Cell Phone Policies & Procedures

April 11, 2013

An animal shelter provides a valuable service to the community. In addition to housing lost dogs and cats, they offer optimal care to animals of all kinds. This includes ample food and water, along with immunization and daily medical treatments by certified veterinarians. Animals are also given plenty of love and attention, especially those that have been mistreated or discarded. While animal shelters play a pivotal role in the community, they are not exempt from risks or possible litigation. In fact, several shelters are sued each year due to unintentional negligence or customer mishaps. To effectively protect your animal shelter from unforeseen circumstances, you simply need liability insurance.

Liability coverage shields your center and its employees/volunteers from faulty claims. It also protects your venue in the event of emergencies, including fires, vandalism, structural abuse, and especially dog bites. While an animal shelter provides warmth and comfort to countless animals, it is highly exposed and susceptible to claims of all kinds. While insurance can minimize these exposures, there are ways for managers and directors to safeguard their shelters as well. This includes a stringent cell phone usage policy for all employees and volunteers. When it comes to cell phone policies and procedures, the SPCA and other animal rescue centers already have strict rules in place. This includes zero texting policies while at work, along with accessing the Internet for non-work related endeavors.

While emergencies can happen at any time, employees should urge their family members to contact their work phone. Since employee privacy can still be an issue, your policy needs to be clear and concise. It should explain the general purpose of the policy, while addressing key safety and security concerns. The policy should also extend to directors and managers, since they need to set good examples for their work force. If desired, the policy can be broken down into easy to read sections. These sections should cover cell phone use while transporting animals, along with general use at work and unsafe situations or scenarios. If the shelter, however, awards cell phones to employees or volunteers, they need to restrict usage to job related tasks and endeavors. They also need to set limits as based on their monthly charges or overall budget.

Cell phone policies tend to differ within animal welfare organizations. No matter which policy you implement, the terms should be clear and signed by all employees and staff.

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