Volunteering at OHS

OHS offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for adults (age 18+).

Find requirements for volunteering at OHS, how to submit a volunteer application, and resources for current OHS adult volunteers.

Resources for Current Volunteers

Volunteer Info Center Log In ButtonThe Volunteer Information Center is the place to schedule your hours online, view or print a report of your hours, post your commute or OHSTAR hours, and update your profile.

View the Noseweek newsletter filled with upcoming opportunities, and find resource documents, contact information and much more.

Volunteer Opportunities

This is a brief overview of the types of volunteer opportunities available for adults. More information will be provided during Volunteer Orientation and training sessions:

OHS Fountain and Rose Garden
OHS Fountain and Rose Garden

Volunteer Requirements

Interested in volunteering at the shelter or at OHS-sponsored events? We welcome you to apply to our adult volunteer program if you are:

  • At least 18 years old (If you are 12-17 years old, see the Youth Volunteer Program).
  • Able to provide at least 12 hours of service per month.
  • Able to squat, bend, twist, lift, or stand for long periods when working directly with the animals.
  • Possess strong customer service skills and are able to read, write and communicate clearly, since all volunteer positions work directly with the public, staff, and other volunteers.
  • Have regular access to the Internet and an email account.

Important Notes

Background Check: A standard national criminal background check is required for all adult applicants. This is not a credit check. If you have a prior felony conviction you may be declined, depending on the crime.

Court-Mandated Service: This program cannot be used to fulfill court-mandated hours. Instead, view our court-mandated community service program.

Students: We cannot accommodate students who are required to fulfill short-term community service hours. OHS will not grant community service hours to any volunteer unless they can make a six-month commitment of 12 hours per month.

Short-Term: We do not accept any general short-term volunteers (even during the summer) due to extensive training requirements.

Costs & Supplies: All adult volunteers are required to purchase needed supplies and pay for the background check. Costs are:

  • $43.50 for cat-handling volunteers, shelter resource volunteers, and administrative volunteers
  • $57 for dog-handling volunteers
  • $46.50 for small animal-handling volunteers
  • If you are financially unable to cover this cost, please let us know and we can find a way to help.

How To Volunteer

To become a volunteer, you must first fill out the volunteer application online. We are not able to send applications by postal mail.

*If you would only like to volunteer your time as a foster parent and not also at the shelter, please fill out the foster care only volunteer application instead, found here. The general volunteer application is for those who are interested in volunteering at the shelter in addition to fostering. Foster care only volunteers do not volunteer at all in the shelter.

Apply to become an OHS adult volunteer

After receiving your application, we will contact you to schedule your volunteer orientation. These are generally held the last Sunday of each month (no orientations are held in December).

Once you have been scheduled for an orientation, you will receive an email asking you to complete a background check. All persons volunteering must complete a background check. If you have any questions, please email the volunteer team leaders.