Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society!
Every day, volunteers help improve the lives of the animals and they are essential to our shelter which cares for nearly 10,000 animals a year. Below you will find information about our volunteer program and how to become a volunteer!
What does it take to be a SFAHS Volunteer?
REQUIREMENTS & GUIDELINES
- You must be at least 16 years of age or older. Under the age of 16? Look into our Jr Volunteer program or Kids Club! Both are great opportunities to get involved until you are older!
- Attend volunteer orientation. We ask every volunteer to attend an orientation so that you can get a tour of the facility, know who to talk to if you have any issues and learn more about our procedures that help keep everyone safe every day, including the animals!
- Commitment. We ask our volunteers for the giving of at least 4 hours a month, but we understand if you cannot give more than an hour or two. We appreciate every minute you spend helping us help the animals. We will always welcome you back, should you need a break from volunteering for any reason, we just ask that you let us know you're on a bit of a hiatus. If we have not heard from you or seen you pop in to say hello for 6 months, a new orientation will need to be completed before you may resume.
- Supplies & Cost. You will be provided a name badge at no cost, which you will be required to wear while you are volunteering. If you would like to purchase a volunteer t-shirt, they are available from the front office!
- Court Ordered Volunteering. Due to liability issues, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society does not have a program for court-ordered community service.
- For more information for Service Groups including Corporate Volunteering.
- For more information for Schools & Tours.
Below are positions we are currently in need of. You will be trained to do most of these at your orientation!
- Shelter Crew - Help with all aspects of the shelter including cleaning, giving toys and treats, laundry, garage, and more!
- Morning Dog Walking - These walkers come in starting at 7am and help us take everyone for their morning walk before they get their breakfast, as we are cleaning their kennels and moving them to new ones.You will be trained to walk the dogs in a specific way, that each volunteer and staff member is taught for consistency and to help with training.
- Small Animal Socialization - Work with the small animals so they stay socialized while at the shelter.
- Cat Cuddling & Socialization - Work with the cats so they stay socialized while at the shelter.
- Dog Walking & Training - Work with the dogs so they stay socialized and help with their training and manners while at the shelter.
- Matchmakers - Help pre-screened adopters find the perfect animal for their home!
- Event Hoppers - Help with event prep including mailings, donations, and distribution of marketing materials.
- Shelter Ambassadors - This position helps with annual public events! The shelter ambassadors represent our shelter in a public setting, so it is required that you know some basic facts about the shelter, are reliable and have a positive attitude. The events include Paws to Celebrate, Bark in the Park, Cruisin’ for Critters Poker Run, Fore the Animals Golf Tournament and more!
- Foster - If you are interested in becoming a foster parent to an animal in need, please visit our Foster page!
Volunteer Opportunities that Require an Extra Training Session
- Bath Buddies - This position requires an extra training session with our head volunteer groomer. Bath Buddies are trained to help with basic grooming including baths & brushing. You must be a registered volunteer who has gone through orientation to complete this training and must be 16+.
- Dog Training - This requires extra training session with our staff dog trainer. The dog training program is in it's first year and helps the dogs learn basic manners, good leash walking skills and other good behaviors to help them get adopted faster! This is the base training method we use at the shelter and apply it as an overall training, but modify for each dog's learning style and behavior. Our staff trainer is the only handler that will lead this class, to keep it consistent. You must be a registered volunteer who has gone through orientation to complete this training and must be 16+.
HOW TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER
- Step 1: Fill out a Volunteer Application. You can find the applications at the shelter for both volunteers and junior volunteers. You must fill out the application in full to be considered. Please take the time to fill out the application thoughtfully.
- Step 2: Attend Volunteer Orientation. Once your application has been received, processed and approved you will receive an email letting you know that you need to attend an orientation. This will give you the opportunity to hear more about the shelter, the volunteer program and expectations and what our current needs are. You will also receive a tour of the facility so you know your way around!
- Step 3: Welcome to the shelter! You will receive your name badge and log in to the volunteer tracking system to track your volunteer hours! If you have any questions, we are here to answer those for you. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to the staff and ask for help.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am under 16 years of age and I am very mature, do you make any exceptions to your minimum age?
For the safety of our volunteers and animals, we do require that all volunteers be at least 16 years of age. That is the age required for anyone at the shelter to walk a dog alone or be unsupervised at the shelter. There are a few options for youth to volunteer with our Junior Volunteer program, which helps anyone under the age of 16 get involved and learn about the shelter so they are ready when they turn 16 to become an independent volunteer! There are other ways you can get involved as well, such as making toys for the animals, holding your own fundraiser or collecting items from our wish list to support the animals!
Youth can also consider having a parent apply to be a foster volunteer. Although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age to be a foster, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience.
Will I have training before I start to volunteer?
Yes. Each volunteer must complete volunteer orientation to start. Training is done with staff and volunteer mentors or leads and helps cover all aspects of the volunteer role. The time it takes to complete training varies based on volunteer availability, training schedules and the specific training needs of the volunteer role. Once you've submitted your application you will be contacted with a list of upcoming orientations.
What if I cannot meet the requested 4 hours a month? What happens then?
We understand that life can be busy and have made our volunteer program as flexible as we are able to. We rely a great amount on our volunteers but understand if you are not able to give 4 hours every single month. We appreciate every hour you can give. We will always welcome you back, should you need a break from volunteering for any reason, we just ask that you let us know you're on a bit of a hiatus. If we have not heard from you or seen you pop in to say hello for 6 months, a new orientation will need to be completed before you may resume.
Sound like you would be a fit? Fill out your application now!!
Please pick up your application at the shelter.
You must fill out your application thoughtfully and in full to be considered.
To schedule or inquire more about volunteer orientations, please contact Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org