Volunteer Opportunities Working with Animals

Currently Seeking

The volunteer positions listed below are where we currently have the greatest need. If you are interested in any of our volunteer positions (to right>) we encourage you to submit an application and join us for an upcoming orientation to find out more!

Animal Assisted Activities Teams

Foster Parent


Frequently Asked Questions: Discover the hows, whens, whys and FUN of volunteering with us.

Q: Are there any minimum requirements?

A: Yes. Here are our basic requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer in the shelter volunteer program (if you are under 18, contact our Humane Education Dept).
  • We request that you have an email address. You are welcome to use the volunteer center computers to access your email for SHS information and notifications.
  • We only bring aboard volunteers with no criminal records.
  • We ask that you are able to commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week for at least 6 months.  Dog Walking volunteers must commit to one scheduled shift per week for atleast 6 months.   
  • You’ll need to attend our monthly General Volunteer Orientation and submit a waiver before you begin as a volunteer.  General Volunteer Orientations are generally held once a month. You will be notified of the next orientations by email once we receive your application.
  • Please be able to squat, bend, twist, lift or stand for long periods when working directly with the animals.
  • You’ll need to possess strong customer service skills and the ability to write and communicate clearly, since all volunteer positions work directly with the public, staff and other volunteers.
  • Please be a team player, and share our mission: Ensuring every animal receives Protection, Compassion,Love and Care.  

Q: Does the Sonoma Humane Society have volunteer opportunities for groups?

A: Yes. Our group opportunities are project-based.  . If you have a group that is interested in volunteering at our facility for a project, please see our Group Volunteer Application.

Q: Does the Sonoma Humane Society have community service hour volunteer opportunities?

A: Yes. We have community service opportunities for college credit, as well as court referral hours needed. For high school community service hours, please refer to our youth volunteer program.  If you are looking to fill adult community service hours, please see our Community Service Volunteer Application.

Q: Is there a dress code?

A: We ask that our volunteers wear long pants, close-toed shoes, and shirts with sleeves when working with animals. Volunteers working with customers must be dressed neatly.  Please no offensive logos or slogans on T-shirts. We do not permit volunteers to wear shorts, flip flops, tank tops, or bare midriff shirts. If you’re dressed inappropriately, you may be asked to leave.

Q: Do I have to volunteer a certain number of hours?

A: We require our volunteers to make a commitment of 2 hours per week for at least 6 months.  This ensures that the volunteers have a good understanding of shelter policy and procedures and also ensures the well-being of the shelter animals through consistent care.

Q: When can I volunteer?

A: Once you have attended the General Volunteer Orientation and required training for the positions you are interested in, you will be placed on a schedule and can start volunteering!
The shelter is open for its volunteers every day of the week and weekends, from 8am to 6pm.   Some hours vary within department. Our weekend event volunteer shifts are generally 10am-4pm. We open to the public from noon to 6PM every day for adoptions.

Q: Can I volunteer for the shelter at any other locations?

A: We have volunteer opportunities at our Hwy 12 shelter location, as well as our newly opened Healdsburg Center for Animals! We also have several off-site events for you to participate in throughout the community as an outreach volunteer. Once you have completed your training and have at least a month of completed shifts at the shelter, you can start signing up for events.  

Q: Can I volunteer in multiple departments?

A: Yes, you can and many of our volunteers do!  We encourage our volunteers to be active in more than one department if they have the time and interest, as it provides a richer volunteer experience.  We do recommend that you pick one position at a time and get familiar with the time commitment and duties involved before adding on additional training. You will hear about all the options when you come to the General Volunteer Orientation.

Q: Are there any costs associated with volunteering?

A: We do not require membership, but we do encourage our volunteers to become members. The Base Membership  is  $25. Click here to view membership options.

You will be given a badge, and asked to wear an apron. If you wish to purchase your own logo apron, they are sold in our Paws to Shop retail store for approximately $20/each.  You may also use one of ours; be sure to leave it to be laundered when you exit the shelter. 



Step 1: Read the FAQ's above

Step 2: Review the full job description, complete and submit the Volunteer Application to get the ball rolling.

Step 3: You will receive a confirmation that we've received your application with the opportunity to sign up for one of the upcoming Orientation sessions!



Please be sure to fill out the volunteer application to receive your invitation to one of our upcoming orientations.

(Can't make any of the sessions listed? Don't worry, there will be more!)

HSSC - Santa Rosa

Thursday Feb. 22nd (12-1:30, Classroom)

Friday March 16th (5:30-7pm, Classroom)

HSSC - Healdsburg

Friday March 16th (12-1pm, Community Room)

Click on any of the jobs listed for a more complete description

While our highest priority are the positions listed to the left under "Currently Seeking", we encourage you to submit an application and join us for an upcoming orientation to find out more!

Admissions Team Tech

This is an opportunity to provide care, comfort, and assistance to the animals and guests needing us when they first arrive. It is the first stop for any animal we take in, so our Admissions team and you are the first humans they have contact with at HSSC while they are awaiting availability for adoption. Admissions Team Tech

Adoptions Desk (Match)

Do you play well with others? Let your people skills and your love of animals shine by helping as a Greeter or Customer Care Associate. Or get that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you’re helping homeless animals find homes well-suited to their needs by facilitating their adoptions. Adoptions Team Member

Animal Assisted Activities (Dynamic Duo)

Is your dog a good listener? You and your dog can become a dynamic duo in helping a child gain reading confidence, or bring comfort and cheer to hospital or Senior Center residents. Brighten their day while you bond with your dog.  Animal Assisted Activities Team

Animal Care Tech (Protect)

So fresh. So clean. Creating comfy and hygienic habitats for the animals lets them know they’re safe and loved until they can find forever homes. It’s also a critical factor in maintaining a healthy environment throughout the entire shelter. Become a member of the HSSC Clean Team! Animal Care Technician

Animal Handling TBA

Behavior and Training (Enrich)

Walk their world! Our shelter pets need lots of exercise and quality time with loving humans throughout the day. We have many opportunities for you to enrich the life of animals on their journey to adoption.  Hospital Walker | Dog Walker Kennel Enrichment

Cat Care Partners (Snuggle)

It’s hard to say who loves it more, you or the cats. Spend some time socializing, stroking and playing with our feline friends and we guarantee you’ll have everyone purring! Cat Care Partner

Foster/Fospice Parent (Nurture)

Foster Parent

Foster/Shelter Intake Admin Asst


Public Hospital TBA

Shelter Medicine  Medical Data Entry Clerk | Foster/Shelter Intake Admin Asst

Spay & Neuter Clinic (Prevent)

Our Spay/Neuter clinics prevent unwanted litters with a single snip. If you’re a vet tech student or have experience in this field check out opportunities to join our team in the fight to reduce future pet abandonment and neglect.  Spay/Neuter Assistant


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