Volunteering FAQs

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Junior Volunteers must be between 6 and 15 years old and have a designated parent or guardian who will volunteer with them. PAW Program volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

What sort of a commitment do I have to make?

  • Junior Volunteers: 12 visits in 6 months, with a designated parent or guardian.
  • PAW Program: A minimum of 4 hours per month for 6 months’ time

I can’t fit volunteering into my schedule right now but I would still like to support Heart of the Valley. How can I do this?

I’m a part of a group who would like to volunteer together. Can we help out at Heart of the Valley?

Sure can! Single days of service can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. Schedules dependent on availability and current needs. Contact the Volunteer and Education Manager for details by e-mailing volunteer@heartofthevalleyshelter.org. Please provide information about your group and a general time frame for when you would like to complete your project.

My child really loves animals and we’d like to volunteer together at Heart of the Valley. How can we help? Can we work with dogs?

Wonderful! Heart of the Valley values teaching compassionate animal care to the animal loving children of our community at a young age – they are also future pet owners! As with all new volunteers, Junior Volunteers age 6-15 years old must attend a New Volunteer Orientation – along with the designated parent or guardian who will be sharing in the volunteer experience. Junior Volunteers and their designated parents or guardians are welcome to join our Cat Cuddling Program. Currently there are no opportunities for Junior Volunteers to work with dogs.

I’m age 16 or older and want to work with the dogs. What sort of training does it involve?

All volunteers age 16 or older who want to work with cats or dogs at the shelter become members of the PAW Program. Everyone begins by attending a New Volunteer Orientation. After attending orientation, each volunteer signs up for a small group, hands-on, animal handling session. These trainings provide you with all the tools you need to succeed as a volunteer.

I’m over age 16 and have attended the New Volunteer Orientation. Can I work with the dogs right away?

Not yet! Here’s why. Our volunteer program requires you to take some animal handling and enrichment training. All volunteers wishing to work with dogs are required to take a Dog Talk and Safety class and a Canine Enrichment training prior to working with HOV dogs. These trainings will improve your animal handling skills, teach you to be safe in a shelter environment, and will be a lot of fun!

I need to complete court ordered community service hours. Can I complete them at Heart of the Valley?

Yes – Community Service volunteers are a big help at the shelter. All Community Service volunteers are pre-screened. We do not accept violent or theft related offenses. Contact the Volunteer and Education Manager for more information.