“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” – Sherry Anderson
Whether you wish to provide enrichment for the animals, help at our adoption center, assist with fundraising and special events, or have a special skill you’d like to contribute, the PAWS Volunteer Program provides a wide variety of opportunities for concerned, caring individuals to help make a difference in the lives of shelter animals. Your time is a valuable gift to offer the PAWS animals and shelter staff!
PAWS offers a structured, well-supported program and truly appreciates our dedicated volunteers who help us save animal lives every day! In order for PAWS to provide the best possible program for the animals and volunteers alike, potential volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation. Depending on your interests and open volunteer positions, further training may be required. Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 4 hours a month for at least a 6 month period.
Interested in Volunteering? Here’s what you do:
- Submit an online application.
- Shortly after submitting an application, you will receive an email with a schedule of our upcoming volunteer Orientation.
- Attend an Orientation. This is mandatory. Can’t attend the next orientation or training class? Check back for future dates!
- Commit to serving as a volunteer for a minimum of 4 hours a month for 6 consecutive months.
If you are interested in becoming a foster volunteer, please click here for more information!
Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering:
What can I do as a P.A.W.S. volunteer?
I completed the online application, now what?
What if I can’t attend the next orientation, or I want to get involved now?
I am under 18. Can I volunteer?
I need to fulfill community service hours. What should I do?
Volunteer opportunities are constantly changing as we grow and develop new programs. Below is a list of current opportunities. If you have a skill that is not included in the list below we would be interested in discussing details with you!
- Animal Care Volunteer: These volunteers help with the day to day care of our shelter animals which includes cleaning, handling animals, and assisting the staff. This is a great opportunity for individuals who want to learn about animal care in a shelter environment. Training for this position will include animal handling and cleaning protocols.
- Adoption Teammate: As an Adoption Teammate, you will assist our adoption counselors by working with adopters during the adoption process. Teammates will greet visitors, explain our adoption process, facilitate adoptions, and review our adoption packets. Teammates may also be called on to assist with basic administrative duties of Adoption Counselors and offsite adoption events.
- Dog Walker & Socializer: Regular exercise is as important for animals as it is for people. Our dog walkers provide the dogs at the shelter the opportunity to get outside and stretch their legs, while also focusing on establishing lifelong behaviors that will make the animal more adoptable and a great canine citizen! Volunteers must be able to read and write about each dog, be able to handle all sizes and types of dogs, walk short distances, and be dedicated to maintaining a clean environment.
- Feline Friend: Spend quality time cuddling with cats! Volunteers use the Cat Room to allow the cats, one by one, a bit of time for play, grooming, treats, and additional enrichment. Volunteers also fill out a brief evaluation about each animal to assist Adoption Counselors in making the perfect match. Volunteers must have the physical ability to transfer animals from kennels and use proper animal handling and disease prevention techniques.
- Dog Bather/Groomer: Restore that glorious shine to the adoption dogs by bathing them prior to their spay/neuter surgery. Clean dogs are so much more appealing to take home! However, once spayed or neutered the dogs cannot be bathed for at least 10 days due to the incision. For this reason, it is important for them to be squeaky clean prior to the operation. This volunteer position offers a flexible schedule with bathing times throughout the day.
- Foster Home Volunteer: Volunteer as a foster parent for puppies, kittens, dogs, or cats in you home. The animals that need you may be too young for adoption, may be recovering from illness or minor injury, or may need behavioral training. Whatever the case, Foster Parents provide necessary care to animals in need allowing more animals to go into permanent adoptive homes. This position requires a desire to nurture and train the animals. Foster animals may need to come back to the shelter for occasional check-ups until the animal is ready for adoption. The commitment for foster placement is normally 2-4 weeks at a time, and you will be contacted as animals become available for fostering.
- Humane Educator: This volunteer position has the unique opportunity to touch the lives of young people and teach them about the work we do at PAWS. Help young people discover home amazing animals are, how to interact with animals safely, and how to treat them with respect and kindness.
- Photographer: Volunteers help take beautiful pictures of our adoptable animals for the website. They have great patience to make sure they get the right picture.
- Veterinary Assistant: This volunteer position would be ideal for individuals interested in becoming a veterinarian or veterinarian technician. Volunteers would have the opportunity to assist our Vet with a variety of duties. The minimum age for this position is 16 years or older.
- Special Events/Docent: Interested in having fun and spreading the word about PAWS during events throughout the year? This is the position for you! PAWS participates in several events throughout the year, and we need volunteers to assit in educating the community about who we are and what we do. This is a position for someone who enjoys meeting new people, learning new things, interacting and having fun.
- Gardener: PAWS takes great pride in the appearance of our shelter both inside and out. This position will help maintain the several flower beds we have in the front of the shelter, so that visitors’ first impression of the shelter is pleasing and welcoming.
- Fundraising Committee Member Volunteer: As a private non-profit, PAWS relies heavily on donations and fundraising. We put on several fundraisers throughout the year which are vital to ensuring our operating budget. If you are creative and inventive – or if you just like putting on special events – this is a great position for you. Fundraising Volunteers engage in varied duties, including but not limited to; planning event details, setting up the day of, and providing event support.
- Administrative/Office Assistant: These volunteers help with the administrative duties of the shelter. They may assist with record keeping, greeting visitors, answering the phone, making adoption follow up calls, crafting animal biographies, and processing intake and adoptions in our shelter software program.
- Volunteer Mentor: Are you a volunteer who knows their stuff? Be a mentor to a new or youth volunteer to show them the ropes. This position is called upon to assist the staff with volunteer training and management.
Shortly after submitting your online application, you will receive an email with a schedule of our upcoming volunteer Orientation. If you don’t see an email from us, make sure to check your spam or junk folder. This is a very important email, as it includes our volunteer handbook, links to a mandatory training video, and pertinent details relating to orientation.
We usually have two orientation sessions per month – one during the week and one on a Saturday. All sessions are held at our shelter location unless otherwise noted.
You must attend an orientation session. If you would like to get involved now, consider making a donation, sponsoring an animal, or conducting a supply drive. Of course, you can always spread the word! Tell your friends and family about PAWS, read our blog, and follow us on social media – we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
PAWS happily accepts volunteers under 18 years of age. Youth Volunteers must be accompanied by an adult during all volunteer activities. Some activities may be restricted for younger volunteers.
If you are seeking community service hours for school, an organization, or personal pleasure, simply apply through the steps above. Regrettably, we are currently unable to accommodate court-ordered, traffic diversion, KTAP, or Kentucky Works Community Service.