Thank you for thinking of Dane County Humane Society for your group volunteer project!
DCHS welcomes organizations and groups of friends or co-workers to help us with a one-time service projects. Here are some things to know:
You won't have direct contact with the animals. For safety reasons, and to ensure that their daily needs are met, only trained volunteers with scheduled shifts work directly with the animals at DCHS. But rest assured that your project will help our companion critters as they await their furever homes and/or our wild animals receiving rehabilitation. We can also arrange a tour for your group while you're here. (Note that we are not able to offer tours of our Four Lakes Wildlife Center as we must limit these animals' exposure to humans as much as possible so that they can return to the wild.)
Most of our group projects are done outdoors. This means that during the winter months, we have very few opportunities available. We DO sometimes have indoor projects come up (such as preparing large mailings, cleaning out a storage area or working at one of our events), so feel free to contact us. Just know that we may not have something for your group to do right away.
Sorry, we don't have any guided group projects available at this time. Please consider one of our Independent Projects, or check back later this spring. We're sure to have yard and trail clean-up opportunities when the ground thaws and dries up a bit!
There are LOTS of things you can do to help that don't involve coming to the shelter! Get your group together for a project on your own and deliver the results of your efforts to us after you are done having fun! There are lots of ideas below under Independent Group Projects, or you can generate new ideas.
Winter Project Ideas
Designed for groups looking for a project on short notice, these opportunities will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. No special skills are required for our current projects.
Have a Party! (no group application required)
Note: Parties held at Dane County Humane Society must be held between 10am and 5pm so that we can provide a staff host for your group.
Cat Bed Party - You can do this one at home, your Scout meeting place, your church basement, etc. Or, contact us to use the Training Room at the main shelter (we'll even give you a tour!). Gather your friends and group members, pick up some fleece and scissors and follow the instructions here. If you use your own site, you can bring your blankets to us any time the shelter is open to the public. Be sure to take a group photo during the party and let us know your group's name so we can properly thank you.
Kong Filling Party - Contact us to use our Training Room for an hour or two and put your group to work filling Kong toys with a peanut butter/kibble mixture. Our dogs enjoy these as afternoon treats to keep their minds and their taste buds busy!
Independent Group Projects (no group application required)
Build weatherproof benches for resting with dogs. We can never have too many of these!
NEW!! Knit or crochet nests for our baby birds. The orphaned nestlings at our Four Lakes Wildlife Center will be warm and feel much more at home in cozy nests you make just for them. We have LOTS of baby birds each year, so knit away - we'll put these to good use!
- Make cat beds. Our homeless cats can fill the love you put into making a soft, cozy beds for them. Please use the following link for a tried-and-true bed our kitties adore. If you have other ideas, please check with us first to see if we can use them here at the shelter (due to space restrictions, washability, etc.).
No Sew Cat Bed - Click here for instructions
- NEW!! Build squirrel boxes. After our squirrel orphans are weaned, we need to teach them to survive outdoors. We hang these special boxes in trees in their enclosures. They get used to sleeping in the boxes and using them for shelter and protection, Then when we release each squirrel, we hang its box up in a tree at the release site so they can continue to use it as a safe place until they decide they want to venture out on their own. Help us by putting your woodworking skills to use building these important boxes. We can use as many as you can build!
Make buckets of Laundry Detergent for our mounds of laundry. DCHS does more than 30 loads each day! Click here for recipe
- Create your own donation drive. Use our wish list: http://www.giveshelter.org/our-wish-list.html
- Recycle aluminum cans. Collect soda or pop tabs and donate them to DCHS.
- Have a coin drive, with benefits going to DCHS.
Have a sale and donate the proceeds to DCHS. Bake sale, garage sale, craft sale, you name it!
Guided Group Projects (group application IS required)
Sorry, we don't have any guided group projects available at this time. Please check back, as we will post any that come up. We're sure to have yard and trail clean-up opportunities in the spring!
Once we receive your application we will review what upcoming opportunities are available. A designated Dane County Humane Society representative will contact your group leader with the activities available.
Please apply at least one month prior to the date you are requesting to volunteer. Keep in mind that not all dates will be available.
To apply for a group opportunity that would take place at DCHS fill out an online application at:
Download a Group Volunteer Application 245.93 Kb - it's now a writeable PDF!
Seasonal trail and yard maintenance.
Trails need over hanging tree foliage and bushes cut back so that there is a wide clearance for the dogs and volunteers walking them on the paths. Trimming the foliage also improves long distance vision down the trails.
Yards need weeds pulled from along fence line and the building to keep them in good condition and so we know where repair is needed before our escape artists do!
*Note: Volunteers need to bring their own tools click here for tool guide and the minimum age of the participant is 12 years old with adult guardian.