Code of Conduct
of the Chicago Pet Patrol
Amended October 17th, 2021
Pursuant to upholding the organization’s Values Statement and creating a positive, respectful, consent-focused environment for all community members, the Chicago Pet Patrol asks that all people regardless of membership abide by the following Code of Conduct when engaging in club spaces and events, virtual or physical.
- Treating others with respect includes engaging in behavior that upholds all clauses of the Chicago Pet Patrol’s Values Statement, such as engaging in inclusion rather than discriminating based on background and creating an environment free of shame and stigma for those of different identities and interests.
- Depending on the nature of the activity, intolerant language and behavior may constitute harassment, and would therefore be reportable under the Open Door Policy. Potential consequences for an Open Door Policy violation include removal of membership or a bar from future membership.
- Consent is integral to the function of our community and applies to social interactions as much as to sexual or BDSM-focused interactions. The Chicago Pet Patrol encourages everyone to remember that different people have different experiences, expectations, and boundaries regarding relationships and activities of all kinds, and to default to asking for permission before making assumptions about what someone will enjoy or be comfortable with.
- Depending on the nature of the activity, a failure to respect consent may constitute harassment or a sexual consent violation, and would therefore be reportable under the Open Door Policy. Potential consequences for an Open Door Policy violation include removal of membership or a bar from future membership.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- The Chicago Pet Patrol hosts a variety of activities in a variety of venues. These activities and venues may have different expectations or rules around attire and conduct, which all attendees will need to abide by to maintain a positive relationship with our event spaces. The Board asks that attendees exercise their best judgment when making decisions at and leading up to an event, and to guide these decisions, event information on the calendar includes some suggestions on attire and behavior where possible.
- Use, possession of, or being under the influence of illegal substances is never permitted and may result in immediate removal from the event. Use, possession of, or being under the influence of legal substances in venues that do not permit them, or sexual or BDSM activity in a venue that does not permit it, may also result in immediate removal.
- The event venue may take further action at their discretion.
- Only your property is yours.
- Respecting the property of the venue, other event attendees, and unaffiliated people sharing a space with the Chicago Pet Patrol is something the Board takes seriously. Treat spaces the club uses well, including careful handling of furniture and cleaning up any messes. Similarly, do not take, use, wear, hide, or roughhouse with anyone’s belongings other than your own unless you have the knowledge and consent of the owner.
- If appropriate, law enforcement may become involved in cases of theft or deliberate destruction of property.
- The Chicago Pet Patrol will not be held liable for any damages caused by an attendee during an event. The specific attendees involved in the incident will be expected to pay for any damages incurred.
- Headspace is not an excuse for misbehavior.
- No matter who or what you like to roleplay as, none of that excuses our human selves from our behavior. If you find that you are not in control of your actions as you get into deeper headspace, you are responsible for bringing a handler, friend, or adult to make sure you continue to observe this Code of Conduct as you play out your animalistic (or inanimate) fantasies.
- See something, say something.
- This Code of Conduct is only enforceable to the extent that Chicago Pet Patrol leadership is aware of and can follow up on any violations that arise. If you notice someone behaving destructively or negatively, regardless of membership, notify the Board or event contact. That person will then move forward with enforcement procedures and will inform you if there is anything else that you need to do to help resolve the situation.
- If there’s a problem, let the Board handle it.
- Maintaining positive and enjoyable events and environments is the responsibility of the Board. To do so, the Board maintains relationships with our venues to ensure things are handled appropriately at all levels. Any issues that arise are not yours to resolve alone, and all community members and event attendees are encouraged to bring things to the attention of the Board, even if you are not positive that club policy may apply to the situation. Conversely, while all individuals have the right to draw any boundaries necessary to their safety and comfort, please use caution and restraint when considering any actions that may interfere with the Board’s investigation and discipline processes.
- Your behavior anywhere counts everywhere.
- In an effort to more effectively preserve our Members’ safety, the Board may, upon receipt of information from a Member or other community member, ban or bar someone from club spaces, events, or membership based on a ban or bar from at least two other legal entities (venues, organizations, etc) given the following: the Board has gone to every effort to ensure those bans are reputable, and not rooted in interpersonal issues, bias, or malice; the ban or bar was enacted due to harassment, violence, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
- As our most active vehicle to influence the culture of the club, members who are active in any digital communication platform, like the Chicago Pet Patrol Telegram chats, will adhere to the rules of the given platform and represent the club positively by exemplifying the club Values Statement. While course corrections and warnings may be given, these rules are considered an extension of the Code of Conduct within the sphere of the chat. As such, the “take responsibility and accept consequences” section below is applicable to interactions from the Telegram chats.
- Take responsibility and accept consequences.
- Depending on the nature, severity, and frequency of an individual’s violation(s), failure to abide by any part of this Code of Conduct may lead to intervention and disciplinary action, up to and including immediate removal from the event, a bar from future events, a ban from engaging in Chicago Pet Patrol online spaces, revocation of membership, or a bar from future membership.
- This Code of Conduct is meant to ensure a safe and positive community rather than be excessively or arbitrarily punitive, and its implementation will be in support of the Chicago Pet Patrol’s values of respect, support, growth, and education. While the Board will not hesitate to use severe interventions and disciplinary measures when appropriate, the Board will more often use a process of escalation that involves conversations around appropriate behavior, temporary restrictions, and other options.
- The goal of the Board in addressing Code of Conduct violations is to resolve issues quickly, effectively, and fairly. Interventions at events are typically handled by an individual or small group of Board Members and communicated afterward to the rest of the Board for consistency and accountability. Code of Conduct violations reported outside of an event are typically reviewed by the entire Board. In all cases, the investigating Board Members may ask for more information from the reporter, supporting information from any observers, or information from the alleged violator before discussing and implementing appropriate interventions or disciplinary measures.
- In some cases, particularly in situations that may allegedly endanger the safety of an individual or the community, immediate interventions may take place while investigation is ongoing or disciplinary measures are being decided upon. These actions are not disciplinary measures and do not preclude further action.
- The Chicago Pet Patrol reserves the right to communicate Code of Conduct violations and disciplinary action to venue staff, who may implement additional interventions or disciplinary measures at their discretion.
- If you cannot play by the rules, do not play.
- If you cannot follow this Code of Conduct, be considerate of your time, our time, and the feelings of those you may wrong in its violation, and remove yourself from the situation. The Board does not want to remove you from an event or the club, but will take the actions necessary to make sure it is a safe environment for all.
- Was a violation of this Code of Conduct left unresolved?
- All issues presented to the Board and event hosts should have some sense of resolution to them. All Code of Conduct violations will be investigated. If you feel your issue was not handled appropriately, you may appeal the decision by emailing Board@ChicagoPuppyPatrol.org. Resolutions by an individual Board Member can be appealed to a Board vote, and Board votes can be appealed to a Member vote at a Quarterly Business Meeting.
- Added chat rules as part of the CoC for in-chat behavior
- Removal of “Be Respectful” section
- Addition of “Respect diversity” section
- Update of language in “‘NO’ means ‘NO’”, “Only your property is yours”, “See something, say something”, “If there’s a problem, let the Board handle it”, “Headspace is not an excuse for misbehavior”, “If you cannot play by the rules, do not play”, and “Was a violation of this Code of Conduct left unresolved?” sections
- Addition of “Be aware of your surroundings” section
- Retitling of “Outside Influences” section to “Your behavior anywhere counts everywhere”, minor changes to wording and grammar
- Addition of “Take responsibility and accept consequences” section
- Reordering of sections so that violations appear at the beginning and enforcement information appears at the end
- Addition of “Outside Influences” section