​​​​​Welcome to KC Pet Rescue.

We appreciate your interest in volunteering your time and energy to help us advance animal welfare in Conway County. Together we can accomplish our goal of being a model dog rescue organization.

This Volunteer Handbook will introduce you to our mission, vision, and community services and will explain some important rules for volunteers. While this information will get you started volunteering with us, some volunteer positions require additional training and time.

We respect your time and skills and strive to make your experience with us productive and rewarding. Although we require a small time commitment, we encourage regular participation and value dependability in all our volunteers. We will be counting on you!

Helping animals in our care is challenging and rewarding. It can also be physically and emotionally draining. Without volunteers, our animals and our mission would be under-served. If you want to see results from your efforts, then you’re in the right organization! You can truly make a difference.

Thank you for your time and all the hard work you will be helping in doing each day.

Clarissa Riedmueller
Director of KC Pet Rescue


We believe a key to successful training is to provide our volunteers with hands-on experience. We understand that your time is valuable so in order to maximize your time at the shelter, we ask that you take a one-on-one class with Clarissa to be properly trained with the animals.

The first day we will take a brief tour of the shelter or our adoption event. Some ways volunteers make a difference in our organization:

  • Dog care:
    • Clean kennels
    • Administrate medication
    • Leash training
    • Grooming
  • Foster parent
  • Event planning
  • Fundraising
  • Administrative work
  • Transport driver

Hours at the Shelter are from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Adoptions at the Shelter are by appointment only.

Adoption Fees: Our fees cover all vet care for each dog. This includes up to date vaccines, heartworm testing, spay/neuter, flea/tick prevention, heartworm prevention, intestinal parasite prevention, microchip, and health certificates. 


Who We Are

KC Pet Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill, volunteer emergency dog rescue organization serving the Conway county area. We are dedicated to rescuing dogs left homeless, dogs in public shelters where they are at high risk of euthanasia due to pet overpopulation, dogs given up by their owners because of difficult circumstances, and those in danger of abuse or neglect.

We strive to work with area shelters and other rescue and humane organizations to develop a network of supporters and volunteers in order to create a better world for our pets.

To us, rescue isn't just about the dogs. It is also about bringing joy and happiness into lives of adopters who have a void that only a furry friend can fill. Please help us to care for homeless pets in our local area.

How KC Pet Rescue is funded

  • Donations
  • Fundraising events
  • Adoption fees

We are not a government agency nor are we affiliated with, or receive, funding from any larger humane organization. We depend on caring individuals and animal lovers throughout our community to provide our services. We are a 501(c)3 organization and donations to us are tax deductible.


  • We are a NO TIME LIMIT SHELTER. Animals are never euthanized due to space or time limits. As long as the animal is considered adoptable, it can remain until adopted.
  • Animals are euthanized when they are suffering, near death, or when their temperament presents a threat to public safety. Veterinarians may be consulted.We require that all volunteers understand and support the need for euthanasia. We could not be a “humane” organization without it.


Daily Routine At The Shelter In Arkansas

8:00 am - Staff arrives; Dogs are watered and fed, kennels are cleaned, inside dogs are let out and crates cleaned

11:00 - 12:00 - Lunch Break

2:00 pm - Dogs are watered again if needed, clean water buckets if needed, kennels are spot cleaned.

3:00- 4:00 pm - Clean food pans, water buckets topped off, all doors and storage buildings locked.

Laundry, dishes, sweeping and mopping are done throughout the day. Like home, there is always laundry to be folder and dirty linens to wash. If volunteers can stay the whole day that is GREAT and helpful. If you can't stay all day please let a staff member know the day before so we can plan ahead.


Routine At An Adoption Event

​11:00 am - setup pens, banners, and tables for event

12:00 pm - unload dogs and keep pens clean as they come into the pens

1:00 - 5:00 pm - keep fresh water available, keep pens clean, entertain puppies

5:00 pm - load dogs back in van and clean up area for next day.


Play Pals

Socialization is extremely important to the “adoptability” of our dogs and helps to make their stay at the shelter more comfortable. Play pals give much needed exercise and affection to our homeless pets. Play Pals can take a dog for a walk or throw a ball in the fenced play yard. Our dogs can always use a bath or just someone to give them a good rub. You can also take a dog home for a night to give them time away from the shelter.

Dog Walking Volunteers will be required to attend a Dog Handling class given by Clarissa before they may begin volunteering to walk dogs. (See Dog Walking 101 handout for Specific instructions)
Always ask a staff person if there is a question about whether or not a dog should be walked.

A critical understanding with all animals is to sanitize your hands after handling as to not spread germs and diseases.

​​Animal Care Team

This job is by far the hardest, dirtiest, but most rewarding out of all of the volunteer opportunities. We have the same number of staff that we had three years ago, but serves three times the number of animals. The staff has come to rely on volunteers to with the daily routine of caring, cleaning and therapy. This job includes:

  • Sanitizing animal areas inside and out
  • Feeding and watering
  • General cleaning (food pans and water buckets cleaned)
  • Bringing dogs in and out of their kennels
  • Supervising play areas


Special Event Support Team

An “Event” can be any public appearance that we attend, ranging from a large fundraiser or a small booth at a Farmers Market. We go to many events throughout the year and we depend on volunteers to help us. Some examples:

  • Picking up materials or animals and transporting them to the location. (In order to take animals we ask that you have taken the animal handling classes and have walked dogs at the shelter)
  • Setting up prior to an event/ cleaning up after the event and returning materials or animals to the shelter.
  • Promoting our rescue during the event by participating in various stages of the event, or it be someone who hangs fliers at your local coffee shop or helps at one of our many events though out the year.
  • Events can be stressful so it is always important to remember volunteers represent the organization and it’s important to have a helpful, positive attitude when dealing with or answering questions the public may have!
  • Animal Handler—Shelter animals draw a crowd, so we love to bring them to events when appropriate!

Our staff works very hard to prepare animals going out into the community, so please be punctual if you are to pick up an animal. When dealing with animals, remember ... they may be afraid, get sick, or need a potty break when you least expect it. Event planning can be a painstaking process, so let’s do our part to ensure each event runs smoothly. Please remember you are an ambassador to our organization and must be an extension of our mission and vision.

Foster Parent

Animals need foster homes for various reasons. If you are interested in learning about our foster program, please ask! We have separate training and information on this program. 

Off-Site Adoption Crew

This is our go-to crew of volunteers that take some of our adoptable animals off-site to different events including: PetSmart & Tractor Supply, community events, and even KC Pet Rescue events. You must be 18 years or older to participate in this crew and have a minimum of 10 consecutive dog walking hours under your belt.


Fundraising is the heart of any non-profit organization. We have amazing opportunities to work with a group or at your own pace and schedule. We have listed just a small sampling of what you can do to help us continue to have a successful fundraising campaign:

  • PAWS—This encourages the community and organizations to develop fundraising events which benefit our cause and organization.
  • Supporting school and community projects (i.e. bake sales, wish list drives, dress down day, etc). If every volunteer held a small bake sale, we’d have lots of money!
  • Helping plan and host one of our fundraising events like Bark in the Park, a pledge walk for people and their pets. There’s a role for everyone!
  • Obtaining business sponsors— ask your employer or someone you know to become a sponsor at an event or fundraiser. Before you approach a company please talk to Clarissa so we make sure we don’t “ask” the same company too many times.
  • Sell Rescue merchandise or items we may have for sale at any given time (i.e. raffle tickets, clothing)Join the Promotions Team—help promote events. These are volunteers who are called upon to help promote our events and fundraisers. They may canvas a community passing out flyers, or send mailings, or anything that can help promote our rescue. Everything we do in the public can raise money and awareness... therefore, promotion is a key aspect to making our events successful! 


Guidelines and Procedures

Volunteering requires responsible and caring people committed to our mission, vision, and procedures. We welcome your help and want your experience with us to be personally satisfying and rewarding. We have procedures and guidelines for volunteers in order to create a seamless working relationship for volunteers, staff and most importantly our animals.


We encourage you to ask staff if you have ANY questions. Please follow staff directions and address problems, questions, or suggestions to the manager on duty.

  • Information regarding the animals must be held in strict confidence for their protection. Volunteers must not disclose information about the animals’ history, records, or the clients we serve. Please refer questions to a staff person. Remember not all animals here are AVAILABLE for adoption. Some of our animals are part of cruelty investigations so privacy needs to be upheld.—This includes social media!
  • Although we appreciate extra hands, we cannot allow volunteers to bring along a friend or family with them to volunteer unless they have completed the paperwork and training. This is for the safety of volunteers and animals.
  • Sexual harassment/abuse is not condoned or tolerated. If we have any cause to believe a volunteer has committed sexual harassment then we reserve the right to dismiss the volunteer immediately.
  • Please follow the guidelines and procedures set forth in this manual.
  • Please remember that you are an ambassador for KC Pet Rescue while volunteering in public. Your personal opinion will become that of KC Pet Rescue.
  • Volunteers should support KC Pet Rescue and its mission 100%


Volunteers Under 18 Years of Age

​There are some restrictions for minors. Volunteers age 14-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while volunteering. While dealing with dogs, you may only walk GREEN dogs and the parent must be in control of the animal at all times. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the animals and staff. Volunteers age 16-17 need parental consent before volunteering. If you are fulfilling service hours for your school or otherwise, we expect you to arrive at KC Pet Rescue ready to work.



  • Please sign in and out with a staff member, at the shelter or in the manner set up at a community event. ​
  • We ask that our volunteers purchase our apparel to wear while volunteering. If that is not an option you may wear a volunteer badge.
  • Information for volunteers is communicated via e-mail, test, or Facebook.
  • Sign out animals for any reason including: walks, events, play, grooming, and the like. We need to know where they are at all times.
  • Please observe all signs/warnings on cages or kennels.
  • Please report any animal that shows signs of sickness (i.e. sneezing, snotty nose, diarrhea, etc.). It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • If you are injured while volunteering, please report to the manager on duty to fill out an incident report.
  • Commitment: We ask our volunteers to commit to 16 hours per month or more. This is to maintain a strong volunteer force and keep you familiar with the animals and activities at the shelter.
  • If at any time you can no longer commit to these time requirements, please let Clarissa Riedmueller know you would like to end volunteering.

Media Relations:

  • Volunteers should never speak to the media without KC Pet Rescue’s permission.
  • Always refer any questions from the media to the supervisor on duty or the Executive Director.

Guidelines for Working with the Public

  • Volunteers represent KC Pet Rescue at all times.
  • There is no such thing as a “personal opinion” on an animal welfare issue while volunteering.
    • ​The public will interpret your opinion as the official policy of KC Pet Rescue.
    • People naturally have questions about a broad range of animal welfare issues. No one is expected to be an authority on everything.
    • When asked questions regarding KC Pet Rescue policies and practices, get the questioners’ contact information and tell them the Executive Director will call them. Get the question and contact information to the Executive Director as soon as possible.
  • If an angry or disrespectful person, who has issues with KC Pet Rescue, confronts you, respond calmly.
    • Ask the person to give you their question and contact information so the Executive Director may call.

Dismissal of Volunteers:

KC Pet Rescue reserves the right to dismiss a volunteer who does not follow procedures or our mission. If you are not following the procedures you may risk injury to yourself or an animal and we reserve the right to dismiss you. The safety of our animals, volunteers, staff and visitors are our primary concern.



  • You will get dirty. At some point, a dog will walk in poop, then jump up on your pants to say hello. Dress appropriately.
  • Dogs can hurt you unintentionally if handled improperly. You risk injury to yourself, your fellow volunteers, our staff, our adopters, and the dogs if you fail to follow the instructions given during your training, both here at orientation and at the shelter.
  • A good quality 6 ft long 3/4” or 1” wide webbing leash with a wrist loop and swivel snap will be provided. Do Not use leashes less than 3/4” wide, “novelty” or retractable leashes. Slip and choke leads are not permitted for use of walking dogs.
  • Dog walking can be physically demanding. Dogs pull, some areas can be muddy, and you will have to bend and stoop at times to handle your dog properly. If the physical requirements of dog walking are not for you, there are other volunteer options!
  • Play Pals are important too! Dogs need to be socialized and it is great if you just sit and play with the dog or use our play area. And always remember there are many, many other ways to help our animals if you cannot spend direct time with dogs.
  • You cannot safely walk our dogs if you wear flip flops, heels or other slip on shoes. Please wear only closed toed shoes with laces when you come to the shelter.
  • Leave your iPod and MP3 player at home. You cannot safely listen to music, talk or text on your cell phone while you are walking one of our dogs. We do ask that you bring your cell phones in case we need to contact you while out with one of our dogs.Bring treats for the dogs. Treats allow you to make friends quickly with unfamiliar dogs and are essential to basic obedience training if you decide you want to try that.


​Before working with us you will be required to sign a sheet stating that you have read the guidelines stated above and will follow these guidelines and procedures while volunteering for KC Pet Rescue.