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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.


** As our major construction project comes to an end, we are slowly opening up opportunities to volunteers again.  We are accepting General Volunteer applications on a limited basis.  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.

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

*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 above application 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
  • Answering Phones
  • Making Enrichment Toys
  • Sorting Donations
  • 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
  • 4 seasonal 50/50 Raffles
  • Drag Bingo
  • Putt for Pets

Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering

Below are the most commonly asked questions regarding the Volunteer Program at AWA. If you have questions that are not listed below, please contact 

How do I become an AWA Volunteer?

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.


What training is involved before I can start to volunteer?

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.


What volunteer opportunities are there at AWA?

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.


How often do I need to volunteer?

If you are not interested in handling our animals, you can volunteer as little or as much as you would like. Volunteers interested in working with our animals will be required to meet a certain amount of hours at the Intermediate Level of volunteering which includes our Dog Walkers, Cat Socializers and Small Animal Socializers.

If you do not volunteer within 90 days of orientation or you 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.


What if I only want to do specific volunteer work? (ex. only dogs, etc.)

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.


What age can children volunteer? 

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.


Are there restrictions on what children can do?

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.

How does my child volunteer for High School Service Week?

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

* 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

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