Volunteer FAQ

Do you offer a court-ordered or diversion program for volunteering?
No, we are not able to fulfill these requirements at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society due to legal and liability conflicts.

Any volunteering that has been ordered, recommended, or required by a parole officer, judge, teen court, halfway housing, juvenile detention center, etc is included in this.
How old do you have to be to be a registered volunteer?
To be a registered volunteer at the SFAHS you must be 16 years of age or older.

You may be a junior volunteer from ages 12-15, with your parent or guardian. Your parent or guardian must be a registered volunteer who has completed orientation as well.

Ages 5 - 11 may participate in our Kids Club, which as quarterly play dates.
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! 
Will I have training before I start to volunteer?
Yes. Each volunteer must complete an Information Session to start.  Hands-on  Safe- Handling 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  and 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. 

Is there a commitment to how long I need to volunteer?
We ask for a 6-month commitment at minimum to volunteer at the SFAHS.  Animals are more comfortable and less stressed with familiar
faces visiting them. We ask that volunteers are able to stop out multiple times a month. The best possible schedule for a volunteer would be visiting the shelter 1 to 2 times a week. 
I can only volunteer in the summer. Can I still be a volunteer?
Currently, we are not able to offer a summer volunteer program. We ask for a 6-month commitment for volunteering to keep a stable and consistent volunteer base. You can complete hours at home during the school year as well by completing projects such a blanket making, making cat toys, etc. Reach out to our volunteer coordinator for more ideas on how to complete your hours during the school year!

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