PLEASE NOTE – We will not be conducting any New Volunteer Orientations until mid-to-late January. While we are still accepting volunteer applications, there will be a delay before you can actually begin volunteering at the shelter. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!
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. Just complete the volunteer application. 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!
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.
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!
How to Apply
Thank you so much for considering to be a part of our volunteer program! Volunteers are an invaluable part of our life-saving efforts. Before filling out the application, we ask prospective volunteers to keep in mind the following:
- We want to build a progressive volunteer culture that works positively with our shelter staff and customer base to help animals and to increase our ability to save even more cats and dogs going forward. We ask volunteers be respectful, courteous and refrain from drama.
- Rules and protocols are put in place by management at our shelter with the following always in mind: our animals health, safety and well-being, the safety of staff, volunteers and customers, and additional restrictions that may be imposed by the physical, financial burden of the shelter itself. We ask volunteers follow and respect these rules and protocols at all times.
- Because of our insurance there is a minimum age requirement to volunteer at 21 years.
If you meet all of the above, please fill out the online volunteer application and we will be in touch to schedule an orientation so you can learn a little more about us!