissa J. Nixon, DVM
Need advice? We have members who can advise you about the following. Check the wipe board in the command center to see who is on premises and signed in next to each species. You can also check the class notes included in your handbook. If you have special expertise with a certain species, please be sure to let the volunteer director know that!
3. Service Animals
5. Potbelly pigs
10. Cage Birds
13. Ratites - emu, ostrich, rhea
16. Pocket pets
19. Sick Critter - any veterinarian on premises or a triage RVT who has experience with that species, or the member familiar with that species if you cannot find medical personnel.
20. Tired? Sick? Depressed? Angry? Need a break or reassignment? See the Incident Commander, your team leader, the human first-aid tent attendant, or the associated counseling staff.
21. Someone - anyone - approaches with a special need regarding an animal: it needs meds, they left it home and it needs food/water, upset with housing location, needs special feed, recurrent health problem, needs to be right with owner, whatever - please escort them to the command center and help walk it through for them. Even if you just hand them over to someone more appropriate, please be sure that connection is made before returning to your regular duties. Remember, that is ultimately what we are here for - to facilitate the human-animal bond.
22. You find someone without appropriate identification wandering the shelter, petting animals, checking out the feed room, raiding the ice chest, using the shower: please gently explain that this is a closed facility and escort them to the gate. If they are not willing to leave, contact shelter security IMMEDIATELY for assistance. Do not get into a confrontation by yourself - get help. Especially when we are side-by-side sheltering with human shelters, we need to be vigilant to folks who do not belong in our facility.
23. Someone has asked to relinquish their animal because their temporary housing will not allow pets. Talk to the Pet Advocate, perhaps they can convince the landlord to waive a pet deposit or otherwise accommodate a disaster victim. Or maybe they would allow the pet to stay if a small deposit were paid. Or perhaps we can keep the animal in a foster home until the family is back in their own home.
24. A service animal partner is being asked to pay a pet deposit or being told they cannot have the animal with them. This is against the law; please have our Service Animal Advocate assist the service animal partner.