Shelter Volunteer Program

You can help the homeless animals in your community by volunteering at the CAWS Adoption Center. We are looking for dedicated animal lovers to tackle a variety of tasks that will benefit both our shelter animals and visitors to the shelter. Our number one goal is to place our adoptable animals into responsible homes and to ensure that all our center animals are cared for and comforted as much as possible during their stay with us. Volunteer training sessions are held every second Sunday of the month from 1pm to 3pm. You must apply and qualify to receive the training schedule. Read the step-by-step information below to learn more and apply.

EDUCATION RESOURCES

PACFA Regulations 1-11-2012
Rabies Guide Memo 2012
Rabies Resource Guide
Asilomar Accords


Step One: Understand the Requirements

Minimum Age
Anyone interested in volunteering must be 16 years old. If you are under 16, click here to check out some other ways you can help the animals in your community. A CORE STAFF Volunteer must be 21 years old or older, undergo additional training, and make a commitment of at least eight hours per month.  Minimum Time Commitment
To volunteer at the Center, you must be able to commit to volunteer at least 4 hours, once a month for 3 months.
Shelter attire
Volunteers are responsible for dressing in an appropriate manner which includes wearing a red t- or button-down shirt. CAWS will supply one official CAWS t-shirt per volunteer who has committed at least nine hours a month at the shelter. Additional t-shirts can be purchased for a $15 fee.
Experience Required
Our volunteers fulfill a variety of roles and perform many different assignments. This ranges from helping with administrative tasks to helping with projects around the facility to working with our animals.

  • To work with the animals, you must have prior animal handling experience. For instance, if you want to socialize cats, you must have had a cat of your own or had significant experience with cats.
  • No experience? If you want to help, but you don’t have the experience, don’t worry! We have plenty of other volunteer opportunities where we can put your help and skills to good use.

Step Two: Read the Volunteer Handbook

Click here to download our Volunteer Handbook. This manual provides important information about the expectations and experience of the Center volunteers. Before you apply to be a volunteer, you are required to read the entire manual, and you will be expected to know and follow rules and procedures that are covered in the handbook.


Step Three: Check Out Our Volunteer Positions

Not Directly Working With Animals
All of these roles are open to new volunteer applicants. These roles do not require previous animal experience but may have other specific requirements. For all roles, volunteering must be done on-site at the shelter, unless otherwise indicated. Training for these roles are generally offered once a month.

Category Tasks

Availability

Apply

Licensing
(Administrative)
Opening mail, stuffing envelopes, filing, data entry and other administrative help.

More training required

Apply

Shelter – Front End
(Customer Service)
Answering questions from the public and retrieving voice mails from the phone line and more.

More training required

Shelter – Back End
(Clean Team)
Laundry, dishes, stocking and kennel areas, cleaning support, and more.

Open

Working With Animals
To volunteer with our animals, you must have animal handling experience for the type of animal you want to volunteer with. This means that you are already confident, comfortable and capable of interacting with animals properly and safely. You must have a strong understanding of animal body language. Applicants will be thoroughly interviewed about animal handling experience during training. These requirements are designed for your safety as well as the safety of our animals.

Positions for New Volunteers
Open to all new volunteer applicants with animal handling experience.
Category Tasks

Availability

Apply

Dog Walk and exercise adoption dogs. Provide basic training to increase adoptability.

More training required

Apply

Cat Socialize and exercise adoptable cats. Provide human interaction and affection.

More training required

 On-site events Help with fund raising or adoption events at the shelter.     Open
 Off-site events Help with fund raising or adoption events outside the shelter.    Open