Updated 25 February 2019: Adeje Ayuntamiento has announced that the first volunteer carers began their activities in the municipal animal rescue centre last Friday, 22 February, with 7 individuals who have met all the requirements needed to be allowed care for these animals. From now on this team of people, which can include up to 3 more, can take responsibility for walking dogs, brushing and shampooing them, playing and training in socialisation, as well as helping during puppy feeds.

The activities that the volunteer team will be involved in will never include the work of the centre’s full time staff, such as preparing the food for the animals, cleaning the installations, administering medicines, etc. Those animals listed as potentially dangerous will always be handled by personnel from the council who are in possession of the correct licences to do so. Health councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, said, “this is a great move for the borough, to have the team of volunteers now active in the centre. This is an important moment for us who have spent time preparing the regulations to allow these volunteers to participate and to ensure the Centre is properly run. We have been delighted to engage with volunteers who want to help and contribute to the development of these pets in the centre, a terrific reflection of the kind of people we have, who are ready and willing to take these volunteer duties on”.

Among the requirements for the seven people who have begun their volunteer work, as well as confirming they are over 18, are a medical certificate stating they are not ill, and a judicial declaration stating that they have never been reported or convicted of animal abuse or arrested for mistreating a domestic pet. In parallel they have to officially demonstrate that they are a member of a legally constituted non-profit volunteer organisation which is properly constituted.

The seven individuals have also had to undergo a period of obligatory practical sessions over a month, after which they were presented with an accreditation by the council. Any volunteer can be active for up to a year whereupon they need to reapply, and in this way the centre can ensure that more people who wish to volunteer have the opportunity to do so. Those who do qualify must commit to at least 50% of the established hours they are signed up for on a monthly basis, carry out the allocated activity in the hours assigned for it and follow the instructions of the responsible personnel in the Centre.

The rules also state that the volunteer may not carry out administrative functions nor access the veterinary area nor play with animals who are waiting to be collected by their new owners, change the cages of the animals, give the animals food or drink, clean the quarters and/or toys of the animals, etc. These functions are solely the responsibility of the staff members of the Centre.

The rules under which the Centre’s volunteers will operate have been laid out in law ‘4/1998, 15 de mayo de Voluntariado de Canarias’ and were approved in plenary session by the council.  To apply there must be volunteer vacancy free and the panel will give priority to those who have not previously worked as a volunteer in the Centre, the objective being to allow more people to participate. The full regulations are available to consult online, www.adeje.es.

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