Youth Volunteer Opportunities
Welcoming the next generation of animal advocates
Note: Due to the popularity of our volunteer roles for youth ages 8 - 15, most shifts available to volunteers in this age group are currently filled. If we do not have an opening that matches your availability, then 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!
The minimum age to volunteer at Dane County Humane Society is 8 years old and any volunteer under the age of 18 needs a parent's or guardian's permission to volunteer at the shelter or at any of our satellite locations. Please note:
- There is no direct supervision of youth volunteers.
- 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 (main shelter only); teens ages 16 and 17 have additional opportunities to volunteer solo.
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.
Main Shelter Volunteer Opportunities - located at 5132 Voges Road in Madison
- Barkins' Donation Assistant - minimum age 16 (May volunteer solo
- Classroom Animal Assistant – minimum age 8 with adult (Must be 16 to volunteer solo)
- Critter Cuddler – minimum age 8 with adult (Must be 13 to volunteer solo)
- Education Assistant – minimum age 16 (May volunteer solo)
- Event Volunteer – minimum age 8 with adult (Minimum age to volunteer solo depends on event)
- Feline Friend – minimum age 16 (May volunteer solo)
Youth volunteers ages 8 to 17 have restricted hours at the main shelter due to our employment of nonviolent correctional center inmates on work release. Shift openings occur between the hours of:
3:00pm and 7:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
3:00pm and 5:00pm Wednesday
Noon and 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday (youth 13-17 volunteering solo)
8am and 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday (youth between ages of 8 and 17 who are volunteering with parent or guardian)
Satellite Location Volunteer Opportunities:
Mounds Pet Food Warehouse - East, 2110 South Stoughton Road
- Critter Cuddler – minimum age 8 with adult (Must be 18 to volunteer solo)
Mounds Pet Food Warehouse - Fitchburg, 5350 King James Way
- Critter Cuddler - minimum age 8 with adult (Must be 18 to volunteer solo)
Dane County Humane Society - West, 680 Grand Canyon Drive, #5
- Feline Friend – minimum age 16 (May volunteer solo)
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 2-hour shifts for six months. Youth can be Humane Society Heroes, join a club, attend a camp or become involved in a variety of projects that will help the homeless animals living at the Dane County Humane Society.
Camp Pawprint - Campers ages 7 to 15 enjoy animal related lessons and activities while having fun with other animal lovers! Camp Pawprint is held during winter and spring breaks, and as a series of week-long day camps during the summer.
Humane Society Heroes - Children ages 7 to 15 are invited to join Humane Society Heroes. Sign up today and help homeless animals while having fun, too! Membership includes a subscription to our monthly newsletter, a pin and special event days held monthly just for Humane Society Hero members.
For more information about the above youth and family opportunities, please contact Dane County Humane Society’s Humane Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even more ways youth can help the animals at Dane County Humane Society
Are you interested in creating a project to help the homeless animals of Dane County Humane Society? If so, we’d love your help! All participants in these activities will receive a Thank You letter from the shelter! Check out these great ideas about how children can help:
- Lead or take part in a school service project to benefit the humane society.
- Create your own donation drive for items from our wish list.
- Collect soda or pop cans or tabs and donate them to DCHS.
- Print pictures of our adoptable animals and place them at your school or at a local business.
- Lead or take part in a school drive (toy, treat, etc) to benefit DCHS.
- Have a coin drive, with benefits going to DCHS.
- Have a birthday party where kids bring gifts and/or money for the animals.
- Donate items from your home on our wish list.
- Create an educational display about animals to place in your school, at DCHS, or other local businesses.
- Have a lemonade stand.
- Have a bake sale.
- Make cat or dog beds.
- Make dog toys or cat toys (check with us first to see which ones we recommend).
- Sponsor an adoptable animal.
- Sponsor a humane society program.
- Set up an informational and fundraising table in your neighborhood or school.
- Make “ADOPT ME” signs for our animals so that they can find good homes faster!
- Make an educational display to promote empathy or respect towards animals.
- Make a report on an animal-related topic (e.g. spaying and neutering, ID tags, bite prevention, or no more homeless animals).
- Keep our animals safe and healthy! Remind visitors NOT to put their fingers in animal cages.