Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help the animals!
General Volunteer Requirements:
You must be 18+ and out of high school for the general Volunteer Program. For students 18 and younger we have Youth Volunteer Opportunities.
We kindly ask that you commit to a minimum of 6 months volunteering with us.
For more information, please read the “How to Volunteer / FAQs” below.
Click on any of the jobs listed for a more complete description
We encourage you to submit an application and join us for an upcoming orientation to find out more!
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.
Can you tackle large stacks of data entry in a single bound? Go behind the scenes to help with the nuts and bolts (paper and staples?) of the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Computer tasks, bookkeeping support and filing… put your organizational skills to work on behalf of the animals!
Animal Assisted Therapy
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 Care Assistant
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!
Are you passionate about saving homeless animals? Help spread the word about the work that HSSC does! As an Outreach volunteer you’ll set up for fun events around the county, educate the public about our programs and services, and facilitate off-site adoptions.
Classroom Training Assistant
Position Description: As a Classroom Training Assistant (CTA), your role will be to provide support and assistance to the class instructor in public dog training classes. Time requirement is typically is 1.5- 2 hours per week with a 6 week commitment. Classes are held daily both during the day, evenings, and on weekends. Prior experience is not necessary.
Benefits: Being a classroom assistant is a great opportunity to learn more about positive reinforcement training and to observe lots of different types of dogs and how they learn. It can also provide you with great tips for working with your own dog. You will receive in depth hands-on learning experience about dog training using a positive reinforcement method. Learn teaching techniques, training exercises, and training protocol.
Foster parents are directly involved in the saving of lives. Being a foster parent allows HSSC to save many more lives than we could accommodate in the shelter alone and gives a great feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. And what could be more rewarding than cuddling with kittens, playing with puppies or watching a shy dog or cat blossom under your care?
Help teach, supervise and assist participating camp children with camp curriculum, activities, preparation and clean up. Volunteering with Humane Education is a great opportunity for those interested in gaining valuable experience working with wide range abilities and of ages of children. You’ll join an amazing team that is dedicated to advancing the care and understanding of all animals through humane education.
Small Companion Animal Handling
Lovingly nurture our rabbits and small companion pets (gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, etc.) through play and enrichment that is tailored to their personality and receptiveness. You’ll join an amazing team that is dedicated to advocating for all of our animal friends.
How To Volunteer / FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions: Discover the hows, whens, whys, and FUN of volunteering with us.
A: We do have some general requirements:
You must be at least 18 years old and no longer in high school 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 and are able to access email and notices via the internet. You are welcome to use the volunteer center computers to access your email for HSSC information and notifications.
You must be able to work independently with little to no staff supervision. You must be able to read, comprehend and comply with all procedures and protocol, and stay up to date by reading all communication (newsletters, updates, emails, notices and posted signs).
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 at least 6 months.
You’ll need to attend a 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.
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.
A: Yes. We have community service opportunities for college credit, as well as court referral hours needed. Court referral community service goes through the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County – please contact them here and let them know you’d like to be placed with the Humane Society. For college academic service hours, contact Nina Caputo. For grade school and high school academic service hours, please contact Beth Karzes.
A: You will receive a volunteer t-shirt and we ask you to wear it on your shifts. 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.
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 time to go through all the training, have a good understanding of shelter policy and procedures, and also ensures the well-being of the shelter animals through consistent care.
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! We welcome volunteers every day of the week and weekends during our open hours. Hours vary within department. Events and Outreach volunteer positions are generally on weekends and occasional weeknight evenings. You will learn of all opportunities at the orientation.
A: We have volunteer opportunities at our Hwy 12 shelter location in Santa Rosa, as well as our Healdsburg shelter! We also have several off-site events for you to participate in throughout the community as an Outreach or Animal Assisted Therapy volunteer.
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.
A: There is a $25 non-refundable, one-time volunteer materials fee, which will be collected at the General Volunteer Orientation. You will receive an official HSSC volunteer t-shirt and name tag to wear on your shifts. (If this is a financial hardship, please contact Nina Caputo about special arrangements)