Week 1 - Orientation

Approximately the first week of every month is Volunteer Orientation Week. Orientations are offered in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. You may attend any of the orientations, as they are not specific to the shelter location where you will volunteer.

  • Orientations provide an important overview of our organization, and give specific information about our volunteer program.
  • To register for an orientation, visit our Volunteer Orientations page.
  • Space is limited, so only those who signed up may attend. Friends, family members or pets cannot accompany you.
  • Attendees must be on time. Once the presentation has started, entry will no longer be allowed.
  • After the presentation, sign-up sheets will be made available for shelter tour and group interview appointments.
  • The whole session will take about two hours.
  • After the orientation, applicants who signed up for a shelter tour/group interview will receive an email with the link to an online application form, and an electronic copy of the Volunteer Policies and Procedures Manual. You must fill out and submit the online application form before going to the shelter tour/group interview. Only those who have submitted their application forms can go to the shelter tour and group interview.
  • All applicants should read the Policies and Procedures Manual thoroughly.

Week 2 - Shelter Tour and Group Interview

The succeeding week is Shelter Tour and Group Interview Week. Only those who had already submitted the online application can show up at the appointed time for which they signed up during the orientation.

  • Your group will be a given a tour of the shelter in order to familiarize you with its layout and many of its procedures.
  • After the tour, your group will sit down for an interview to determine each individual’s fit for the Volunteer Program.
  • Questions may be asked during and after the tour and interview.
  • The whole session will take approximately one hour.
  • Those who are accepted into the volunteer program will receive an email with a link to our PayPal account, through which the Volunteer Fee will be paid. Other non-online means of payment will be discussed during the interview. The volunteer fee may be waived depending on the reason for the request.
  • Applicants who are unable to show up for the appointment will continue to be invited to succeeding interviews for the next two months. After the third month, it will be presumed that applicants who still did not make an interview appointment are not interested in pursuing the program at the moment, and their application forms will be deleted. They may always apply again any time in the future by signing up for an orientation.

Week 3 - Theoretical and Hands-On Training

The rest of the month is devoted to training. This is a combination of theoretical instruction and hands-on training.

  • Upon receipt of your volunteer fee, you will be given a username and password. Payments are processed manually, so it may take a few days after payment before you get your username and password. At this point, you are now considered a trainee.
  • Your username and password will allow you to sign up for In-Shelter Training, where you will go through important instructions and be given hands-on training.
  • You will be given a booklet containing the learnings covered in the seminar.
  • Each session will take about three hours.
  • Some applicants will benefit from two training sessions. This will be determined by the trainer. Those who are not completely comfortable after one session should not hesitate to be the one to ask for a second session. Their safety and that of our animals are of utmost importance.
  • If you are unable to sign up for a training session this month, you can always sign up for the next month, or even the following month. However, after the third month, it will be presumed that applicants who still did not make a training appointment are not interested in pursuing the program at the moment, and their application forms will be deleted. They may always apply again any time in the future by signing up for an orientation.

Week 4 - First Shift

When you successfully complete your training, you will receive an email informing you that your volunteer packet is ready.

  • You will have to email the Volunteer Department to schedule your first shift.
  • You will be given your Volunteer ID Badge, T-shirt and leash (for Dog Companions).
  • After your first shift, you will be able sign up for succeeding shifts online.
  • Your six month commitment will begin once you have come in for your first shift.

If you serve less than six hours a month for three consecutive months, you will need to begin the volunteer process over again starting with orientation in order to stay on our team.