Care Team Volunteer Expectations

This document contains information on what is expected from Care Team Volunteers.

Joining the Parvo Team

Thank you for your interest in joining the APA! Parvo Dog Care Team! In order to join the group, you must have completed an APA! volunteer application, found online at austinpetsalive.org, and attend an APA! orientation. You are also required to undergo specific Parvo Team training. You will become an official volunteer on the care team once you have read the manual, and shadowed/trained for two shifts.The Parvo ICU is an isolated ICU dedicated only to parvo puppies. Parvo is highly contagious and for this reason we have many specific protocols to prevent the spread of parvo and other diseases outside the ICU.

The main protocol includes changing into scrubs & shoes which must stay in the ICU. You are welcome to bring your own pair, but they must stay in the ICU.

The Assistant Team will be required to volunteer once a week for 2 hours

Care Team Main Responsibilities

  1. Start laundry as soon as you come in. Keep the laundry going throughout the shifts.
  2. Clean up puppies rooms: pick up feces, change out bedding. Let the medical volunteers know if there was vomit, diarrhea, etc in the room and/or mark it on the chart - This is critical for tracking the medical progress of each patient and detail must be included. Flush feces and food down the toilet.
  3. Ask medical volunteers what food and/or water to offer the puppy. This varies from dog to dog, depending on how sick they are. You may need to hand feed/offer the sicker puppies food with a higher level of attention. Procedures are included in the Feeding Protocol page.
  4. Hold puppies while they are getting medications (medical volunteers will be giving the medications, although they may ask you to help if you feel comfortable doing so).
  5. Help draw up medications (once you have learned how) and label them.
  6. Do dishes, help with recycling, folding laundry and generally keeping the ICU clean and organized.
  7. Discharge dogs from the ICU once they test parvo negative. Follow the Discharging Protocol in the Wiki. 

Expectations for Care Team

  1. Be reliable - show up to the shifts you have committed to.
  2. Abide by all procedures for preventing spread of diseases, including washing hands, spraying hands, scrubs, and feet down with disinfectant, changing procedures for entering and exiting, etc.
  3. Be mindful of cross-contamination and wash hands before entering or after leaving any Parvo room, and clean any bowls or toys you remove from any Parvo room. Roccal disinfectant is your best friend in the Parvo ICU.
  4. Safety, safety, safety! Keep yourself safe (know correct holding techniques for helping with treatments, especially with squirmy or aggressive dogs), and watch out for safety hazards in the ICU, such as keeping all wires off the floor in case of washer/water leaks.
  5. Treat all puppies with love, compassion, and respect.
  6. Come to shifts prepared. Do not to come into a shift exhausted, hungry, or needing to go to the bathroom!
  7. Be honest. We all make the occasional mistake.
  8. Be willing to learn. If you’re unsure about anything or flat out don't know, just ask someone! Feel free to text/call any parvo volunteers, ask the vet techs or a doctor. Theres no such thing as a stupid question in the Parvo ICU.