BY-LAWS of
PETS in Action

A Non-Profit organization under the North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) Foundation
November 2009

ARTICLE I - NAME
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be "PETS in Action" hereafter known as PETS.
Section 2. This organization has Non-Profit 501(c) 3 status in Georgia under the NGCSU Foundation.
Section 3. The organization may, at its pleasure, by a vote of the membership body, change its name.

ARTICLE II - OBJECT
Section 1. PETS is organized for the purpose of providing, through its members, well trained, affectionate and obedient animals for therapeutic contacts with the elderly, the disabled, the young, in hospitals, homes, nursing facilities, libraries, schools, and pre-schools or other suitable locations.
Section 2. The organization will provide detailed specifications for the testing - AKC Canine Good Citizen test (CGC), health care and temperament to qualify an animal and handler for therapy work. Animals, to qualify as therapy animals, shall be obedient, healthy, clean, and free of transmittable diseases, of sound temperament, are able to work with other therapy animals & people socially, and abide by the PETS Visit Guidelines.
Section 3. PETS provides liability insurance for those handlers and animals that abide by & maintain the standards described in Article II - Section 2.   See Article III - Section 5 for more details on maintaining these standards.

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership
Membership is open to all who support the purposes of PETS. A member in good standing must abide by the PETS Visit Guidelines. Active PETS members are defined as certified therapy teams who consistently visit PETS designated facilities a minimum of one hour a month with their certified animal, participate in a minimum of one annual fund raiser and attend a majority of the PETS 1/4trly meetings. Volunteer PETS members are defined as those without certified animals. These volunteers may make visits with a animal/handler team, assist with fund raisers and associated PETS events. These volunteers must read, sign, and adhere to the Visit Guidelines.
Section 2. Minor Members
The minimum age requirement for PETS animal/handler membership is 18 years. Younger volunteers may go with a certified team on visits under the team’s responsibility only if the facility allows minors.
Section 3. Animal/Handler Teams
Only the handler and animals certified together as a team may make visits together. Another volunteer may not take a certified animal on a visit if they have not been certified with that animal as a team.
Section 4. Termination of Membership
PETS members must strictly comply with the PETS Visit Guidelines. The membership of any individual may also be terminated for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Attempt to damage or defame the organization
  • By every appearance, does not support the purposes of the organization
  • Cruelty, abuse or neglect to animals or humans
  • Crimes against humanity, including but not limited to, any violent crimes, arson, burglary, robbery, fraud, slander, libel, plagiarism or copyright infringement
  • Knowledgeable non-compliance with the PETS Visit Guidelines
  • Non-compliance with the one hour of pet visits per month requirement for more than two consecutive months (except for understandable reasons that are conveyed to the officers).  

Section 5. Member Animal/ Handler Team Re-evaluation:

  • Every 2 years all PETS teams must be re-evaluated via the CGC test (no fee). If the team does not pass the CGC, they may continue visits, but they must take the test again at the next 1/4ly CGC testing (with fee). If they do not pass the 2nd testing the team will be removed from active PETS visit status until they pass the CGC test and their observation with an experienced team member is successfull.
  • If PETS has been alerted to a high risk or possible behavior issue with a member or member's animal, PETS will require that the team be re-evaluated via the CGC and their observation is successfull.
  • If a team has not visited in 3 months (without conveyed reasons) they will be asked of their intent to continue with PETS.  If they intend to continue, an observation visit with an experienced team member is required.  If the pet is not under control and/or is showing signs of stress on the visit, the team must must be re-evaluated via the CGC.
  • If a team does not make a visit for 6 months, they will be required to be re-evaluated via the CGC. They also must be successfully observed at least one time before visiting again.
  • In all the above cases, visits are not allowed until the team passes the CGC test and/or their observation is successfull specific to each scenario.

ARTICLE IV - ADVISORY BOARD
Section 1. The purpose of the board is to advise, guide, support and provide consultation to the PETS in Action organization. The board members shall be selected out of the Lumpkin County community to provide resources such as visibility, knowledge, financial guidance and support to PETS.  Advisory Board members should have a sincere interest in animals and the mission of PETS.  Board members shall be nominated by and elected by the current board members, the President, and the VP. Voting is done by a show of hands or by e-mail ballot.
Section 2. The Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) and a minimum of three or more (always an odd number) board members shall perform the duties prescribed by these By-Laws For additional details on duties, see also Article V - Officer Duties.
Section 3. The Advisory Board shall be consulted on any contractual ventures or purchases over $500. No PETS member, officer, or volunteer shall enter into any such contract in the name of PETS without Board approval.
Section 4. Any Officer or Advisory board member must submit their intent to continue or end their term in writing/email to the Nominating Committee by Nov 1st.
Section 5. The term of office for the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be one year or until their successors are elected, and it shall begin in January after the November election. The officers may be re-elected for up 2 consecutive years (total of 3 consecutive years).
Section 6. The term of office of the Advisory Board members shall be one year.  Board members may be re-elected for up 3 consecutive years and the term shall begin after election described in Article IV Section 1.
Section 7. Vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors shall be filled until the end of the term by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Advisory Board.
Section 8. An Officer or Advisory Board member may be removed from office by a majority of ballot vote of the Advisory Board, President and Vice President. If this action is taken, an official letter of dismissal on behalf of the PETS Advisory Board shall be immediately sent.

ARTICLE V - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers should be active members of PETS for at least one year in order to be eligible for an officer position. The exception to this statement is the secretary position. The officers shall be elected by a show of hands of the members present, provided there be a quorum (1/3 of active members in good standing), at the meeting. The officers shall be elected in November and assume office in January.
Section 2. The President shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the of the membership and at all regular and special meetings of the Advisory Board; shall authenticate by signature, when necessary, all acts, orders & proceedings of the assembly & shall have on hand at all meetings;
(1) an agenda and such other information as needed to expedite the meetings,
(2) a copy of the current By-Laws and Visit Guidelines
(3) a list of all standing and special committee Chairmen and the members of each committee; and shall perform the duties prescribed by the By-Laws adopted by the organization.
Section 3. The Vice-President (VP) shall preside in the absence or at the request of the President and shall perform the duties of the President prescribed by the By-Laws. The VP shall procure the host and location of the quarterly PETS member meetings and shall inform the members when the PETS meetings will be held via email or any other reasonable communication method 2 weeks in advance of the meetings.
Section 4. The Secretary shall be responsible for the recording and provision of edited minutes of each quarterly meeting of PETS. They shall produce the edited minutes within 2 weeks after the meeting. They shall have on hand at each meeting a list of all existing committees and their members. The secretary shall be responsible for keeping the email /phone # contact list of the current members.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall pay and receive all non-tax deductible monies on behalf of PETS, shall keep an accurate account of all monies received and expended, shall pay no bills without proper authorization by PETS officers, shall give a report of the same at the regular quarterly meetings of the organization, and shall, at the expiration of his/her term, turn over everything in his/her possession belonging to PETS to their successor. The treasurer shall maintain these monies in a separate checking account for PETS in Action.
Section 6. The NGCSU Foundation shall receive all tax deductible monies donated to PETS. These monies shall be managed in the NGCSU Foundation account by an NGCSU employee. A report of the Foundation account shall be given at the regular quarterly meetings of the organization.

ARTICLE VI - MEETINGS AND VOTING
Section 1. The annual meeting of this Organization shall be held in January. All Officers and Advisory Board presence is required for the meeting unless extenuating circumstances are presented in advance to the Board.
Section 2. The annual meeting in January shall be held for the discussion and approval of any PETS business that may arise during the fiscal year. Recognition of PETS members for volunteer hours worked shall be given at the annual meeting.
Section 3. Regular bi-annual meetings of the Advisory Board shall be held at a meeting place determined by the President to be as centrally located for the convenience of the largest number of members on the Advisory Board. Notices will be sent a minimum of fourteen days (if possible) prior to the meeting date.
Section 4. Special meetings of the Advisory Board may be called by the President or by three members of the Board of Directors with a ten day notice (if possible), and the purpose of the special meeting given.
Section 5. A quorum of the Advisory Board shall be 60% of the Advisory Board members. If a quorum is not present at the scheduled or special meeting, the Presidenr's vote shall be be counted.
Section 6. Voting is by show of hands or by e-mail ballot on all matters.

ARTICLE VII - COMMITTEES
Section 1. Committees shall be appointed by the President in conference with other officers and in a member meeting, as needed for particular tasks. These committees shall by authorized by proper motions, made and voted on in regular or called meeting. Committees shall exist for the duration of their task, and shall report their findings and results to the organization.

ARTICLE VIII - DISSOLUTION
Section 1. If PETS ceases operations, the Advisory Board, President and VP, after satisfying all liabilities, may elect to hold any assets for three (3) years in contemplation of resuming operations. If operations do not resume, dissolution shall begin. Remaining assets of PETS will be distributed to the NGCSU Foundation organization exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Advisory Board, President and VP and may elect to distribute these assets to one or more organizations with preference of organizations with the same or similar purposes, or for any public purpose.

ARTICLE IX - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Section 1. This Organization shall be governed by its By-Laws, Advisory Board, Officers and PETS Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Organization.
Section 2. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Organization in all cases to which they are applicable or in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws and any special rules of order the Organization may adopt.

ARTICLE X - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. The Advisory Board and/or Officers may amend these By-Laws by vote of e-mail ballot or by show of hands at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose.

STANDING RULES OF PETS - ORDER OF BUSINESS FOR MEETINGS:
Call to Order/President's Welcome
Introductions / Roll Call
Review of Minutes
Financial Report
Corporate Office Report
Committee Reports
Discussion of Business
Adjournment