Volunteer at AWA

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for Animal Welfare Association! We are proud to have the support of so many wonderful volunteers, willing to donate their time, talents and energy to helping us save pets’ lives. Our volunteers help in three main program areas of the organization: on-site in our pet shelter and clinic, within our community through outreach programs and special events, and by becoming a foster parent.

 We are still in need of foster volunteers and are always accepting applications for our foster program.

General Volunteer Information

After submitting a Volunteer application, AWA will contact you within two weeks with an orientation date and time. Following a response from AWA, volunteers are required to attend an orientation before service can begin.
All volunteers who have been inactive for more than 1 year must complete a new application and attend a Volunteer Orientation in order to resume volunteering.
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Apply to Volunteer at AWA

Please take the time to review the Essential Capabilities required of Animal Welfare Association volunteers for animal handling and non-animal handling tasks.

If you do not meet these, but are still interested in volunteering, please contact volunteers@awanj.org.

*Any student wishing to fulfill a time requirement solely for service hours or an honor society should not apply to be a volunteer, please fill out the High School Service Week form.

** Court Ordered Community Service Volunteers – will now be tracked through the volunteer program.  Please fill out the  application on the left and it is requirement to attend orientation in order to start volunteering. Please note that Fostering is not included in court ordered community service hours.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Community Outreach: Volunteers assist both prepping and executing our community events, including:

  • Fairs and festivals
  • Pet therapy
  • Tabling and small events
  • Third party fundraising

On-site Opportunities: Volunteers assist in both animal handling and clerical roles. To ensure that the volunteer experience is a safe and enjoyable experience for all, our program has different training levels. Some tasks include:

  • Helping in our Laundry Room
  • Making Enrichment Toys
  • Animal Care Assistance
  • Welcome Desk Greeter
  • Walking our Dogs
  • Socializing our Cats
  • Socializing our Small Animals
  • Tales with Tails Reading Program (ages 5+)

Large Special Events: These events are often planned on weekends. Volunteers will assist in various aspects of AWA’s large events, including:

  • Paws and Feet
  • Super 50/50 Raffle
  • Drag Bingo
  • Putt for Pets
  • Trunk or Treat
  • Murder Mystery
  • Other Fun AWA Signature Events

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Simply complete a volunteer application! After you submit your application, our volunteer coordinator will be in contact with you within two weeks to schedule orientation. They will provide you with the necessary information about attending our volunteer orientation.

For children 12 to 15 years of age, an application must be submitted for both the child and parent/legal guardian and they will both need to complete orientation. After orientation, the parent must be with the child at ALL TIMES while volunteering at AWA.

If you are 16 or 17, you may complete and submit an application, and you will be given a release form that must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.  If you are interested in learning information about HIGH SCHOOL SERVICE WEEK, please click here.

After our volunteer coordinator receives your application, you will be invited to attend an orientation. When you are contacted, you will receive more information about specific dates.

Following Orientation, you can begin to volunteer as a Daily Operations Volunteer or you can decide to attend additional training to handle our animals.  Daily Operations Volunteers assist with tasks such as laundry, filing and office work, landscaping and trail maintenance and attending outreach events.  There is no animal handling involved for these volunteers.  If interested in handling our animals, you will learn about the training necessary for that during Volunteer Orientation.

There is truly something for everyone who wants to volunteer at AWA! Volunteers are always needed for our education, outreach and events, as well as administrative help. There are also opportunities caring for our animals and becoming involved in our foster program.

If you are not interested in handling our animals, you can give as much time as you are able. We rely on volunteer support so we appreciate the volunteer service you can provide!

If you do not volunteer within 90 days of orientation or are inactive for 1 year, you will no longer be in our volunteer database. If this happens, you will have to re-submit the application, attend orientation, and begin training.

Depending on what volunteer work you would like to be involved in, you will need to complete different levels of training. AWA asks all volunteers to help in different areas when help is needed.

AWA is proud to allow children as young as 12 to volunteer, but children ages 12 to 15 must volunteer WITH A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN. Ages 16 and 17 may volunteer with written parental consent.

Children ages 5+ can apply for the Tales with Tails reading program where young volunteers can read to dogs and cats outside of their kennel as a way to de-stress and engage the shelter pet.

Yes. For the safety of our volunteers, staff and animals, there are some restrictions. For example, junior volunteers (12 to 15) will not be allowed to walk dogs – a parent or legal guardian will have to hold the leash. More rules will be covered in the volunteer handbook.

All information about High School Service Week can be found here. If you need further information, please contact volunteers@awanj.org

* If you require a letter stating hours of service for school or other programs, please submit your request at least two weeks prior to the due date to volunteers@awanj.org

* Please note we are unable to provide letters of service for volunteer hours that were performed 2 or more years prior to request.