Volunteer Requirements

  • Most DCHS volunteer positions require a six-month commitment to volunteer once per week for a two-hour shift. Exceptions are noted in the position descriptions on the Volunteer Positions page.
  • Volunteers must read and comprehend detailed policy and protocol information and follow all shelter rules.
  • Volunteers must have an email account. It is our primary form of communication with you.
  • Human interaction is a requirement of all volunteer roles. Volunteers must always communicate professionally with staff, fellow volunteers and members of the public.
  • Most volunteer roles require volunteers to stand and/or walk for up to two hours; lift and carry items or animals of varying weights; reach and lift; possess vision abilities which include close vision, distance vision and depth perception; and speak to customers, employees and other volunteers.

Apply Now!


Submit your Application

Please review and consider the many volunteer opportunities that are available and identify the top 3-6 positions you would be interested in. Then, download and complete a volunteer application.

Volunteer Application

Equine Volunteer Application

Print when complete, sign and initial page 2 before submitting. You can mail, fax, email or drop off the application at the DCHS Main Shelter. See contact information on application.

Learn about becoming a volunteer veterinarian

Learn about becoming a foster volunteer


Submit an Essential Job Requirements Inventory

Essential Job Requirement Inventory

This will help us evaluate your ability to perform certain volunteer positions. DCHS welcomes volunteers of all ability levels to the extent that it is safe to do so.

Learn about volunteering if you have physical, cognitive and/or emotional limitations

After we receive your application and Essential Job Requirement Inventory, we will compare them with our available volunteer opportunities and if we find that your application matches our needs, we will invite you to a Volunteer Orientation. If a match is not made, we'll ask that you continue to review our website and reapply when our volunteer needs have changed.


Check your Email

We will reply to your application by email within 1-2 weeks of receiving it. If your email system uses SPAM filters you can prevent these filters from blocking our email messages to you by adding our Volunteer department email addresses to your 'safe sender list' or 'white list.'

We suggest you add the two email addresses below into your email system's address book.



If you do not receive an email reply from us within two weeks, contact us at either email listed above.


Attend a Volunteer Orientation for New Volunteers

At orientation, you will be taken on a tour of the shelter to get an insider's look at the work that goes into animal care at DCHS. You'll learn about our programs and policies so you can start your volunteer work equipped with the information you need to successfully contribute to our mission.

At the end of the orientation, if you decide we are the right fit for you, we will collect a $20 processing/supply fee for each individual who will be volunteering, which includes both adult and youth volunteers. Financial hardship scholarships may be available on a case-by-case basis. You will receive a name badge, an official DCHS volunteer t-shirt and role-specific training packets.


Attend Training for your Volunteer Position

You will meet with a designated staff member or volunteer who will provide hands-on training in your new role and finalize your volunteer schedule.

After these steps are completed, you're ready to volunteer! Please be aware that this entire process can take up to 1-2 months, depending on timing, position desired and other factors, so we appreciate your patience and hope that your commitment to volunteering remains strong. Thank you for your interest in joining our volunteer team!

Interested in volunteering?


Other Volunteer

Looking for career or internship opportunities?