Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a volunteer at HSHV?

Volunteering at HSHV is a very rewarding experience. Your first step to becoming a volunteer is to attend our interactive, hands-on New Volunteer Orientation. You can schedule your orientation here. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older to attend. If you're 12-17 years old, please see our Youth Junior Volunteer Program.

We hold our new volunteer orientations twice a month. You will have the opportunity to tour our facility and meet other prospective volunteers while learning the skills necessary to be successful on your first day of volunteering! If you do not see a date that is convenient for you or the application is temporarily closed, please check back as we post new dates the third Monday of each month.

There is a one-time program fee of $40 ($30 is deductible) per person to volunteer. This fee, collected at the end of your new orientation session, includes your volunteer T-shirt and nametag, many training and educational opportunities, as well as access to our on-line resource library. This fee helps offset some of the direct costs of supplies and allows us to direct more money toward the care of our animals. If the fee is a financial strain, please do not worry. We still want you to join our team! Simply call our Volunteer Coordinator at (734) 661-3517 to discuss having the fee waived. Thank you.

Is HSHV accessible by public transportation?

Unfortunately, the bus stop is quite a distance to walk to HSHV.  However, the bus stop is very close to our Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center, the new cat café on the west side of town! Please consider becoming a volunteer there.

I've been through the New Volunteer Orientation. Will I be able to walk dogs or comfort cats right away?

Not right away. Here is why. Our volunteer program is based on a 4 paw system. All new volunteers start at the Paw I level. During this time, you will be busy helping us clean the shelter, doing laundry (over 800 loads each month!) or supporting our clinic and administrative staff with various tasks. Our Paw I volunteers stay at this level for five weeks and complete a minimum of ten hours which will give you the time to really learn about our shelter.

Once you have completed your Paw I volunteering, you will then advance to Paw II where you can request training for dog walking or cat comforting. Some volunteers who are working on their veterinary tech certificate or who are trying to earn hours for veterinary school take our patient monitor recovery training and volunteer in our veterinary clinic. There are many opportunities for volunteers to learn and grow at HSHV.

I'm under age 18, but want to help out. Can I still volunteer?

Yes, you can! Younger volunteers ages 12-17 have an opportunity to volunteer through our Junior Volunteer Program. Youth volunteers must complete our Junior Volunteer Club—six sessions where you will learn different procedures, policies and safety precautions for working with and caring for animals. 

Can I volunteer at your cat café, the Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center?

Yes! Please complete the application here to get started at the café.

I can't give my time right now, but would still like to support HSHV.

There are many ways to support our work!

    1. Make a financial contribution. Visit our Donate page for options.
    2. Shop our store and buy yourself or your favorite furry friend something nice!
    3. Make an in-kind donation. With just a few simple clicks, you can send much needed supplies to our shelter through our Amazon Wish List or our Wish List for donations that may be dropped off at the shelter during open business hours.

I need court-ordered volunteer hours. Can I complete these hours at HSHV?

Yes, thank you for asking! To complete court-ordered community service at HSHV, you must be 18 years old or older and serving hours for a non-violent offense such as DUI/OWI. Please click here to learn more and complete an application for court-ordered volunteer service.



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All images and photographs are courtesy of HSHV staff and Jeffrey E. Roush of Two Cat Studios.