Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering
Q. What is the time commitment as a volunteer?
A. To work in either of our adoption centers we ask volunteers to commit to working a minimum of two shifts per month for a period of six months though it is preferable if you can come weekly at the same time each week. If this does not suit your schedule, there are many other volunteer opportunities outside of the adoption center. All of our volunteer opportunities are listed here.
Q. When can I start?
A. Once you fill out an application, it will be reviewed and, depending on your interests and availability and WHS' current needs, you will be invited to sign up for an orientation. After orientation, you can decide where or in what capacity you’d like to help out. Those who wish to volunteer at the adoption centers must attend a phone interview and a new volunteer shift at the adoption center of their choosing. View our locations here.
Q. Why is there an application fee?
A. It takes a lot of WHS staff time to review and process all the applications we receive and prior to implementing the application fee we found that many applicants were not serious about volunteering. By asking people to pay this nominal fee, we know the applicant is serious about their desire to volunteer with WHS. However, scholarships are available for applicants who can't pay the fee. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please complete the volunteer application then complete the scholarship application found here.
Q. Is there a way that I can volunteer before the
A. You can help us distribute information about our Pet of the Week. Information about our Pet of the Week and the flyer can be found here.
Q. What kinds of things can I do as a volunteer?
A. As a volunteer, you can help at our Adoption and Outreach events, keep our adoption centers sparkling, assist at our National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center, and help with administrative tasks.
Q. How do I schedule my volunteer shifts?
A. Once you have completed an onsite training at one of our adoption centers, you will be given information about scheduling yourself through our online system, Volgistics. Volunteers are requested to log their volunteer hours.
Q. What should I wear to volunteer in the adoption centers?
A. Please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty - long pants and closed-toe shoes are required.
Q. Is there an age requirement for volunteers?
A. To volunteer through our general program, you must be 18 years of age or older. Please click here to learn about our Youth Volunteer opportunities!
How can my group volunteer?
A. There are many ways your group can volunteer. Please review all the information on our Adoption Center group volunteer program here. If volunteering at an Adoption Center doesn't suit your group's needs, you can help collect donations, sponsor an animal in one of our adoption centers, assist at one of our events, or make a Dog Tug Braid. Your group may also be interested in fostering an animal or hosting your own fundraiser or "yappy hour."