Check out our new hours. Most DCHS and Wildlife Center services are by appointment only, including reuniting lost animals, surrendering a pet, wildlife rehabilitation, and more. Adoption visits are first-come, first-served. We recommend checking our current waitlist prior to your visit.

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.

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.
  • Youth ages 8 to 15 must attend the Volunteer Orientation with a parent or guardian; youth 16-17 may attend solo, however it's recommended a parent or guardian attend.
  • All youth ages 8 to 15 must be accompanied at all training sessions by a parent or guardian; youth 16-17 will train solo.
  • Volunteers ages 13 to 15 may volunteer as Critter Cuddlers without a parent (at the Main Shelter only). Shifts are very limited for this opportunity.
  • 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 2-3 hour commitment for a minimum of six months.
  • If requested, DCHS will provide a letter of completion for school community service time earned after the minimum commitment of six months has been completed.

Youth Volunteer Hours

Youth volunteers ages 8 to 17 do not have any restrictions for when they may volunteer. Hours vary by location, volunteer shifts may be between 8am and 7pm.

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