Youth with a Passion for Pets

At OHS, we are fortunate to have a team of dedicated youths (ages 12-17) help all around the shelter. The OHS Youth Volunteer program offers a variety of opportunities, from walking dogs and brushing cats to making buttons and cutting out event flyers. Their help is invaluable, and the youths themselves are exceptional.

It’s not often that you come across truly special people…unless you are me! As Youth Volunteer Coordinator at OHS, I am lucky to engage with special young people every day who make a difference for pets in very tangible ways. Lindsey is extra special, though. From the moment I met her, I knew that she cared about animals and would do anything to help them. She was so eager to get involved and has spent every possible weekend at OHS since becoming a volunteer. –Sasha Moyle, OHS Youth and Group Volunteer Coordinator

A Deep Love and Passion for Animals

For as long as I can remember, I have had a deep love and passion for animals. I grew up in a household with an array of furry friends, ranging from hamsters to cats to fish. I felt a strong connection with animals as I was growing up, and I knew that it would someday become more than just an interest.

Lindsey working with a dog, Gizmo, at OHS
Youth Volunteer Lindsey working with a dog, Gizmo, at OHS

Today, I am very involved in activities at OHS, from being a Youth Volunteer/Team Lead to assisting at orientations for new Youth Volunteers. But this didn’t happen overnight.

It Began with a Dash

My first experience with the Oregon Humane Society happened when I was 14. My dad told me about an event called the Doggie Dash, held each year by OHS. You can bring your dog to walk around downtown Portland, all while raising money for the shelter! I went about collecting as many donations as I could. When the event rolled around in May I was so excited, and the Dash was just as awesome as I had hoped. Seeing all of the volunteers helping at the event made me want to become more involved with OHS, and I researched how to become a Youth Volunteer.

I found that the Youth Volunteer program at OHS is extremely popular and shifts fill up quickly. This didn’t deter me, though. I applied and was approved to start volunteering, thanks to the coordinator, Sasha.

Becoming a Leader

I began visiting the shelter every weekend to play and visit with the animals and help with all sorts of projects at OHS. I didn’t think that my experience at the shelter could get much better, but then I became a Team Lead for a particular shift. This designation means a lot to me, as it has allowed me the opportunity not only to have a positive impact on the animals at OHS, but also to serve in a leadership role within the Youth Volunteer program.

I am so grateful for everything that the experience has given me. I know I have had a big impact on the shelter and its furry visitors over the past three years. I love socializing with the animals and making their stay at OHS just a little more enjoyable. Being a Youth Volunteer at OHS has been fantastic for so many reasons, from the kindness and respect I receive from the staff members to the fun and playful animals that I have had the pleasure to work with.

I will turn 18 soon, which means I will no longer be a Youth Volunteer—instead, I plan to join the adult volunteering program at OHS and I am looking forward to new opportunities to help the animals.

Contributed by Lindsey Pfeiffer, OHS Youth Volunteer


Over the years, Lindsey has grown into a confident young woman who engages new volunteers at orientation and gently guides her team of youth volunteers in projects that help the animals. She is truly an excellent volunteer. Her 18th birthday is coming soon, a day I dread as that means she’ll move on from the youth program, but thankfully Lindsey will continue to help OHS as she moves into the adult volunteering program. –Sasha Moyle, OHS Youth and Group Volunteer Coordinator


Youth Volunteers Helping at OHS