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Volunteer

Together we make a difference. Volunteer.

The work of our dedicated volunteers contributes to our goals in making every day special for the deserving pets who are waiting to find loving homes and so much more!  Join the hundreds of people just like you who dedicate their time and efforts to helping animals in need.

What are the requirements to volunteer at GHS? background

What are the requirements to volunteer at GHS?

Volunteers are so important in order for us to save as many animals as we do every year! From high school students to senior citizens, the Guelph Humane Society welcomes community members who are dependable and have a sincere desire to share their time. In addition to our volunteer roles listed below, there are also volunteer opportunities for:

  • High School Students
  • One Day Groups
  • Corporate Team Day

We do have a few requirements for you to volunteer with us:

1) Must be 16 years or older (Grade 9 or above for Youth Leader Volunteers).
2) Must be able to volunteer for six consecutive months minimum.
3) Must be able to commit to the role’s required time commitment.
4) Must not miss more than three consecutive shifts or six shifts total in the first six months of volunteering.
5) For in-person roles, must purchase GHS’ volunteer package ($25), including volunteer t-shirt, nametag, and lanyard which must be worn at all times when performing in-person volunteer duties.
6) For in-person roles, must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or approved medical exemption.
7) For certain roles, we may require you to submit a criminal record check at your own expense.

Currently our volunteer roles are limited but we encourage you take a look at all the volunteer roles below and keep checking back!

Not old enough to volunteer yet? There are other opportunities to hang out with animals, like our Junior Humane Club!

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Volunteer Roles

Administrative Assistant (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:   

The Administrative Assistance role includes a wide range of duties that can include helping with filing, preparing adoption folders, mailing letters – the list goes on and on!

Requirements:  

Volunteers best suited for this role will be organized, have clean penmanship and work well independently.

Commitment:

This role does not currently have a scheduled shift. Volunteer hours will depend on available tasks and will be on an as-needed basis.

Adoptions Assistant (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:   

Adoptions Assistants support the Adoptions Department in facilitating animal adoptions. Volunteers in this role help GHS’ adoptions process run smoothly by providing exceptional customer service, answering questions about animals and the adoption process, preparing adoption folders, and for experienced volunteers, facilitating the re-homing of animals from start to finish.

Requirements:  

Volunteers best suited for this role will have experience with customer service, be proficient in Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Outlook, Teams), be familiar with GHS’ mission and values, have strong knowledge of dog, cat and/or small animal care, be able to communicate effectively and professionally both verbally and in writing, and be able to work independently.

Commitment:

This role requires a minimum commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are 10am-close, Monday through Sunday (for closing hours, please see “Hours of Operation”).

Animal Cleaning (NOT RECRUITING)

Description: 

While not the most glamourous role, our Animal Cleaning volunteers play a vital role in assisting our Animal Care Team with their daily cleaning duties so that they can better focus on providing care to the many animals at the shelter and in foster. Animal Cleaning volunteers assist with laundry and cleaning dishes throughout the day.

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will be able to follow instructions closely and work independently.

Commitment: 

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm, Monday through Sunday.

Canine Cleaner (NOT RECRUITING)

Description: 

Canine Cleaning involves cleaning out the dog kennels, washing and sanitizing them and making them cozy again for the next night. This role also involves washing the dishes and other odd jobs that help tidy up the place for the day! Don’t think if you commit to this role, you won’t get to spend time with the dogs. Canine cleaners can help walk and socialize dogs after the cleaning is all done!

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will be efficient workers that do well working as a team and independently.

Commitment: 

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are 9am-11am, Monday through Sunday.

Canine Companion (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Canine Companions come into the shelter to walk dogs and play with them in the playpen, so they can get some nice outdoor time!

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will have experience with different dog personalities and have a general understanding of canine body language.

Commitment:

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are every two hours from 9am-close, Monday through Sunday (for closing hours, please see “Hours of Operation”).

Companion Animal Chauffeur (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Companion Animal Chauffeurs transport companion animals to local vet clinics and satellite adoption locations within Guelph. Cats and small animals will be transported in carriers, as will small dogs. Large dogs will be transported safely secured with an appropriate canine seat belt or within a large dog crate if space permits.

Requirements: 

Volunteers best suited for this role will have their own vehicle and a valid driver’s license.

Commitment: 

This role does not have a scheduled shift. Volunteer hours will depend on available drives and will be on an as-needed basis. Volunteers will receive an email when a driver is needed.

Education Assistant (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:   

Alongside our team of Humane Educators, Education Assistants help facilitate our many education programs here at GHS. Educations Assistants help run camps and after school programs, birthday parties, shelter tours and community visits, and/or in-school programming.

Requirements:  

This role is best suited for individuals 18 years and older with a background in education and/or youth programming and a passion for animal welfare!

Due to the nature of this role, volunteers will be required to submit a vulnerable sector police check.

Commitment:

This role does not currently have a scheduled shift. Volunteer hours will depend on available tasks and will be on an as-needed basis. Volunteers with availability in the evenings and/or on weekends are preferred.

Event Volunteer (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

The Events role holds a variety of different duties to accommodate many different interests. This role can involve things such as planning and advertising events beforehand, setting up for the event and cleaning up,  helping out during the event, joining a planning committee for large events. With a wide variety of different events, the duties during the event can range anywhere from educating members of the public about the Guelph Humane Society to caring for and managing the cats at an Adoption Event!

Requirements:

This volunteer role can suit almost anyone depending on what interests you most!

Commitment:

This role does not have a scheduled shift. Volunteer hours will depend on available tasks and will be on an as-needed basis.

Feline Cleaner (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Feline Cleaning involves spot-cleaning the cat cages and refreshing their litter, food and water. This role also involves cleaning the cages of the small animals, mopping and cleaning the dishes. For those interested in socializing cats, Feline Cleaners are always welcome to snuggle some cats once all the cleaning is complete!

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will be efficient workers and work well independently.

Commitment:

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are 9am-11am, Monday through Sunday.

Feline Friend (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Feline Friends come into the shelter to socialize with the cats! Some cats like gentle pets in their cage, while others might like to snuggle on a lap in one of our cozy chairs. Volunteers provide cats with reassurance, affection, and comfort during their time of need, in addition to assisting the public and answering their questions about our facility and the adoption process.

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will have experience with cats and a general understanding of feline body language.

Commitment:

This role does require a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are every two hours from 11am-close, Monday through Sunday (for closing hours, please see “Hours of Operation”).

GHS Ambassador (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Working alongside the Client Services Department, GHS Ambassadors play an integral role in welcoming our community as they arrive at our facility. Ambassador volunteers greet visiting members of the public, help answer questions, and provide tours for first-time visitors. GHS Ambassadors will also assist the Client Services Team with managing incoming physical donations and moving them to the storage room in the back of the building to keep the main lobby clear and clutter-free!

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will have experience with customer service, work independently, and be friendly and approachable.

Commitment:

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are every two hours from 11am-close, Monday through Sunday (for closing hours, please see “Hours of Operation”).

PetSmart Cat Helper (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

PetSmart Helpers will travel to PetSmart on Silvercreek Parkway N, in Guelph, to socialize the cats there, tidy up and do light cleaning. PetSmart Helpers may also be asked to transport cats to or from the shelter, as needed, during their volunteer shift.

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will have experience with cats, work well independently and be able to talk with potential adopters about the cats, when necessary.

Commitment: 

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are available mid-day (between the hours of 12pm-4pm) Monday through Sunday.

Small Animal Socializer (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Small Animal Socializers come into the shelter to socialize with the small animals and help with light tidying of the small animal adoption room throughout the day. This can include spending time with a rabbit in a small playpen while she stretches her legs or handling a hamster while he crawls in your hands.

Requirements:

Volunteers best suited for this role will be calm and gentle, and work well independently.

Commitment:

This role requires a commitment to a weekly 2-hour shift. Shifts are available mid-day (between the hours of 11am-close) Monday through Sunday.

Wildlife Driver (NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Wildlife Drivers transport wild animals to rehabilitation centers outside Guelph. Wildlife remain contained in a secure box and require a calm, stress-free ride with no handling at all.

Requirements: 

Volunteers best suited for this role will have their own vehicle and a valid driver’s license.

Commitment: 

In the busy season (May-September), volunteers are required to sign-up for a weekly/bi-weekly driving shift. Shifts will be scheduled in either the morning or afternoon and volunteers should generally expect drives ~2-4 hours in length (round-trip). From October-April, there is no commitment for this role; volunteers will receive an email when a driver is needed.

Youth Leaders ( NOT RECRUITING)

Description:

Youth Leader volunteers help facilitate our many education programs here at GHS alongside our team of Humane Educators. From Summer Camp to March Break camp, PA Day Camps, Junior Humane Club, and more, this is an exciting opportunity for high school students to enhance their resume, build leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, and get hands-on animal and youth program experience! Hours can also be put towards community service.

Requirements:

This role is best suited to high school students (Grade 9 or above). Volunteers should be positive, enthusiastic, hard-working, and responsible. Experience working with children and/or animals preferred, but not required.

Commitment:

Volunteers must be able to commit to two full weeks of camp at minimum.

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Group Volunteer Experience

In-person Group Volunteer Experiences are currently unavailable due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Interested in having your group volunteer?

Download, print and fill out the Group Volunteer Experience form and send it to events@guelphhumane.ca, and we’ll start building your experience!

DOWNLOAD GROUP VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE FORM
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Volunteer Login and Help

Current Guelph Humane Society Volunteers can login to update their information, sign up for new opportunities and log volunteer hours.

Login to Volunteer Portal
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Volunteer FAQ

How do I become a volunteer?

We ask interested applicants to review the volunteer requirements and available roles here at GHS listed above first to ensure they are a good fit for our volunteer program. If the role you are interested in is actively recruiting, follow the application instructions listed under the role’s description. All volunteer candidates are asked to complete the online application form and volunteers matching GHS’ requirements and needs will be contacted. Successful applicants will be required to attend an orientation, purchase GHS’ volunteer package (in-person roles), provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status (in-person roles), and for certain roles, we may require you to submit a criminal record check at your own expense.

How often do you train and bring on new volunteers?

GHS recruits new volunteers as positions open up. How soon a volunteer is recruited will depend on the role(s) of interest and the flexibility in schedule. Please keep an eye on our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for announcements regarding volunteer recruitment.

Do I need previous experience working with animals to volunteer at Guelph Humane Society?

Previous experience is not necessary for all volunteer roles but will be beneficial especially for roles working with animals. Experience does not need to come from working with animals through a job but can also come from having pets.

What commitment do I have to make to be a volunteer?

GHS relies very heavily on volunteers to help care for the animals. For this reason, some roles (such as Animal Cleaning, Canine Companion, Canine Cleaner, Feline Friend, Feline Cleaner, GHS Ambassador, PetSmart Helper, Small Animal Socializer) require volunteers to commit to a weekly, 2-hour shift for a minimum of six months. All other roles require volunteers to commit to six consecutive months but are on an as-needed basis.

Can I complete my high school community service hours with GHS?

For high school students (Grade 9 or above), high school community service hours can be completed through our youth leader role, working with our camp programs. Outside of this role, we do not offer any other opportunities for students under 16 years of age to complete their community service hours. Once students are 16 years of age, they are able to apply for our  general, in-shelter volunteer roles depending on availability.

Does GHS require volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

For in-person roles, volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or approved medical exemption. An individual is defined as fully immunized ≥14 days after receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series that is approved by Health Canada. The only acceptable proof of vaccination is the receipt provided by the Ministry of Health/Public Health, or equivalent out-of-province health body to the person who was vaccinated. Once vaccination status has been verified and documented, the record will be destroyed.

Does GHS require volunteers to get a record check?

For certain roles, we may require volunteers 18 years and older to submit a criminal record check at their own expense as part of our screening process. Criminal Record Checks completed within the past 12 months are acceptable. We will inform you if your assigned role requires a criminal record check to be completed if your application is successful.

More information on obtaining a Record Check from Guelph Police Services, can be found HERE.

 

What happens if I miss a shift?

As GHS and the animals rely so heavily on volunteers, we cannot have volunteers missing their shifts. If three consecutive shifts or six shifts overall are missed within the first six months of being a volunteer with GHS, the Volunteer Coordinator will ask you to come in for an in-person meeting to discuss the absences. If you continue to miss shifts, you will be asked to leave the volunteer program.

I need a reference letter. Can the Guelph Humane Society provide me with one?

GHS is happy to provide reference letters for volunteers who have been volunteering with GHS for longer than six months. We will only be able to offer a reference letter within one year of a volunteer leaving GHS. Volunteers asking for a reference letter after being absent for one year will, unfortunately, not be able to obtain a reference letter from GHS.

Contact Us

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require further information about our Volunteer Program
volunteer@guelphhumane.ca