Volunteer Program

DSCN6541Volunteer Program

Shelter Pals
Our Shelter Pals work with the agency’s adoptable animals, socializing cats and walking dogs. HSSCM accepts volunteers of all ages; individuals must be 16 years or older to volunteer without a parent present. Individuals must fill out an application annually and attend an orientation prior to volunteering. Shelter Pals must commit to volunteer a minimum of four hours per month and will work a maximum of one shift per week. Shelter Pal hours are Tuesday – Friday from noon to 5:00pm and Saturdays from 11am to 3pm only (limited Saturday hours are available).

We will not be accepting new Shelter Pals until September.

Shelter Pal hours do not count towards any school, dental or community service hours
. See below if you need hours for school, etc.

Community Service
Individuals for the community dental program or court-ordered community service must be 18 or older. Community service tasks will include heavy cleaning of animal areas. Individuals must be able to bend, stoop, lift and repeatedly carry up to 60 pounds, and be around animal waste and cleaning projects. Hours are seven days a week from 8:00am to noon and must be scheduled in advance.To schedule or learn more about Community Service, please call 269.963.1796, ext 10 during open business hours.

Group Activities
HSSCM is always in need of groups to come out and work on special projects, especially helping clean up and mulch our dog park trail system. Email here if you have a group needing a project.

School Projects/Hours
HSSCM has a limited amount of space available for students needing service hours for school, including National Honor Society. New this year, HSSCM will offer credit for school related community service through the completion of specific projects only. Students must propose their project in writing. Acceptable projects include but are not limited to pencil sales, supply drives, landscaping and/or deep cleaning projects. Applications are available through our front desk.

Best Friends
Best Friends receive special training to work more closely with shelter animals and help the agency achieve our mission. Primary duties of HSSCM’s Best Friends include assisting Shelter and working one-on-one with shelter animals:

Dogs – basic obedience commands, socialization, bathing, walking

Cats – holding, brushing, socialization, interactive play

Best Friends will work with staff members to review animal needs, and will report back on animal progress, including providing information for monthly pet sponsorship updates.

Interested individuals must have been a Shelter Pal for at least six months. Best Friends must be 18 years or older and must commit to volunteering six to eight hours per month.

Best Friends will receive one-on-one or special group training at least once per quarter on a variety of topics including animal behavior, positive training, basic cat and dog health care, identifying signs of illness, basic disease transmission, animal restraint, animal enrichment, minimizing shelter stress and more.

Other Volunteer Positions:

Bluebird Monitor: Assist other volunteers in monitoring the 13 bluebird houses located in the Curtis Whitaker Bark Park. Training is available! The time spent on the bluebird program WILL count toward school or community service hours. Email here to set up a training or learn more (program runs February through October – join any time!).

Clerical Volunteer: HSSCM clerical volunteers assist with administrative duties including answering phones, data entry and customer service. Clerical volunteers will experience the administrative functions necessary to maintain an effective facility. Additional duties may include stuffing envelopes, metering postage and writing postcards.

Special Events Volunteer: Volunteers assisting with special events will participate in the community awareness projects of HSSCM. Special Event volunteers will assist in mobile adoptions, public relations events, annual pencil sales and other HSSCM activities. Additional duties may include helping handle dogs/cats, dog walks and customer service.

Transporter: Transporters are often needed to transport animals to and from various events, appointments and meetings, as well as to pick-up donations. In order to transport for the HSSCM volunteers must possess a valid driver’s license as well as pass a driving record investigation.

Pet Therapy Volunteer: HSSCM often provides assistance to senior citizens through our Pet Therapy Program, which introduces some of our residents to individuals within nursing home communities. Pet Therapy Volunteers supervise animal interactions as well as engage nursing home residents in our animal welfare efforts. Individuals must have been a Shelter Pal volunteer for six months, be 18 or older and have reliable transportation with a satisfactory driving record. Pet Therapy Volunteers will schedule their time with partner organizations and act as the primary contact between HSSCM and the partner organization.

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