Do you allow people under 16 to volunteer if they are accompanied by a parent who is also a volunteer?
For the safety of our volunteers and animals, volunteers be at least 16 years of age to volunteer. We offer other opportunities where youth can support the animals in our shelter. Opportunities include; participating in DIY activities, celebrating your birthday party at the WHS or spending a week at our Kid Camp over spring break or in the summer. Parents may also apply to be a Foster which, although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience.
We understand and appreciate that parents want to be a part of their child’s volunteer experience. However, we need to be able to communicate directly with all of our individual volunteers. Individuals must be able to independently manage all correspondence as it relates to volunteering.
To serve successfully in their chosen role, individuals need to be comfortable independently completing all steps of the volunteer experience process:
- Completing the application online, scheduling and attending a one-on-one interview.
- Scheduling and completing the required orientation and training sessions.
- Handling all individual phone and email correspondence independently.
- Following safety protocols and procedures.
- Managing their own individual volunteer schedule using our online scheduling program.
To provide the animals in our facilities the best care and support, we do require volunteers to commit to a minimum six months to volunteering on a regular schedule. This requirement helps us ensure quality training and consistent volunteer coverage.
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate drop in volunteers. We have a process in place to engage volunteers and to address areas of support within our organization. We want everyone to have a positive and meaningful experience with the WHS. Our way of achieving this is to provide volunteers with an assignment that includes training and mentorship by experienced volunteers. Volunteers learn about the organization, so they will have a good understanding of their responsibilities of their assignment and are comfortable within their team.
We are looking for consistency within our teams and volunteers who can support the animals in our care. The majority of our volunteer assignments ask for a once a week commitment typically between 2-4 hours long, but a minimum of once every other week. Should you require an opportunity with less coverage, talk to our team during your one-on-one interview to determine the best fit!
By participating in a group shelter experience, your team will make a difference to animals in our community through a shelter improvement project.
Yes! In fact, we encourage individuals who have physical, mental or special challenges that may affect your ability to work independently to bring along a friend or family member to provide support. Both of you will be asked to make a minimum six-month commitment to the WHS and complete the entire process of becoming volunteers. Please review information on our special needs placements.
We ask that all volunteers have online access and a current email address, so we can communicate with applicants. Our web-based database is a self-scheduling system which you will use to manage your schedule and record hours contributed off-site. This will help to save the organization money on postage, printing costs, and helps to keep our program viable and efficient.
Volunteers are scheduled a MINIMUM of one shift every other week. What happens if I want to go on vacation?
Your initial schedule will be determined after your training has been completed. Any changes like a vacation or an occasional appointment can be made through our self-scheduling system. Volunteers are welcome to make up this time if they wish by picking up shift(s). If you plan to be away for an extended period (leave longer than 6 consecutive calendar weeks), we may have to find a replacement to ensure our animals are provided the care they need.
You can! We do have one-time volunteer opportunities at events like 1001 Donations, Paws in Motion, Bow Wow Ball or Paws for the Season.
How to Become a Volunteer
WHS Foster Program