Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I have to be to volunteer? All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to participate in our Volunteer program.
Is there a time commitment for volunteering? We ask our Care Center volunteers to make a commitment to our program of 6 months with a minimum of 6 hours in each month. Due to the extensive training requirements, we are not able to accept short-term volunteers for most of our positions. Please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to find out more details about specific volunteer positions, including positions that do not have this requirement.
What if I can’t make the 6-month commitment? We will review requests on an individual basis if you have special circumstances that prevent you from volunteering for 6 consecutive months. There are also Volunteer Opportunities that are short-term and do not require a 6 month commitment.
Can I continue volunteering after my 6 month commitment is fulfilled? We would be happy to have you stay in our Volunteer Program after you have completed your initial 6 months of service. To remain an active member of our team you will be required to complete 6 hours of service a month for as long as you would like to stay in our program. If you have been inactive for three consecutive months or more without prior communication we will move you to an inactive status. If you wish to return to the program you may have to re-train or reapply to the volunteer program depending on the length of time you were inactive.
Can I work in more than one service area or location? We ask you to focus on one volunteer position to get started in our program. Once you have become a member of our team you can volunteer in other areas as your personal schedule allows. You must complete all necessary training before you begin working in multiple positions.
Why do you have volunteer shifts in the Care Centers? Shifts are set up to keep our pets on a regular schedule. This keeps their stress levels down which in turn helps reduce the spread of disease.
What if I can’t do a full shift (i.e. I can do every Wed from 9am-11am instead of 9am-12pm)? Volunteer shifts are windows of time in which volunteers can come in to work on a team to provide care for our pets. You may come in anytime during the three hour shift period to help our pets as long as you are fulfilling your 6 hour per month requirement. If you would like to stay for more than one shift per day you can help with other duties around the Care Center such as laundry and stocking of supplies until the next shift starts.
My schedule is unpredictable, can I do my shifts on different days in a month or must they be the same day each week? While we prefer you make a commitment to come in on the same shift to work with your team, we do have an online system that allows you to schedule yourself on various shifts.
I have court appointed hours or community service hours due; can I fulfill my requirement at AC&C? AC&C is not able to accept volunteers needing to fulfill court appointed or community service requirements.
Can I come in just to play with or socialize with animals? Only volunteers who have gone through our training program are allowed to handle the animals. While we believe that all of our animals are wonderful, they require care that only trained animal handlers can provide.
Can we bring friends and family members with us to help at the Care Center? Volunteers are not allowed to bring friends, family members or pets with them during their scheduled volunteer shifts. Only people who are over the age of 18 and have been trained as a volunteer in our program are allowed to be in the facilities. Volunteers may bring their friends and family members to the Adoption rooms outside of their scheduled volunteer hours during Care Center adoption hours.
Why is there a $25 volunteer fee? We charge an administrative fee to cover the costs of the Volunteer Program. This includes processing costs, your Volunteer ID tag, an official Volunteer t-shirt, supplies and training sessions. Financial hardship scholarships may be available on a case by case basis and will be determined during the interview process.
What if I have any concerns or questions as a volunteer? Volunteers are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the department supervisor. They may also take their concerns, complaints or suggestions to the Volunteer Department. Written documentation (e-mails are acceptable) of any serious concerns or safety matter should be forwarded to the department supervisor and the Volunteer Manager.
Should I worry about taking an illness home to my pet? Always be sure to wash your hands and change your clothes before handling any of your own animals. Also, be sure that your animals are current on their vaccinations. If you have further questions, you should talk with your own veterinarian.