Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! The volunteer program at Tallahassee Animal Services is vital to our operation, and our volunteers are making an impact in many areas. Today, volunteers assist in the care of dogs and cats housed in our shelter, help place them in loving homes, and provide support for administrative functions & other shelter programs.
- Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older.
- Must be able to commit to a weekly schedule
- Must be mature, dependable, and able to follow instructions
- Must be able to physically handle animals that weigh at least 35lbs
- Must be able to work independently
- Must be able to bend, squat, and kneel with no issue
- Must have reliable transportation
- Must have regular access to email and the internet
- If you are looking to complete court-ordered community service, this is not the correct application and process. Please call our front office at 891-2950 to inquire about proper procedure on community service.
- Parents with children under 16 can contact us to find out about ways younger children can help the shelter.
Steps to Becoming a Volunteer
We rely on our wonderful adult & student volunteers to help with many aspects of our shelter operations and we could not do all the good things we do without them. All volunteers are required to commit to a regular schedule of at least one, 2-hour shift per week.
For Students: Scheduling is for the duration of the semester. Successful student volunteers are mature, dependable, ambitious, able to follow instructions and able to work independently on assigned tasks. Does this sound like you? Then follow the steps below to apply. Please note that these positions are competitive and it is important to have your application in on time!
For Non-Students: We ask that you commit to a weekly schedule and are able to volunteer consistently for at least 6 consecutive months.
- Complete a Volunteer Application (for students, please review application deadlines below). Applications received after the deadline for a particular term will not be considered unless a position becomes available. Following are the application deadlines:
- Fall Semester (September - December): September 15
- Spring Semester (January - April): January 15
- Summer Semester (May - August): May 15
- Complete a volunteer interview. After reviewing your volunteer application, our volunteer coordinator will contact you to make arrangements to complete the volunteer interview. The interview is designed to learn more about you and to discuss the program to determine if it's the right fit for your volunteer involvement in the community.
- Upon acceptance into our Volunteer Program, there will be a $15 Supply and Materials Fee that will be due at the time of your orientation to cover the cost of your uniform.
- Attend New Volunteer Orientation. Following your volunteer interview, you may be offered a volunteer position with our shelter & will be scheduled for our Level 1 Volunteer Orientation. Orientations occur multiple times throughout the month to fit a variety of schedules.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities:
Shelter Support Volunteer: All volunteers begin at Level 1 and as a "Shelter Support Volunteer". Volunteers at this level participate with:
- Cleaning Kennels
- Feeding Animals
- Laundry & Dishes
- Assist Customers with Adoption
- Kennel & Shelter Upkeep
Dog Adoption Assistant: After completing at least 1 month of Level 1 & receiving additional training, volunteers have the opportunity to work with shelter dogs in the adoption area. Volunteers in this role participate with:
- Dog Walking
- Dog Enrichment
- Dog Socialization
- Field Trips & Special Events (taking dogs on outings!)
- Playgroup Assistants
Cat Adoption Assistant: After completing at least 1 month of Level 1 & receiving additional training, volunteers looking to work with animals of the feline variety will get to participate with:
- Kitty Cuddling & Socialization
- Cat Enrichment
- Kitty Kennel Caretaking
- Match-Making and Adoption Help
- Special Events (taking cats out to events in the community!)
Playgroup Volunteer: Interested in dog behavior? Playgroup volunteers get the opportunity to manage groups of dogs playing for their socialization, physical exercise, and enrichment. Playgroups are fun, interesting, and most importantly, the help our dogs stay relaxed and improve their adoptability. Volunteers can begin participating with Playgroups at Level II in a supportive role and move into more prominent roles with hands-on training with staff.
Animal Photographer: Do you have a DSLR camera, a good eye for photos, and a lot of patience? Studies have shown that a great picture on our website can be the key to getting a pet adopted. As an Animal Photographer you will get to:
- Take awesome animal photos with your own DSLR camera
- Upload photos to our database for posting on our website
Special Events Volunteer: Want to help out, but can't make a regular weekly commitment? Consider becoming one of our Special Events Volunteers. As a Special Events Volunteer, you'll get to:
- Participate in Adoption Outreach Booths throughout the Community
- Participate in special event and fund-raising activities such as:
- Tails and Trails - 5k, 10k, and 1 mile fun runs (annually)
- Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinics
- Community Outreach and Humane Education Outings
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Vet Team Volunteer Program: The Vet Team Volunteer program was designed for pre-veterinary students and other individuals with an interest in the veterinary profession. The goal is to allow hands-on experience in the animal field. As a Vet Team Volunteer you will get to assist our veterinary team with our in-house surgery and medical program. Primary duties include:
- Surgical pack sterilization and preparation
- Laundering the surgical linens
- Assisting with patient preparation for and recovery from surgery.
- Other duties may include assisting with animal exams, diagnostics and treatments.
- Due to the nature of shelter medicine, the exact activities will vary by season
Foster Parent: Do you want to make a big impact but don't have time to commit weekly? Consider becoming a foster parent. For more information about our Foster Program, visit our Foster Page.
Animal Shelter Advisory Board Member: The Animal Shelter Advisory Board is always looking for new applicants for membership. The Board is comprised of nine City residents and three County residents. They assist in the development of mission and policies and review and recommend long range planning and budgeting. In addition they serve as liaisons to the community, increasing support and awareness of Animal Services. If you are interested in becoming a Board Member, please see the Advisory Board information. The Board meets bi-monthly on the first Monday of the month from 6pm-8pm at the Myers Park Community Room. Meetings are open to the public. Please email if you are interested in attending.