Join Us in Support of Our Mission
"Helping People Help Animals"
We have volunteer opportunities that require different time commitments, schedules, and focus. Some work directly with the animals in our care and others are more behind-the-scenes. We look forward to working with you to find a volunteer role that matches your skills, interests, and schedule to our shelter's needs so that you can make a big difference in the lives of animals waiting for their forever homes.
To see the steps to complete to become a volunteer, scroll down this page
We are currently recruiting for the following volunteer positions:
- Administrative Assistant (greatest need: weekday mornings and afternoons)
- Adoption Center West Feline Friend (Open shifts: Sun 10-noon, Wed 4-6pm, Thur 2-4pm or Fri 5-7pm)
- AMS Ringworm Assistant (Open shifts: Mon, Tues or Wed 8-10am; Mon or Fri 3-6pm - Must be 18 years or older)
- Adoption Counselors - Main shelter (Greatest need: Sat or Sun 12-5pm, Mon, Tues, Thur or Fri 3-7pm. One-year commitment required)
- Barkins Donation Assistant (greatest need: weekday mornings and afternoons)
- Bathers and Groomer (2 years professional experience required)
- Building Maintenance & Grounds Assistant
- Canine Companion (greatest need: weekday late mornings and afternoons, occasionally have weekend or evening shifts)
- Carestaff Assistant (greatest need: weekday mornings and afternoons, and some weekend shifts)
- Companion Foster Homes (greatest need: homes for cats)
- Critter Cuddler - Main shelter (No open shifts for Youth-Adult teams. Open shifts for Adults volunteering alone: Weekday morning and early afternoon shifts - Must be 18 years or older)
- Feline Friend - Main shelter (greatest need: weekday late mornings, afternoons, occasionally have weekend or evening shifts)
- Mounds East Critter Cudder - Stoughton Rd. (Open 2-hour shifts for Adults 18 years or older and for Youth-Adult teams: weekday morning thru early afternoon. Care for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and other small critters.)
- Mounds Fitchburg Critter Cudder (Open 2-hour shifts for Adults 18 years or older and for Youth-Adult teams: weekday morning thru early afternoon, or Sunday 3-5pm. Care for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and other small critters.)
- Mounds Janesville Feline Friend (Shifts 2 hours in length: Mon-Fri 11am - 5pm, Weekends 11am - 1pm)
- Mounds Middleton Feline Friend (Open shifts: Mon 4-6pm, or Thur 12-2pm - Must be 18 years or older)
- Mounds Sun Prairie Feline Friend (Open shifts: Thur 3-5pm, or Fri 1-3pm - Must be 18 years or older)
- Reception Assistant (Open shifts: 11-1pm Mon or Tues / 1-3pm Fri / 3-5pm Mon, Tues, Fri or Sat)
Our Greatest Need: Animal Medical Services Ringworm Assistant (aka FIT Feline Caretaker)
Help our cats in the Feline in Treatment (FIT) Center receive a second chance at life with our Dermatophyte (ringworm) treatment program. We are one of the few shelters on the cutting edge of shelter medicine and management, with a focus on reducing the transmission of infectious disease within the shelter environment. Ringworm is contagious to cats, dogs and humans; in many other shelters, animals infected with ringworm are often euthanized. Our treatment program began in 2003 and now saves 75 to100 cats each year. About 30 dedicated volunteers care for FIT residents throughout the week. Each day the cats are cleaned, given fresh food and water, given medicine and lots of TLC by our volunteers. The treatment commonly takes about 6 weeks, so the cats are often cuddly when they graduate from the program because of the time volunteers spend with them. This volunteer position requires a minimum six month commitment with 2-3 hour volunteer shift once a week. Shifts are 2-3 hours in length depending on the number of cats in FIT. Available shifts: Morning shift has a flexible start time, beginning between 6:30am-9:00 am. Afternoon shift begins at 3:00pm.
Step 1: Submit a VOLUNTEER APPLICATION and ESSENTIAL JOB REQUIREMENTS INVENTORY.
Please review and consider the many volunteer opportunities that are available in the space above. Complete a volunteer application and an Essential Job Requirements Inventory. Mail, fax , e-mail or drop the application off at DCHS. Submit the Essential Job Requirements Inventory online. We'll then compare your application 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.
Complete A and B:
A) Download a Volunteer Application - it's a writeable PDF! Print when complete, sign and initial page 2 before submitting.
*Volunteer Veterinarians - see our volunteer positions page for details and an application just for you!
B) Complete an Essential Job Requirement Inventory to evaluate any limitations that could affect your volunteer position. Complete and submit this document online. This will help us match you with an appropriate volunteer assignment. DCHS welcomes volunteers of all ability levels to the extent that it is safe to do so. Click here for more information about volunteering when you have physical, cognitive and/or emotional limitations.
Step 2: Attend a VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION for new volunteers.
At an orientation, you will be taken on a tour of the shelter to get an insider's look into the many efforts that go into animal care at Dane County Humane Society. You'll also learn more 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 volunteer fee for each individual who will be volunteering with us, which includes both adult and youth volunteers. The $20 fee is for administrative processing and materials/supplies necessary for your orientation and training as a volunteer at DCHS. This fee helps to ensure that the vast majority of our funding is spent directly on animal welfare. You will receive an I.D. name badge, an official DCHS volunteer t-shirt, a DCHS folder for your orientation, and role-specific training packets. The packets include DCHS staff contact information and shelter hours for your reference. Financial hardship scholarships may be available on a case-by-case basis. In addition, if you would like to become a new DCHS member for an additional $35 you will receive $5 off of the volunteer fee – only $50 for your volunteer materials and a DCHS membership! (We are unable to offer a scholarship for or reduction of membership fees).
Step 3: Attend TRAINING for your volunteer position.
You will meet with a designated staff member or volunteer who will train you in your new role and finalize your volunteer schedule.
After these three steps are completed, you're ready to volunteer! Please be aware that this process can take up to a month, 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 becoming part of our volunteer team!
Dane County Humane Society
5132 Voges Road
Madison, WI 53718
p. 608-838-0413 x. 114
There are many ways your group can help the homeless animals at Dane County Humane Society. Many of them do not require a visit to our facility. Our greatest need is for friends who can arrange donation/collection drives for things on our wish list (https://www.giveshelter.org/wish-list.html).
Groups can also help us by volunteering at fundraising events, or even organizing their own. There are opportunities to help at DCHS events like Bark & Wine and Dogtoberfest, and at Madison festivals and athletic events such as Brat Fest, Taste of Madison, Madison Marathon and IronMan.
Occasionally, we will have projects at our shelter. This is especially true in the spring and summer. For these projects, groups must submit a completed application and speak with a designated Dane County Humane Society representative regarding available volunteer opportunities prior to placement.
Please click on the following link to visit our 'Group Volunteer Opportunities' page.
The minimum age to volunteer at Dane County Humane Society is 8 years old. Any volunteer under the age of 18 needs a parent or guardian's permission to volunteer at the shelter or at any of our satellite locations.
All youth ages 8 to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all training sessions. Volunteers aged 13 to 15 may volunteer for certain Critter Cuddler shifts at the main shelter on their own. Teens ages 16 and 17 have additional opportunities to volunteer solo.
Please click on the following link to visit our 'Youth Volunteer Opportunities' page.