Volunteer with the Animal Welfare Society

Our volunteers are caring, committed, and all here for the same reason — because they love animals. Without their extra hands, we would be unable to accomplish all we do for pets in need. In 2016, our volunteers amassed more than 23,515 hours of service to AWS and our animals! We are so appreciative of the time, energy and knowledge that our volunteers share with our staff and pets.

Volunteer at AWS

To get started, fill out our online VOLUNTEER APPLICATION. We will contact you to schedule an orientation, which must be completed prior to volunteering. Please note that starting July 1, 2017, for new volunteers 18 years and older, there will be a one-time application fee of $20 to offset the cost of a background check.

As a thank you, AWS volunteers receive a t-shirt, name badge and training materials to help them make the most of their time volunteering. Volunteers also receive a 15% discount on adoption fees, canine training classes and retail items.

There are many ways you can help the animals:  We know our volunteers have a wide variety of skills and expertise and we want YOU to get the most of our your time volunteering at AWS. We offer flexible schedules for volunteers and have many different opportunities at the shelter, adoption center, veterinary clinic, humane education classroom, obedience classes, business office and at off-site events.

There is something for everyone at AWS, including:

  • Cleaning Kennels
  • Socializing with Cats
  • Walking Dogs
  • Running Errands
  • Helping with Humane Ed programs
  • Answering telephone inquiries
  • Greeting guests in the adoption center lobby
  • Assisting with office work (mailings, filing, etc.)
  • Preparing for and attending adoption and fundraising events
  • Assisting in the veterinary clinic
  • Doing laundry
  • And much, much more!

We welcome adult and junior volunteers. Teen volunteers aged 14-15 are invited to volunteer at AWS with a parent/guardian volunteering alongside then. Those aged 16-17 are welcome to volunteer individually with a parent/guardian’s consent.

Attend Events

Become an AWS ambassador! You’ll represent AWS at events such as family fun days, local festivals, craft fairs, parades, and adoption events. Have fun handing out brochures, chatting with community members about AWS’ programs and services (don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert), and showing off pets ready for adoption. Most events take place on the weekends, so this is a great opportunity for volunteers who have Monday-Friday jobs.

Care for an Animal in your Home

Providing foster care to pets that are not ready for adoption is a great way to make a difference. When animals require more involved or long-term care, or if they are too young to be adopted, they are placed into foster care.

AWS provides everything you need to care for foster pets, including beds, toys, food, litter and medical care.  All you need to provide a safe, comfortable room and lots of LOVE!

If you are interested in getting involved with our foster program, please fill out a FOSTER CARE APPLICATION and submit it via email, mail or in person.

Cat/kitten foster:  Kittens are not old enough to be adopted until they are 8-12 weeks old, so we rely on volunteers to take care of them. Throughout “kitten season,” we take in orphaned kittens, pregnant moms, and moms with kittens. We like to get them into foster care right away. Fostering can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the age of the kittens and their individual needs. Kitten season lasts through the summer and into the early fall.

Dog/puppy foster: Puppies not old enough for adoption and their mothers stay in foster homes where mom has the quiet space needed to nurse her babies and where the puppies can learn and grow. Puppy fostering can last a few weeks or a few months, depending on the puppies’ ages and needs. While we do not have an official “puppy season,” like we do for kittens, our needs for puppy fosters vary throughout the year.

Medical foster: Shelter pets recovering from injury, sickness or surgery often need extra attention. While recuperating, these animals may be susceptible to illnesses and stresses in the shelter. They heal faster and become stronger much more rapidly while in foster care. We rely on caring volunteer and staff homes to give these animals the environment they need to get well. Medical fosters can include dogs, cats and small animals. Time commitment is on a case-by-case basis.

Behavior Foster: Some pets come to us a little nervous or needing to brush up on some skills to help them become the best family pet possible. We rely on the help of foster families to provide training, socialization and stability to help these animals learn and grow. Fostering can also provide much needed relaxation and a break for pets that find the shelter to be a stressful environment. Volunteer training level and time commitment can vary (from as short as an overnight to as long as a few months).

For more information on any of our volunteer or fostering opportunities, contact us.