When entering kennels:

  • Volunteers must sign in and bring their Tai Po Volunteer ID Cards when they volunteer at Tai Po Homing Centre. 
  • Volunteers must not bring any dog treats other than chicken filets (please refer to below for detailed rules on feeding).
  • Volunteers must wear suitable clothing (no flip flops).

When inside kennels:

  • Volunteers, within their abilities, may need to perform tasks in all areas upon request.
  • Volunteers must make sure that all gates are properly shut after opening them.
  • Volunteers must use the airlock properly by closing the first gate before opening the second gate.

Choices of dogs to walk/ approach:

  • Only experienced volunteers are allowed to walk and approach “red dogs” upon staff’s approval.
  • Volunteers in each shift must finish walking “priority dogs” on the walking sheet before walking other dogs. 
  • Volunteers should inform staff to unlock the back gate after all “priority dogs” are walked during the shift. 

When walking dogs:

  • Dogs must be walked on a leash at all times.
  • Volunteers must use a short leash when passing other dogs or traffic, keeping a safe distance to avoid accidents.
  • Volunteers must give the dogs full attention and hold on to the leash the whole time.
  • Volunteers must not run with the dogs.
  • Volunteers are fully responsible for the dogs’ behaviors outside and they must keep the dogs and other people safe. 

When handling dogs:

  • HKDR believes in positive training methods. Volunteers must not shout at, kick, or choke any dogs.
  • If a dog is unwilling to be put on a leash, volunteers must not force the dogs.
  • Volunteers must use the types of harnesses and collars that HKDR approves and recommends.

Guidelines on giving treats:

  • Dogs could easily fight over treats. New volunteers should not give treats before completing 5 Supervised Shifts or becoming familiar with kennel routines.
  • Only steamed or boiled chicken fillets are allowed as treats.
  • Volunteers are allowed to feed one fillet at most to each dog. Over-feeding is strictly prohibited.
  • Before feeding treats, volunteers must check and follow the notes on the walking sheet/ at enclosure entrance to avoid serious consequences such as diarrhea, allergies, weight control issues, dog fights, and injuries.
  • SOME DOGS ARE ON STRICT DIET, be it with food sensitivity or health condition, please respect that the restrictions are for the dogs own well-being and follow accordingly.
  • Volunteers should place treats on the palm and not throw them on the ground.
  • Any violations of the feeding rules is unacceptable and could result in disqualification for the volunteer responsible for it. 

After dog walking:

  • Volunteers must return the dogs to their correct pens or enclosures.
  • Upon coming back from walks, volunteers must check the area for cleanliness.
  • Volunteers must change the water if it is less than half of the bucket.
  • Volunteers must pick up any feces inside the kennels.
  • Volunteers should ensure that dog beds are clean, in place and make sure that the dog igloo entrances are not blocked.
  • Volunteers must tidy up blankets and towels, removing any that are wet or dirty.
  • Volunteers should also clear any leashes and harnesses left on the floor.

Handling dog fights:

  • Volunteers must be aware that dogs could fight over attention. Therefore volunteers should carefully avoid that by observing any potential signs of jealousy and leave the area in time.
  • Volunteers should not bring any treats into the dog area and feeding inside the kennel is strictly prohibited.
  • Volunteers may be held responsible for resulting veterinary bills.
  • To prevent injuries, volunteers must not grab the dogs during a fight. You may use a dog bed and/any large objects to separate/distract the dogs. For more information, you may consult with a supervisor or staff.

Regarding village dogs:

  • Volunteers must not feed any free roaming village dogs.
  • Volunteers must keep their distance from the village dogs when walking HKDR dogs.

Hiking requests:

  • Volunteers must submit a hiking request 48 hours before the outing and agree to the conditions by signing a Hiking Waiver Form when collecting the dog. 
  • When there aren’t enough volunteers to walk priority dogs, volunteers should walk some of the priority dogs before going on an outing.
  • Outings are not allowed when the temperature is above 30°C unless they are in an indoor or shaded area. 

To ensure a safe environment for dogs and all volunteers in Tai Po, please note that a warning system is in place to address volunteers who violate kennel rules. Volunteers who fail to comply with the kennel rules will receive a warning, and after two warnings, they will be disqualified from volunteering.

Thank you for your cooperation!