Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering
Volunteering at HSHV is a very rewarding experience. Your first step is to attend our interactive, hands-on New Volunteer Orientation. Schedule your orientation. New Volunteer Orientations are held twice a month. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older to attend. If you’re 12-17 years old, please see our Youth Junior Volunteer Program.
During the orientation, 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. This is a great chance to get to know our organization as well as ask any questions you may have.
There is a one-time, non-refundable program fee of $45 per person to volunteer. If you are completing court ordered community service, the fee is $80. This fee, collected at the time of registration, 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 the costs of supplies and allows us to direct more money toward the care of our animals.
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 10 hours of service. 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 initial 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.
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.
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.
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. Head here to complete an application for court-ordered volunteer service.
Yes! HSHV’s Day of Service program can accommodate groups of up to 20 people, age 18 and older.
Offered monthly, this 3-hour program includes education about HSHV, a shelter tour, a meet-and-greet with one of our adoptable dogs, and 2 hours of hands-on volunteer time. Choose from the morning (9:30am-12:30pm) or afternoon (1:30-4:30pm) sessions. Light snacks, coffee and water will be available. See more and sign up.