Constitution and Bylaws

Prairieland Visiting Animals Association
Constitution and Bylaws

ARTICLE I     NAME, OBJECTIVES & OPERATION

SECTION I   NAME

The name of the Association shall be Prairieland Visiting Animals Association (PVAA).

SECTION II   OBJECTIVES
The objectives of PVAA shall be to promote the human animal bond by:

1. Promoting the benefits of human/animal interaction.
2. Providing registered animal therapy teams to facilities.
3. Mentoring and supporting all members; and
4. Providing educational training, classes and workshops to members and the public.

 

SECTION III   OPERATION
PVAA as a 501c3, shall be operated solely for charitable and humanitarian purposes and shall not be operated for profit.


1. No part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues, fees or donations to PVAA shall accrue to the benefit of any member or individual; and
2. The allocation and disbursement of funds shall be at the discretion of the Board and consistent with PVAA’s objectives.


ARTICLE II     MEMBERSHIP

SECTION I   ELIGIBILITY
Membership shall be open to anyone interested in and committed to the objectives of PVAA. Two (2) types of membership are provided for members each year (proration of dues are available for those who join after the beginning of the membership year).

1. FULL membership shall include one (1) vote per household at any meeting, reduced cost at any special event or workshop sponsored by PVAA. This category is designed for active members.
2. ASSOCIATE membership shall not vote at meetings and will pay a regular fee at events/workshops. This category is created for individuals who want to affiliate with PVAA and our objectives, but do not want to be an active member during that membership year.


SECTION II   DUES

1. Dues shall be determined by a majority vote of the membership;
2. Shall be paid annually; and
3. The Treasurer will notify the membership when dues need to be paid.


SECTION III   VOTING
One (1) vote per household shall be given to each FULL membership (age 16 or over).


SECTION IV   TERMINATION
PVAA shall reserve the right to terminate any member. Membership shall be terminated for one of the following reasons:

1. Lapsed dues – A nonpayment of dues forty five (45) days after the 1st day of January each year.
2. Dismissal – Documented conduct or behavior contrary to national organizational standards. Dismissal shall be investigated by a least one Board member and one evaluator. Their findings shall be presented to all Board members, who shall vote to expel the member or not by a majority vote.


SECTION V   ASSOCIATION or AFFILIATION

1. PVAA through a majority vote of members present, may elect to associate or affiliate with a recognized national pet therapy or pet visitation organization that sets appropriate certification or registration standards and offers liability insurance when volunteering; and
2. The decision to affiliate or otherwise associate PVAA with any such organization shall be at the sole discretion of the membership and can be initiated, continued, modified or revoked at any time with a majority vote of the members present at any meeting.


SECTION VI   MEMBER RESPONSIBILITES

1. Members with or without a registered therapy animal/s shall at all times conduct themselves in a positive, professional, compassionate and helpful manner whenever they are representing PVAA;
2. Members shall be encouraged to volunteer their time, including but not limited to attendance at meetings, evaluations, educational events, workshops and community activities;
3. Members shall be encouraged to keep their personal information (email, phone and address), as well as when and where they visit updated on a regular basis;
4. Any member with a non-registered animal MAY NOT visit as a representative of PVAA; and
5. Members shall be responsible for keeping their national organization’s membership current if volunteering to visit and purchase additional insurance if they are taking their therapy animal to work as a working partner.


ARTICLE III     MEETINGS

All meetings shall be held in person when possible. Another electronic method shall be offered, if available.


SECTION I   ANNUAL MEETINGS

1. Shall be held in the months of October or November, at which time officers for the coming fiscal year shall be elected by a written ballot or show of hands.
2. Each retiring officer shall turn over all properties, records, access to electronic data, website information, etc and relinquish their roles in such areas to the newly elected officer within thirty (30) days after the election.


SECTION II   REGULAR MEETINGS

1. Shall be scheduled and announced at the annual meeting for the coming year; and
2. Shall be scheduled on a evening when the majority of members can attend.


SECTION III   SPECIAL MEETINGS

1. May be called by any Board member, after receiving a text, email or letter from two (2) members; and
2. Notice of such a special meeting, stating the date, time, place and objective must be emailed or otherwise communicated to all members by one of the Board members as soon as possible before the date of the meeting.


SECTION IV   BOARD MEETINGS

1. May be called by any Board member;
2. Meetings may be held in person, email, phone or any other electronic method available;
3. The purpose of these meetings shall be to organize and plan for any events or future needs of PVAA; and
4. Any committee member or appointee with relevant information shall be included in that particular meeting.


ARTICLE IV     THE BOARD


SECTION I   OFFICERS OF THE BOARD

1. The Board shall consist of the elected officers and appointees;
2. The elected officers of the Board shall include a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and two (2) Members-at-Large;
3. The elected officers shall constitute the voting members of the Board;
4. All elected officers shall serve a term of two (2) years, except the Members-at-Large whose term shall be one (1) year;
5. The Chairperson and Secretary shall be elected in odd numbered years;
6. The Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years;
7. All officers may be re-elected for an unlimited number of terms; and
8. Any Board Officer shall not be held responsible for the actions or omissions of any member.


SECTION II   DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS

1. CHAIRPERSON:

a. Shall preside at all meetings and have the duties and powers normally associated with the office;
b. Shall vote on all matters, ensure that all business is taken care of in a timely manner and that all records are kept in a secure location; and
c. Shall appoint members to serve on committees and/or members to take care of business for PVAA.


2. VICE-CHAIRPERSON:

a. Shall (in the absence or disability of the Chairperson) perform the duties of the Chairperson;
b. Shall work jointly with the Chairperson in performing the necessary duties required for the operation of PVAA; and
c. Shall be responsible for welcoming all new members and assign mentors to each new animal therapy team.


3. SECRETARY:

a. Shall record minutes and keep a complete record of all meetings;
b. Shall be responsible for emailing or communicating with all members regarding upcoming meeting dates and any other pertinent information;
c. Shall keep a current database (including names, regular addresses, email addresses and phone numbers) of members on an electronic/digital document and provide access to
all Board members, evaluators and committee chairs as needed; and
d. Shall collect biographical information and pictures of members on a separate electronic/digital document and forward these to the website manager for posting.


4. TREASURER:

a. Shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to PVAA and make receipts and a record of all transactions;
b. Shall notify the membership when dues are coming due;
c. Shall pay all bills and expenses of PVAA from its funds, keeping receipts or other appropriate documentation;
d. Shall balance the checkbook and maintain correspondence with the bank holding the checking account;
e. Shall submit a current Treasurer’s report at each PVAA meeting;
f. Shall open the Treasurer’s books for inspection, upon a request from any PVAA member; and
g. Shall submit all financial forms, reports and payments to any state or federal regulatory agencies when due.
h. The Treasurer and Chairperson are the only PVAA members allowed to sign checks or use PVAA’s credit cards.


5. MEMBERS-AT-LARGE

Shall represent the membership by attending Board meetings, participating in discussions and bringing new ideas to the Board.


SECTION III   VACANCIES

1. Any vacancy occurring during the year shall be filled, except for the Chairperson; and
2. The Board shall meet after such occurrence and elect a member to fill the vacancy.
3. The membership may opt to schedule a special election for the Chairperson’s vacancy if desired.


SECTION IV   REMOVAL OF AN OFFICER

Any officer may be removed by a majority vote of the membership present at any meeting due to inattention or mismanagement of his/her duties.


SECTION V   APPOINTEES

1. The Chairperson may appoint other members to perform duties necessary to the operation of PVAA (ie. Website manager, coordinators for social events, social media, etc); and
2. These individuals shall be ex officio members of the Board (a voice but not a vote).


ARTICLE V     FISCAL YEAR, NOMINATIONS and ELECTIONS


SECTION I   FISCAL YEAR
Shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 31st day of December.


SECTION II   NOMINATIONS

1. Active members shall be given priority regarding their nomination for an officer position;
2. PVAA Chairperson shall appoint three (3) members to serve on a nominating committee no later than sixty (60) days before the date of the annual meeting;
3. The nominating committee will choose a Nominating Chairperson to coordinate the discovery of members willing to serve as officers of the Board for the following year;
4. Eligible members shall be encouraged to contact the nominating committee if they are interested in holding an office;
5. Consideration shall be given to the person who will best represent the interests of PVAA and is capable of performing the duties of that office;
6. The Nominating Committee shall nominate at least one (1) candidate for each office, who has indicated that they would accept the nomination;
7. The Nominating Committee will report the nominations to the Secretary no later than thirty (30) days before the annual meeting;
8. The Secretary shall notify all members of the nominations no later than fifteen (15) days before the annual meeting;
9. Nominations may be made from the floor at the annual meeting, provided the person nominated is willing to serve; and
10. Absentee Ballots may be ordered from the Secretary no later than four (4) days before the annual meeting and must be returned before the start of the annual meeting.


SECTION III   ELECTIONS
The nominated candidate receiving the majority of votes for each office shall be declared the winner.


ARTICLE VI     COMMITTEES

Committees shall be appointed and dissolved by the Chairperson as deemed necessary for the functioning of PVAA. Each committee shall be chartered with measurable outcomes and report to the Board when necessary.


ARTICLE VII     AMENDMENTS

These Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of members present at any meeting. Members shall be advised of the proposed new bylaws at least two (2) weeks before the meeting by email. Any member may respond to that email notification within four (4) business days and ask for a clarification or revision. A response shall be prepared and if changes are made, another email shall be sent out to the membership with the changes noted.


ARTICLE VIII     DISSOLUTION

PVAA may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of all voting members. After payment of all debts, PVAA’s property and assets shall be distributed to such charitable organizations as may be designated by the majority of the members.


ARTICLE IX     ORDER OF BUSINESS

The order of business at meetings shall be as follows: call to order, roll call, welcome guests, reading previous minutes, Treasurer’s report, Chairperson’s report, committee reports, old business, new business and adjournment.  Parliamentary procedure shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order.


We hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and correct copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of Prairieland Visiting Animals Association adopted by the members of the Association as of
1 NOVEMBER 2022
Signed this 9th day of November, 2022
Chairperson - Karen Simecka
Vice-Chairperson - Tim McHenry
Secretary - Judy Knoll
Treasurer - Diana Zimmerman

The signed copy is attached here: