Youth Volunteers in outdoor run with dog

Youth Volunteers

Youth volunteers range from 12 to 17 years old. A volunteer shift can look like anything, from helping a shy dog feel a little bit more comfortable to making new friends.

Youth Volunteer Portal

Current youth volunteers can log into the Volunteer Portal to view their schedule, schedule classes, view or print a report of hours, and/or update their volunteer profile. 

Portland Campus

Helping from Home

Youth interested in doing volunteer work from home can help in the following ways: 

  • Organize a fundraising/donation drive and donate money/supplies to OHS. See our  Wish List for needed supplies. 
  • For lots of projects you can do from home please go to the virtual volunteer guide here.  

Youths can bring in donations whenever the  shelter is open. Thank you for helping our pets! 

Long Term Volunteering

The Long Term Youth Program is currently not accepting applicants for new volunteers. The next recruitment period will be April 14th-April 18th. The application link will be active on this page April 14th at 11:00am and will become inactive April 18th at 5:00pm. Youth Volunteers are selected through a lottery system.

  • General Requirements:
    • Must be 12 to 17 years old. If you are 18 years old, please see the Adult Volunteer Program. 
    • Able to commit to volunteering on a set 2-hour shift every other week for a minimum of 6 months.  
    • Can provide proof of current medical insurance.  
    • Required to attend a 3-hour orientation and 2-hour hands-on training session. 
    • Be able to squat, twist, bend, lift and stand for long periods of time.  
    • Can tolerate frequent loud, chaotic, and crowded environments. 
    • Be able to comprehend and follow instructions, adhere to shelter policies, procedures and protocol, and be able to think and act quickly to ensure volunteer, animal, and public safety 
    • Be responsible, respectful, hard-working, and self-directed under limited supervision and be willing to work as a part of a cohesive team of Youth Volunteers 
    • Purchase volunteer supplies totaling $33. However, if you are financially unable to cover the cost, please let us know, and we can find a way

Volunteer Activities: 

  • Walking dogs of all sizes and temperaments is a requirement of the youth volunteer program. 
  • Socializing dogs, cats, and small animals. 
  • Cleaning animal areas (scooping poop and cleaning litter boxes). 
  • Assisting with laundry in the Medical Center.  
  • Working with your peers on enrichment projects for the shelter animals.
  • Assisting with a variety of office jobs around the shelter. 

Youth Volunteers are assigned a regularly scheduled two-hour shift that they attend every two weeks. Shifts are offered from  4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday with an additional 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. option on weekends. Available shifts will be posted on this page during our open application process only.

Applications for the Long Term Youth Volunteer Program opens when there is availability in the program. This is usually every 3 months. Youth Volunteers are selected through a lottery system.

Salem Campus

Volunteer Requirements

Youth Volunteers must be a minimum of 16 years of age and complete all volunteer training and paperwork. Individuals between ages 12 and 15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Both the youth and adult will need to fill out applications and participate in all volunteer training. Adults in need of a support person or guardian may also apply as part of our Partner Pair Program. 

Volunteer Roles

  • Dog walking
  • Animal Care Assistants – cleaning kennels, making sure animals have food and water
  • Enrichment Team – helping keep shelter animals engaged
  • Foster care

Volunteer Orientation

We host orientations on the first Saturday of February, April, June, August, October and December. Once you sign up for an orientation, you will then receive another email from Sterling which will ask you to go to a secure website to complete a background check. Anyone wanting to become a volunteer at OHS must complete a background check before they can attend an orientation.

Volunteer Commitment

After Volunteer Orientation, we ask that Volunteers commit to one shift a week. Volunteer Shifts are two to three hours long. All Salem volunteers can schedule their shifts through our Volunteer Portal. Log in to view your volunteer schedule, schedule shifts, view or print a report of hours, and/or update your volunteer profile.

We are currently accepting Youth Volunteer Applications!

The first step is to fill out the volunteer application below. You will then receive a confirmation email that we received your application. We will then contact you about the next steps in becoming an OHS volunteer at the Salem Campus. It will take five to seven days to hear from us.

Contact Us

For further questions, please reach out to the Portland and Salem Campus Volunteer teams.