APF Volunteer Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a volunteer?
The first step is to fill out our volunteer application. Once your application and application fee has been received, the volunteer coordinator will review the application and determine whether the applicant’s interests and availability match any current positions. If your application is considered, you will receive a link via email to sign up for a General Volunteer Orientation. Your application will remain active for four months if there are no current positions available.

I don’t have a computer or email. Can I just fill out a paper application form?
The most effective way for us to communicate with volunteer applicants and our current volunteers is with online services and email. For this reason, we have moved our application process online along with all of our volunteer scheduling.

Using email and online scheduling saves money on postage and printing costs and helps to keep our program viable and efficient. For this reason, we require that all volunteers have online access and a current email address. (Some exceptions will be considered, please contact the Volunteer Manager to discuss).

Is there an age requirement to volunteer?
Yes. Volunteers must be 18 years or older due to our insurance policy. Our foster program is a great way for young people and parents to have a rewarding volunteer experience together. Although the primary foster caregiver must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience. Click here to learn more about our foster family program.

Please click here for more ideas on how kids and teens can help the APF.

What is the time commitment?
The minimum commitment is a recurring 2-hour shift each week for a minimum of 4 months.

Why are Applicants required to make a $25 donation?
All applicants will be asked to pay a $25 application fee. This application fee will cover the cost of a volunteer t-shirt (received after 30 days of volunteering), name badge and other materials upon acceptance into the program. The application fee is non-refundable, regardless of if you are accepted into the program or your ability to continue volunteering for any reason.

If you are in need of financial assistance to cover the application fee, please contact the  Volunteer Manager.

How often do I need to volunteer? 
We require volunteers to fill a regularly scheduled shift at least once a week. Volunteers are welcome to work more often if there is a need for shift coverage, either in a regularly scheduled shift, or by picking up open shifts online. Volunteer shifts typically range from 2-4 hours.

Do you have short-term or summer volunteer positions available?
Due to limited resources, and the required training for each volunteer position, we are not able to offer short-term volunteering experiences on-site.

Do you accept court-ordered community service hours?
We are not able to offer court-ordered service hours through our volunteer program.

Should I worry about taking an illness home to my pet?
Our cats and dogs are all under veterinary care and have received their standard vaccinations. While we take every precaution to protect our staff and volunteers, the risk of contracting minor infections is present in all animal shelters and facilities with a large number of animals.

Always be sure to wash your hands and change your clothes before handling any of your own animals. Also, be sure that your animals are current on their vaccinations. Immunocompromised individuals and pets should consult with a doctor or vet prior to volunteering. If you have further questions, you should talk with your veterinarian.

Please contact the Volunteer Manager.

Volunteer Application Process

  • Please review the APF’s volunteer job descriptions and shifts, FAQ’s and requirements.
  • Complete and submit the online volunteer application.
  • Mail in or drop off your $25 application fee. *The one-time non-refundable $25 application fee does not guarantee placement into our volunteer program but will serve to shelter and care for our pets if placement is not found.
  • Applicants that match our current openings will receive an email with instructions on how to register and watch our orientation video through our volunteer system, Better Impact.  Once complete an onsite interview and tour will be scheduled.  *Applicants that are not currently a match for a position will be notified. Applications are kept on file for 4 months to be considered for positions as they become available.
  • Once orientation has been completed, applicants will be given the opportunity to sign up for a volunteer shift.
  • One-on-one training is provided for all volunteer roles and will start on your first day of volunteering at the shelter with a staff member or volunteer mentor. Note: Please allow up to 7 business days upon receipt of application and fee for the Volunteer Manager to review your interests and availability and contact you.

Volunteer Requirements

APF General Volunteer Requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Able to commit to one consistent shift per week for a minimum of 4 months.
  • Volunteers must be able and willing to follow policies and procedures for the safety and well-being of the animals, the public, volunteers and staff.
  • Be a self-motivated, honest, compassionate and dependable team player.
  • Able to squat, bend, lift and stand for extended periods. Please note: if special accommodations are needed, please contact the Volunteer Manager to discuss.

    Volunteer Application

    If you are interested in becoming an Animal Protective Foundation volunteer, please press the button below:

    Click here to sign up!

    Group Volunteer Information

    Thank you for your interest in the Animal Protective Foundations (APF) group volunteer opportunities. Each and every volunteer plays a vital role in our day-to-day operation! Please note that all volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

    Click here to complete our group volunteer application.

    How can my group volunteer at the APF?
    Available dates and times vary depending on the needs of the APF and your group’s availability. The work the group is performing varies from seasonal grounds keeping, moving supplies, to general maintenance projects. You will not be handling the animals. Animal handling requires specialized training reserved for individual volunteers who volunteer on a regular basis. If you would like to work with the animals, we encourage you to apply to our volunteer program.

    • Group volunteer work may range from cleaning, facility maintenance, lifting and moving, or special projects as the APF requires.
    • Each group will require a facilitator/ escort/coordinator (perhaps your contact person or a designated lead volunteer) to assist, sort, accompany, or coordinate the group and schedule with the Volunteer Manager.
    • Each group will provide a set number of expected volunteers, the APF cannot accommodate groups over 15 people and the APF will require a minimum number of volunteers depending on the assigned task.
    • Group volunteers will be provided with needed supplies by the APF for assigned tasks. Volunteers may bring extra supplies (gloves, garden tools, etc.); however, the APF is not liable for lost and/or stolen items.

    Other ways your group can volunteer with the APF (off-site)

    • Hold a Donation Drive- such as collecting items from our wish list, bottle and can drive, coin drive or create your own!

    How do we get started?
    To better accommodate your request, we ask that all group volunteer requests be submitted at least 30 days in advance. To get started, you will need to fill out the group volunteer request form below. The Community Engagement Manager will be in touch with you within 1-2 weeks of submitting your request. Projects will be assigned based on group’s availability and the needs of the APF. All groups must commit to bring a specific and predetermined number of volunteers. All individuals of a group will be required to sign a liability waiver and return it prior to volunteering.

    The one-time volunteer group will be provided with a shelter tour and brief information session at the beginning of their group volunteer shift. If possible (time and staffing permitting), volunteer groups will be provided with animal time at the end of their shift.

    Click here to complete our group volunteer application.

    If you have further questions regarding group volunteer projects, please contact us, via email or call 518-374-3944 x 118.