Drills: Every month the Volunteer Committee will post an electronic drill or re-training in the Volunteer Newsletter. The drill will consist of a scenario such as an injured guest or animal emergency, and course of action options for the volunteer to select or fill in. Each volunteer must read the monthly Volunteer Newsletter and mark that they have read it as well as complete the electronic drill. The Volunteer Committee will review the results of the drill and will council any volunteer that may have answered insufficiently or incorrectly. Re-training consists of the mandatory reading of posted class materials.
Drill – Escaped Cat: You are cleaning Bailey and Moses’ enclosure when you see Pharaoh strolling down the tour path. What do you do? Answer: Call on the radio the following code: Attention all personal, code red, Pharaoh, tour path between Amazing Grace and Bailey and Moses. Stay where you are and quitely keep an eye on Pharaoh. If he gets too far away to see, move closer until you can regain a visual and then stop. Keep this up until help arrives. Pharaoh is a skiddish cat and if you were to approach him, or get too close, he would most certainly take off running. It is best to keep him in your sight from the greatest distance possible until help arrives. The front gate should be shut down at the main shut off by whomever is closest to that area. Any volunteers and guests on property should be escorted to a safe zone; building, tour waiting yard, or empty cage and a volunteer for each group should radio their location to the Coordinator.
Drill – Overheated Guest: A guest passes out on the tour. What do you do? Answer: Ensure that the guest is in a safe and comfortable location. Call for your Coordinator and a golf cart, if needed, on the radio. See Human First Aid Class.
Drill – Cat in Distress: You are cleaning and find a cat with their head wedged out through the wire who is struggling to free themselves. What do you do? Answer: Back away from and keep other volunteers and guests from approaching the area. Give the cat as much space as possible to avoid exciting the cat which could result in injury. Call on the radio for the acting Coordinator to come to the location immediately. Wait nearby to provide assistance if needed. The Coordinator should assess the situation and determine the best possible action and notify the appropriate staff if available; Vern, Carole, Jamie, Gale. If it appears that the cat will not be able to free itself from the wire there are two options; First slowly approach the cat and if the cat does not panic cut away one bar, using bolt cutters, of wiring to allow for the cat to be freed. If the cat becomes agitated upon being approached and it appears that it may injure itself then the second option would be to tranquilize the cat in which case the vet would need to be consulted and appropriate staff notified to dart the cat.
Important Updates: Every volunteer must check and read the Important Updates section of the BigCatRescue.me site before beginning their volunteer time for the day. All important information that every volunteer must know is posted in the Important Updates section.
Animal Contact: At no time, under any circumstances, will any part of your person come into direct contact with any animal at Big Cat Rescue. Nor shall you use any object to touch an animal such as a stick or pole etc. (There is a back scratcher program that is available to Senior Keepers and up, this program is strictly monitored and is for the purpose to assist animals with removing matted fur.)
Radios: You must carry a BCR issued radio with you at all times while on the property and ensure that the radio is turned on and tuned to Channel 1. Each volunteer is responsible for keeping his or her radio in good working order. You will have to turn in your car keys in order to receive a radio at the beginning of your shift, and turn the radio back in at the end of the day in order to receive your keys back. If you need to leave the sanctuary at a specific time please let your Coordinator know when you collect your radio upon arrival. The Coordinator can meet you at food prep at a that specific time. If you need to leave the sanctuary quickly and had not planned ahead of time please radio your Coordinator 5-10 minutes prior to your desired leave time so that they can make their way to food prep to collect your radio.Radio transmissions on Channel 1 should be kept to a minimum. If more detail must be discussed use Channel 2 or 3. Radio transmissions must be monitored by the Volunteer Coordinator or Operations Manager throughout the day for questions or emergencies.
Cell Phones: Preferably, cell phones are to be left in the volunteer’s car; however, if the volunteer is expecting an urgent call and must carry a cell phone, absolutely no calls will be answered while on the animal side of the barricades.
Conduct: No person shall run or horseplay on the property.
First Aid Kits: There should fully stocked be first aid kits in; Gift Shop, Volunteer Sign In, Food Prep, Cooling Station, Main Office, E-Center, and Party House. Each kit should include an inventory list of items in kit and should be checked monthly for low medications and expired medications. All supplies for the First Aid Kits are to be purchased by Big Cat Rescue. Volunteers are not permitted to donate First Aid Supplies nor store their personal medications in the First Aid Kits. The task of checking and stocking the First Aid Kits will be assigned to two Senior Level volunteers.
Illness: Any person feeling under the weather should contact a coordinator to reschedule their volunteer time.
Smoking: Smoking is permitted in the designated “smoking areas” only.
Alcohol & Drugs: Absolutely no alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed on the property at any time. Any person believed to be in possession of or using illegal drugs will be terminated from the program and removed from the property immediately. No person shall enter the property where the big cats are housed for eight hours after having consumed any alcoholic beverages or prescription medications that affect one’s ability to work safely around the animals. (This property encompasses all land between the main parking lot and the perimeter fence that runs from the Moglin House to the Barn). All prescription medications must be disclosed at time of applying for a volunteer position. If during the volunteer career additional medications are prescribed these must be reported to the Volunteer Committee immediately. Any person believed to be impaired due to alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription) will be terminated from the program and removed from the property immediately. Any person that consumes alcohol irresponsibly at BCR functions (poor behavior under the influence, driving under the influence, missing scheduled volunteer shift or showing up sick due to hangover etc.) may be terminated from the program. Alcohol consumption may take place at BCR organized functions at the Lion’s Lair Party Pavillion.
Gate Codes and Keys: All Staff, Coordinators, and Committee members are provided with the code to both black gates as well as a key to the blue locks on all interior gates. The President, CEO, and Operations Managers are provided with keys to the enclosures, med cabinet, and cat hospital. All Staff and Volunteers that are Keeper Level and higher are provided with the code to the white gate. Interns are provided a key for the pedestrian gate behind the Sand Cat Castle Intern House.
Discomfort Leaving Property: Due to the negative attention created by the Netflix Documentary. If any volunteer is uncomfortable leaving property after their volunteers shift they may ask their Coordinator for assistance. The Coordinator will either escort the volunteer off property or provide an alternate exit.
Morning Drive Through Safety Check: Every day, the first activity on the sanctuary grounds is to be the Operations Manager for the day (not the Coordinators) driving, in a closed vehicle, around the inside of the property to look for signs of any cat who may have escaped. Only after that drive through may others, including interns who live right outside the gates, access the grounds.