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Volunteer FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering

Q.  What kinds of things can I do as a volunteer?

A.  Lots of different things! As a volunteer, you can assist with the care and training of our animals, help at our adoption and fundraising events, assist at our medical facilities, and much more. Check out our volunteer application for those 18 and older to see all the available volunteer roles.

Q. What is the time commitment as a volunteer?

A. Volunteers must commit to at least six months with us.

Onsite Volunteers (at one of our two adoption centers or the National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center) commit to eight hours per month. It is preferable that you come at the same time each week.

Volunteers who are exclusively offsite volunteers (special events, adoption events, etc.) commit to eight hours every six months. Check out our volunteer application for those 18 and older to see all the available volunteer roles.

Q. I am not sure I can commit to eight hours each month. Are there other ways to volunteer?

Volunteers that assist exclusively with special events and adoption events are only required to complete eight hours every six months. They also receive training onsite at an event. If your time is limited, that may be the best fit for you! It’s also possible to help us in these other ways.

Q. When can I start?

A. Once you fill out an application and pay the $25 application fee or fill out the scholarship fund, your application will be reviewed. Depending on your interests, availability and our current needs, you will be invited to sign up for an orientation. Usually, a new applicant will receive that invitation within a few business days and orientations are generally scheduled every two weeks. After orientation, you will be asked to fill out a profile in our online volunteer system. You will be able to select three areas of interest initially. Most roles require specific training. Once you’ve completed any necessary training, you can begin volunteering!

Q. Why is there an application fee?

A. The nominal application fee (or scholarship application) increases the likelihood that we are receiving committed applicants. We want to increase the chances that the significant staff time taken to process, onboard and train someone will result in active volunteerism with us. This also frees staff time to steward the experience of our current active volunteers, which is really important to us!

Q. How do I schedule my volunteer shifts?

A. New volunteers receive information about scheduling in our online system, Volgistics, at orientation. Volunteers are required to log their volunteer hours.

Q. What should I wear to volunteer in the adoption centers?

A. Wear long pants and flat, closed-toe shoes. Please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty!

Q. Is there an age requirement for volunteers?

A. To volunteer through our general program, you must be 18 years of age or older. 

Q.  How can my group volunteer?

A.  Visit our group volunteering page to get started! We customize meaningful, impactful experiences for group volunteers at our adoption centers.

If volunteering at an Adoption Center doesn't suit your group's needs, you can do a supplies drive, sponsor an animal, foster an animal, or host your own fundraiser or "yappy hour." Our youth volunteer page also has great ideas for volunteer projects you can do on your own.