The minimum age to volunteer at DCHS is 8 years old and any volunteer under the age of 18 needs parent or guardian permission to volunteer at the shelter or at any of our satellite locations.

Due to the popularity of our youth volunteer program, shifts available to volunteers aged 8-15 are frequently filled.

Learn more about youth volunteer positions and current openings

If we do not have an opening that matches your availability, we are happy to hold your application until a shift opens up. In the meantime, scroll down the page to check out all of the other ways youth can help our animal friends!

Youth Volunteer Requirements

  • A current, valid emergency contact is required for each youth volunteer.
  • A parent or guardian must sign waiver forms before a child may volunteer.
  • All youth ages 8 to 15 must be accompanied at all training sessions by a parent or guardian.
  • Youth ages 16 and 17 must attend the Volunteer Orientation with a parent or guardian, but may attend the remainder of their training on their own.
  • Volunteers ages 13 to 15 may volunteer as Critter Cuddlers without a parent (at the Main Shelter only).
  • Teens ages 16 and 17 have additional opportunities to volunteer solo.
  • There is no direct supervision of youth volunteers so youth volunteering on their own must be able to work independently
  • Most of our volunteer positions require a weekly 2-hour commitment for a minimum of six months. If requested, DCHS will provide a letter of completion for school or work community service time earned after the minimum commitment of six months, volunteered in weekly two-hours shifts, has been completed.

Youth Volunteer Hours

Youth volunteers ages 8 to 17 have restricted hours at the Main Shelter. Youth shifts occur between the hours of:

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Wednesday

Noon to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday for youth 13-17 who are volunteering solo

8am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday for youth 8 - 17 who are volunteering with a parent or guardian

Additional Youth Opportunities at Dane County Humane Society

There is a wide variety of additional opportunities available for youth who are not able to make a commitment to volunteer for two hour shifts for six months.

Learn more about youth opportunities at DCHS


Are you interested in creating a project to help animals of Dane County Humane Society? If so, we’d love your help!

Learn more about project and group project ideas