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General Information about Volunteering

Whether you have an hour a week to help us mow the grass, want to bake brownies for Bingo or can join us every day to walk our dogs and cuddle our cats, we welcome you as a volunteer.  And whether you spend time in the Shelter with the animals or help with activities and events outside the Shelter, it all helps us help homeless animals.  

One of the most popular activities is obviously working with animals in our Shelter.  We love it and our volunteers do as well!   Since we receive thousands of animals a year, volunteers are priceless in not only helping our animals find new homes but also in helping them to be happy and healthy while in our Shelter. 

We also recognize that some people may care deeply about our animals but just don't feel like they are able to actually come to the shelter or work directly with the animals as it might be too difficult for them.  Yes, we understand it can be an emotional experience.  So for those people, we have ways you can help too! 


Volunteer Opportunities


Hands-on Activities

  • Walk shelter dogs

  • Cuddle shelter cats

  • Help rehabilitate an animal

  • Bathe and groom shelter animals

  • Help the Staff in the Shelter

  • Help potential adopters meet animals

  • Act as a Camp Counselor at Camp Ruffin' It

  • Assist new volunteers in learning the ropes

  • Transport animals to local vet appointments

  • Transport animals to rescues

  • Take animals to outside events and adoption events

  • Take animals to local nursing homes or hospitals for visitations

  • Foster animals in your home


Hands-off "Hair-Free" Activities

  • Help with special events and fundraisers

  • Support humane education in schools, at events or in our facilities

  • Driving transports (some limited animal handling)

  • Office assistance

  • Decorate the shelter for seasons and special events

  • Bake items or cook for our special events

  • Handyman services – inside repairs, cleaning, painting, fix-ups

  • Grounds-keeping  – mow grass, trim trees, trim shrubs

  • Collect, unfold and roll up newspapers

  • Computer support


Becoming a volunteer

Getting started as a volunteer depends on what you would like to do. We have different educational sessions that are tailored for those that want to be involved in a “hands-on” way and provide separate training tracks for cat and dog handling.  Understanding what we do, why we do it and how we do it is very important for each volunteer, as you are important participants in the health and welfare of the homeless animals entrusted to our care and will be a representative of our organization to the community as you volunteer.  Accurately representing our mission, vision and services is extremely important.


NOTE: Volunteers under 14 years of age must have an adult volunteer partner (21 or older) with whom they attend classes and volunteering in order to be eligible to volunteer. Both the junior volunteer and the adult volunteer partner need to fill out an application.  Volunteers under 18 years of age must have their parent or legal guardian print and sign this Waiver of Liability and bring the signed form with them to their first volunteer training class.

For non-animal ("Hands Off") related volunteering, please complete the "Hair-Free" Volunteer application.

For animal-related (Hands-On) volunteering, you will be required to attend training in advance of handling our animals to ensure you understand our policies, procedures, safety concerns, etc.  We have individual training tracks, one each for dog and cat handling, and you may choose to do one or both.  We schedule them so you may attend both easily.  If you desire to be involved with animal-related activities, keeping reading!


If you are interested in learning about our foster care program, read more about it at Fostering.


Dog Handlers

One of the most popular volunteer activities involves handling our dogs. Starting in February 2018, dog handling training will be provided on the third Thursday of each month, providing we have enough registrants. Training will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 PM and you are required to walk with a trained volunteer after the session before you can handle the dogs without a trained volunteer. Registration will open the first and close the fifteenth of the month or when we have received 15 registrations, whichever happens first. Each family member needs to register and follow the guidance in the confirmation email.  If you miss the session for which you have registered, you will need to re-complete the registration process for another month.  Evening walk hours are posted each day to our Facebook group but generally start at 5:30 for our trained dog handling volunteers. 


If you are interested in volunteering to work with our dogs, please complete the Dog Handlers Volunteer application.


Cat Handlers

If you are interested in volunteering to spend time with our cat residents, we have a specific training session for that activity too.  We don’t require any advance observation of volunteers in action but rather just request that you complete the Cat Handlers Volunteer application (you will be directed to our Waiver of Liabilities and Code of Conduct page first).  It isn't too soon to begin learning about common shelter cat facts with emphasis on common illnesses....take our Shelter Cats Facts quiz.


After completing the application, you’ll be scheduled for the next available Cat Handlers Orientation.

Hands off
dog and cat handlers
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