Thank you for your interest in volunteering at VAO – your efforts will make a real difference in the lives of our animals!
Volunteering is simple. Complete BOTH the volunteer application and questionnaire (you can find them here). We’ll pass it on to the Volunteer Coordinator, who will get in touch with you shortly thereafter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at the shelter!
How our volunteers help:
Dog handling for the purpose of walks, training, and exercise is an important part of volunteer work here at the shelter. Volunteers who handle dogs must undergo orientation and training specific to the safe handling of animals. Dog handling, training, and orientation are coordinated by the volunteer Orientation Committee.
Cat handling for the purpose of socialization and exercise is an important part of volunteer work here at the shelter. Volunteers who handle cats must undergo orientation and training specific to the safe handling of animals. Cat handling, training, and orientation are coordinated by the volunteer Orientation Committee.
The Events Team is comprised of volunteers and staff members who schedule, organize, and attend onsite and offsite adoption and community events. VAO volunteers attend offsite adoption events at local pet stores throughout the year, spreading awareness of VAO and promoting animals in our care. Activities of the Events Team are coordinated by the volunteer Events Committee.
The primary reason for foster care is to provide temporary homes for dogs and cats due to overcrowding, or for animals whose conditions aren’t manageable in a shelter setting. Foster care is needed for healthy, sick and injured dogs and cats of all sizes and breeds, and for litters of puppies and kittens too young for adoption. All foster volunteers must undergo training and orientation, which is coordinated by volunteer Foster Coordinators.
Pet Pal Program
The Pet Pal Program aims to improve the quality of life for long-term residents, and prioritize their adoption. Volunteers pair with an animal to focus on marketing, socialization, and post-adoption support. Pet Pal volunteers must undergo training and orientation, which is coordinated by the Pet Pal program coordinators.
Remote Adoptions Team
We maintain several remote adoption sites with vendors such as PetValu and PetSmart. A number of long-time volunteers help to manage the animals at these sites, and they’re always looking for help to provide care for the animals. Let us know if you’d like to help!
This team helps out with the housekeeping. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, mopping, bed-down… all of these things and more are part of running a successful shelter. We couldn’t do it without our volunteers!
Much of VAO’s volunteer work is coordinated by committees. There is also a volunteer Steering Committee who liaises with the Executive Director to provide oversight for all volunteer activity. Service as chairs of these committees is by appointment, but membership is open to interested individuals. Let us know if that’s you!