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Grandma and Grandchild in Embrace

Family Volunteering

Children LOVE animals. And that’s precisely why it’s a great idea to get kids involved with helping animal shelters when they’re young!  Children are taught the value of social responsibility when allowed to volunteer or help shelters in a variety of ways.  We feel it’s important to show kids the need for responsible pet care and the benefits of animal shelters.  Through their involvement, children gain the rewards and feelings of accomplishment that come with aiding animals.

HES Junior Volunteers (JV’s) and their adult provide a vital role in the happiness and well-being of our animals.  Kids can volunteer in the following ways:

  • Animal Enrichment – HES JV’s make and distribute much needed enrichment toys and treats for our cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters and other small animals.

  • Rescue Readers – HES JV’s spend quality time with our dogs and cats reading to them.  Readers provide soothing company to dogs, cats, and critters as they await adoption. As a bonus, new readers gain confidence and improve their reading skills! 

  • Animal Ambassadors educate the public about the pets in need at the shelter.  They collect donations and hand out information about shelter programs at adoption events both on and off-site.


Age Requirements

  • Children ages 7-11.

  • Children must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian at all times. Both parent/guardian and child must submit an application to become a volunteer, complete necessary training together, and volunteer together.

  • Volunteers ages 12 or older:  Click Here for Adult Volunteer Info

*Please Note: For safety of volunteers, staff, and animals, no exceptions can be made to age limitation policies.

Time Requirements

  • Family volunteers are required to commit to a regular recurring schedule of at least two 3-hour shifts a month in one or more of the following positions:

    • Animal Enrichment

    • Rescue Reader

    • Animal Ambassador

  • Consistency is needed to ensure proper staffing so all animals get the time and the attention they need. If you are interested in short-term opportunities, please Contact Education Manager Jeanine Cloyd at

Training & Internet

  • Volunteer Training process begins with orientation followed by cat 101 and enrichment training. Additional training may be required depending on your position.

  • Our Volunteer Program requires that parent/guardian have access to internet and email. The volunteer site is online and volunteers are required to use this site to apply, sign up for training and shifts. Additionally, the primary source of communication with volunteers is through email so volunteers must have access to a functioning email address.

Adorable Kid Holding Chicken
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