HELP is a volunteer based organization. We are always appreciative of our volunteers and have many opportunities for animal care and socialization, clerical help, building maintenance, and of course fund-raising.
How do I get started?
Print & fill out the volunteer application (pdf format), then bring it with you when you attend the basic Volunteer Orientation. See the events schedule for dates. Read as much as you can before attending.
The basic orientation class is on the second Saturday of the month at 11am. You will learn the layout of the facility, safety &, how to handle cats & dogs,and begin to understand how the shelter works. You will be learning a lot and most times new volunteers may feel overwhelmed, it is not geared to just have our volunteers play with puppies, it is to get the dogs and cats into permanent homes.
Children under 18 must be supervised at all times by an adult over 21 years of age. Please wear proper attire. Be comfortable in jeans, shirts, sweatshirts and tennis shows. No sandals or Flip-flops please. For safety purposes we suggest no large hoops or dangling earrings our Paws love them too.Be prepared to get a little dirty and have fun doing it.
Volunteers are also always needed for other tasks that are not directly related to working with the animals, such as administrative tasks, maintenance and upkeep of the facility, making phone calls for fund raising, helping out at events, etc. All volunteers, even for these types of jobs, still need to go through the basic orientation class. Please speak with the Shelter Volunteer Coordinator about the types of jobs that you feel are best suited for your background and experience and how you think you can help our shelter after you have completed your orientation.
Open Paw Program
HELP has been an Open Paw shelter since of October 2012. The Open Paw program allows us to utilize volunteers to address our dogs’ emotional and physical well-being. Visiting an Open Paw shelter is a lot different than visiting a regular shelter and we hope you notice the difference when you visit HELP. The goal of HELP’s Open Paw program is to decrease stress and increase the adoptability of our dogs so that they get a home more quickly and stay in the home once there.
Please read the volunteer introduction to Open Paw volunteering for more information to Open Paw volunteering.
The Open Paw program requires that we do things differently here and volunteers interact with our critters differently to maximize the value of their time spent with them. It is great to take a dog out for a walk but getting them ready for adoption is far more important. If you aren't ready to put down your cell phone and interact directly with the animals, we have other opportunities available to you that will help the shelter.
Animal Behavior & Socialization
Are you looking to directly help a dog or cat in need? We need volunteers to help us with our mission and you can become directly involved with animal care, exercising, grooming or socializing the animals.
MOST Commonly Asked Question about the Open Paw Program:
Why can’t I just walk a dog?
Just walking a dog is fine, but training him and working with him while you do it is so much better, both for him and for you! We all have very busy lives, so by training volunteers in the Open Paw methods so they can train the dogs while they spend time with them, we are maximizing the value of volunteer time. A shorter session of training and working on leash manners is much more beneficial to a dog here than running around the block. Dogs that have been run for an hour come back amped up and ready for more, while dogs that have had 15 minutes of Open Paw work are exhausted and content.
Besides, most volunteers before the training program was implemented didn't know how to walk a dog. We often saw dog walkers being pulled across the lawn while potential adopters looked on. Not a way to get them adopted at all. We train you on how to train the dog.
Want to hit the ground running?? Review training methods here so you can teach new pet owners how to train their new pets AND learn some things you didn't know:
Sculpting Behavior: Positive Reinforcement
What you will need for your puppy or adult dog
Coming when called
Settle down and Shush
The magic of chew toys
We are always in need of someone to help us with customer assistance,lobby duties, data entry, general office duties. Please request to volunteer for clerical/administration on the volunteer application.
Open your heart and your home temporarily to the special needs of recovering animals, seniors, puppies and kittens that require extra love and care. These animals do not do well in the shelter environment. Please attend the Volunteer Orientation.
While in foster care, we will continue to market them for adoption and might request you attend adoption events now and then. All vet expenses will be covered by the shelter, but you will be their primary care-giver, trainer and might be required to apply medications or work on difficult behaviors.
Events and Fund-Raising
We have many events throughout the year and on-going fund-raising programs and projects that need man/woman power to keep us going. Please see the events page for upcoming opportunities. Please attend the Volunteer Orientation.
Building Maintenance and Improvement
So you are a handy guy or gal or maybe have a truck? We need you! Our building is need of constant maintenance because it is pretty old. We need things like: cage/fence repair, gutter cleaning, powerwashing, landscaping, snow shoveling, washer/dryer fixin' etc. We rarely get maintenance volunteers and regard them very highly. For opportunies please call the shelter to speak with the Volunteer Coordinator or shelter manager and mention what you're skilled at doing or what you'd be available to help with.