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volunteer opportunities
  • Dog Walking – Our dogs love, and need, a chance to stretch their legs on a nice long walk.
  • Socializing Cats – Help our cats build positive associations with humans by taking them out of their kennel to be held, pet, & brushed, and to get some play time.
  • Animal Care – All our animals need some TLC from time to time. This includes bathing, grooming, and socializing.
  • Cleaning – There are many things to clean in the Humane Society including kennels, dishes, floors, windows, laundry, etc. **This is the area with which we need the most help!**
  • Building and Grounds Maintenance – Like most homes or businesses, there is an endless to-do list of building and grounds maintenance for the shelter. Outside, we need help mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, gardening, and shoveling snow. Indoors, we have the need for carpentry, electrical, and other skills from time to time.
  • Assisting with Fundraising Events – Pulling off a successful fundraiser takes many people but can be well worth it for the money we bring in to help keep the shelter running. With a variety of fundraising projects, you can help in a variety of different ways from the planning stages through to working an actual event.

volunteer rules & Requirements

Thank you for your interest in helping the shelter! There are a few important things you need to know to keep yourselves and the animals safe and happy and our shelter operating smoothly.

  •  APPLICATION: Each volunteer must have a volunteer application on file. (Anyone under 18 must have a parent/guardian’s signature.) Once your application has been turned in you are welcome to come volunteer at any time.
  • AGE LIMITS: Volunteers of any age are welcome but those under 16 must have an adult with them & directly supervising them while they volunteer. It is wonderful for our animals to be socialized by a variety of people so we love having kids visit. Keep in mind though that the shelter is not a petting zoo or a daycare.
  • SCHEDULING: Usually volunteers are welcome to walk dogs and/or socialize cats any day that the shelter is open. On occasion, our socialization room or kennel areas may be closed due to events or shelter needs. We encourage volunteers to call ahead to be sure. Volunteers are also invited to help with shelter cleaning from 8-10 am each morning. This should be scheduled in advance with shelter staff.
  • SIGN IN: When you come in to volunteer, please sign in and out on our Volunteer Sign-In sheet.
  • ANIMAL HANDLING: Please follow these rules to keep our animals safe and healthy…
    • Please wash your hands between handling different animals to prevent the spread of illness.
    • Make sure you have control of any animal you take out. Dogs must be on a leash when not in the socialization room. Animals are not permitted to run around the shelter or in the kennel areas.
    • If an animal does not want to come out of its enclosure, please do not force it.
    • Only one dog may be walked at a time for each adult present.
    • Only one animal at a time is permitted in the socialization room UNLESS the animals already share a kennel/enclosure.
    • On very hot/humid or very cold days we may limit the length of walks for dogs.
    • Volunteers are responsible for cleaning up after the animals they are handling. This includes picking up poop when out on a walk, cleaning up toys from the socialization room, and mopping up potty accidents in the building.
    • These are live animals that all have their own personalities, likes/dislikes, and quirks. Some have been trained – some have not. Always use common sense and be cautious with an animal you do not know well. Please take the time to get to know them as individuals and treat them with love and respect.
  • RESTRICTED ANIMALS: Some animals may not be able to be taken out by volunteers depending on their health and behavior. Please read posted information and/or talk with staff about each animal to make sure that they are available or if there are any special concerns.
  • RESTRICTED AREAS: Volunteers are only allowed in the public areas of the shelter without specific approval from shelter staff that day. Since our animal population and their needs change, one area might be available one day and closed the next. When in doubt – ask!
  • COURT ORDERED COMMUNITY WORK SERVICE: Community service volunteers must fill out our standard volunteer application. Please also write the probation officer’s name and phone number on the application. If the P.O. is not with Goodhue County, please also write the county and state. All standard volunteer rules apply as well as the following:
    • Community work service hours are from 8 am to 10 am, 7 days a week, with the possibility of staying until noon depending on availability. These hours must be scheduled at least one day in advance.
    • NO CALL/NO SHOWS: Any person who signs up for work service hours and does not come in as scheduled and does not call in will not be allowed to count any future work service hours toward the court-ordered community service.
    • When you come in to volunteer, you MUST sign in and out on our Volunteer Sign-In sheet. Humane Society staff will not be responsible for keeping track of hours that are not logged on the sign-in sheet.
  • TERMINATION: We love to have volunteers to give our animals the time and energy that staff members cannot. However, volunteers who do not follow these guidelines, staff instructions, or posted signs will not be allowed to volunteer.