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.
Paw I — All volunteers start here! The Paw I level gives volunteers time to become familiar with our shelter and staff. Volunteers will be at this level during their first 5 weeks and volunteer a minimum of 10 hours of service during this time. As a Paw I volunteer, you may help us clean the shelter, do laundry, staff community events, assist with our Bountiful Bowls Pet Food Program or support our clinic and administrative staff, and more!
Paw II — The Next Level! After completing your 5 weeks and minimum 10 hours of service, you can request to be trained in hands-on animal enrichment with cats or dogs. You can also choose to receive training in other volunteer service areas, such as Greeter, Humane Education and Veterinary clinic support. Paw II volunteers can still help with Paw I assignments, too!
Paw III & Paw IV — Moving up! Volunteers interested in expanding their horizon can request additional training to advance to the Paw III and Paw IV levels. Volunteers can become "experts" by expanding their knowledge in animal handling and/or adoption support areas by training to become Adoption Counselors, Customer Care Volunteers, Level II Dog Walkers, Level II Cat Comforters, or Trainers. Volunteers at these levels demonstrate a higher level of commitment in these vital roles. Of course, you can still help with Paw I or Paw II assignments, too!
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!
- Make a financial contribution. Visit our Donate page for options.
- Shop our store and buy yourself or your favorite furry friend something nice!
- 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.