Get Involved → Volunteer

Volunteer at Paws Humane Society

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Paws Humane Society volunteer. Volunteers are vital to the work we do and we truly appreciate those who are able to donate their time to help the homeless pets of the Chattahoochee Valley. We believe in utilizing skilled volunteers with a passion for giving back to our community. In return, you will experience the reward of seeing lives saved on a daily basis. You will watch as families become complete and our community moves forward in becoming one of the leaders in our nation’s No Kill Movement.

 

How to Become a Volunteer

To take your first step toward helping save more lives, please complete our online volunteer application. Be sure to register for a volunteer orientation date at the end of your online application.

All applicants must be at least 18 years old and attend a volunteer orientation in order to get started as a Paws Volunteer.

We look forward to having you join our volunteer family!

Please note: Volunteer orientations will not be held in August. Orientations will resume in September.

Please note: this program is not for court-ordered or preemptive community service.

woman holding dog

Service Enterprise Vision

“To develop and maintain a qualified, proficient volunteer base with defined roles for volunteer positions, effective volunteer training, and a cohesive working relationship between staff and volunteers to achieve our vision of a No Kill Community.”

Flexible Volunteer Opportunities (Volunteer Orientation Required)

Our flexible volunteer opportunities allow oriented and trained volunteers to work in the shelter on their own time. No prior scheduling is needed, but an initial focused training session may be required before working in these areas. These include tasks that need to be performed within the shelter on a daily basis. You will find some task examples and their descriptions below:

Dishes and Laundry
Just when you thought you could escape these mundane but important tasks! Yep, our animals need clean towels, bedding and dishes just like your kids at home. If you enjoy routine and neatness, this could be right up your alley. Help with these tasks is needed anytime from 7am to 5pm every day.
In-Room Socializing
Many of our shelter animals may not have had the best experiences with people and do not know the meaning of true affection. Volunteers play an essential role in giving all of our shelter pets a good experience with people, instilling in them that people are not here to harm them, but to provide love and care. A well socialized animal is happy, which makes them more approachable and makes the transition into a new home much easier on the adopter and pet. Let an animal fall asleep in your lap and soak up some of the love these shelter pets have to offer!
Enrichment
We believe that every animal in our care deserves a happy and enriching experience while awaiting their forever home. That’s why we need volunteers to help with animal enrichment such as preparing peanut butter Kongs or frozen treats for daily dispersal, providing treat puzzles and toys for bored animals, taking over-active dogs to the play-yard for a game of fetch, sprinkling a little catnip here and there, etc.
Pet Photography
A good photo makes all the difference in getting potential adopters through our doors. Volunteers are needed to assist professional photographers who graciously donate their time to photograph our shelter pets. Tasks such as prop set up, animal handling and posing, and equipment breakdown are just a sampling of what photography assistants can provide.
Dog Walkers
Many of our dogs are housebroken or are in the process of becoming housebroken. Dog walkers ensure these animals get outside so they don’t have an accident inside which causes them anxiety. The exercise is crucial to decreasing anxiety as well. Beautiful wooded trails are on-site for daily walks.
Morning Cleaning
As you can imagine, much cleaning is needed here at Paws first thing every morning! Our Animal Care Techs arrive at 7am every day to heavily clean the adoptions and pre-adoptions kennels. Anything from scrubbing floors to changing litter is tackled during this time. It is advisable that volunteers wear long pants and rubber boots if possible.
Spot Cleaning
A clean room for our shelter pets makes all the difference in whether or not a potential adopter decides to enter a room. All volunteers and staff are responsible for spot cleaning dog and cat rooms as needed. Our motto is, “If you see it, clean it up.” Who knows…your effort to clean a messy room may lead to a forever home for a homeless pet!
Volunteer Dog Training
The shelter environment can be very stressful on the dogs and cats, and their stress levels directly coincide with their health. To keep our animals physically and mentally sound, it’s important for us to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation. Volunteers can work with our dogs, teaching them basic manners (sit, stay, no jumping, no mouthing) which helps them become more attractive to potential adopters.

Scheduled Volunteer Opportunities (Volunteer Orientation Required)

Our scheduled volunteer opportunities allow oriented and trained volunteers to sign up for scheduled shifts as needed in each department. These are usually specialized tasks that require skill, training, dedication and accountability. Department Managers are responsible for scheduling volunteers for shifts within their own departments. Some tasks and their descriptions are included below:

Administrative and Customer Service Duties
The day-to-day duties of running an organization are endless and we count on volunteers to step in and help out whenever possible. Answering phones, greeting customers, checking messages, appointment reminder calls, filing, stuffing envelopes and data entry are just a few of the administrative duties we need help with.
Community Outreach
Paws practices a community outreach initiative designed to extend animal welfare resources and information to pet owners who have the least access to services and information. We spend time getting to know people and their pets and we introduce them to our low cost and free veterinary services, face to face. As a Community Outreach Volunteer, you will have an opportunity to make a real and lasting impact on animal welfare in Columbus. The folks we have met love their animals and they appreciate our visits. It is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Humane Education
Paws is dedicated to educating the public on pet overpopulation issues and the importance of spay/neuter, proper pet care, safe dog interaction and more. We bring shelter animals to visit elementary schools, give presentations or work on projects, and also host groups of children here at Paws for educational sessions and tours of the shelter.
Vet Clinic
Our low cost, high quality spay/neuter clinic is always busy with shelter/rescue clients and public clients. Depending on skill level and desire, clinic volunteers are needed to help clean kennels, do laundry, prep surgical instruments, prep animals for surgery, walk dogs, assist with recovery supervision, assist receptionists, etc. The clinic is an interesting and rewarding experience for those who have an affinity for shelter medicine.
Community Cats Program
Community cats are the unowned outdoor cats that live in our neighborhoods. Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) is the humane, effective way to reduce the number of cats living on our streets. Volunteers help humanely trap community cats, transport them to Paws for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations, and then return the cats to their original environment. Volunteers also help care for the cats while they recover from surgery at Paws.
Dog Bathing
We need volunteers that are eager to discover the beautiful surprise so often found beneath the coat of a dirty, matted, overgrown, neglected dog. Volunteers willing to wash, dry, puff, and fluff are needed each week.
Offsite Adoptions/Special Events
You will help to ensure our dogs are kept comfortable when offsite and have the opportunity to walk around and interact with the public, especially potential adopters.
Playgroups
Our staff organizes daily playgroups for our dogs, but they need volunteers to monitor and help prevent any play-yard mishaps. Volunteers can assist in dog introductions and help monitor safe play.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

For a more detailed look at our volunteer opportunities, Click here to view all available volunteer job descriptions offered at Paws Humane Society.

Volunteer Opportunities Open to the Public (Volunteer Orientation Not Required)

These volunteer opportunities do not require individuals to attend an initial orientation or training session. Both opportunities do, however, require an approved application before getting started.

Fostering
Be an In-Home Hero and save a life by becoming a foster parent to one of our shelter pets. Puppies and kittens cannot live in the shelter until after they are weaned, have had two rounds of vaccines and are big enough to be spayed or neutered. Some animals are shy and need time in a calm home environment where they gain the confidence to interact with the public. Still other animals are recovering from a broken bone, heartworms, or a skin condition and need a quiet and safe environment to heal. Foster parents give these animals the time they need to become viable adoption candidates. Attending a Volunteer Orientation is not required to become a foster parent. Simply click here to fill out your foster application. Once your application is approved, you will be contacted by a member of our Foster Inspections Team to schedule a home inspection.
Dog’s Day Out
Check out one of our shelter dogs and take them out for a day at the park! Getting our dogs in the public eye can help them get adopted faster, as well as give them a much needed break from the stressful shelter environment. Attending a volunteer orientation is not required for participation in this program. Simply drop by our front desk to fill out a Dog’s Day Out application. You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license to participate.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” H. Jackson Brown Jr., the author of Life’s Little Instruction Book penned this statement. If it’s true, and I believe it is, the volunteers of Paws Humane Society must be the happiest people on earth.

Everyday I witness our volunteers generously giving up precious hours to provide comfort and companionship to our beautiful pets. They clean kennels, walk and train dogs, and hang out with the cats. I get to watch them make a difference, one animal at a time. The cumulative effect is magnificent.

Bobbi Yeo, CEO Paws Humane Society

Our volunteers contribute to our mission in BIG ways! Just check out the numbers below to see the impact our volunteers helped make in 2017.

Number of vaccinations and microchips provided through our Veterinary Clinic Wellness Program.

Pet owners assisted through our community outreach program.

Pets Adopted

Animals Spayed & Neutered

THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS

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Petsmart Charities logo
Petco Foundation logo
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