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How to Volunteer at an Animal Rescue?

Woman holding a cat in an animal shelter setting

Volunteering at an animal rescue is extremely satisfying because it allows an individual to make a huge contribution to animal welfare. Animals had to deal with different types of cruelties and barbarism through illegal activities, like dog fighting and control hoarding. Similarly, they can suffer a lot during natural disasters, such as a hurricane or floods. If you are interested in saving animals from all these situations, keep reading to learn how you can volunteer at a reputed animal rescue.

Ever wondered how to volunteer for an animal shelter? Click here to learn more.

How to Volunteer at the Humane Society?

The animal rescue volunteers of the Humane Society travel all across the United States to save animals from harm. They are also responsible for providing ongoing care to rescued dogs, cats, and other animals. Some of the major duties of volunteers also include administrative tasks, cage cleaning, and animal handling.

People from all fields of life can apply and dedicate their time to this noble cause. Let’s discuss the primary requirements and application procedure for working as a volunteer in this prestigious animal rescue.

Personal Requirements

Woman wearing a blue volunteer shirt, kneeling and hugging a german shepherd outdoors in front of a brick building
  • The candidate must be at least 18 years old to apply for the role of a volunteer.
  • All the volunteers must have a United States or Canadian address so that they can be deployed for animal rescue operations.
  • The applicant should complete a criminal background check before applying and must have no criminal record against his/her name.
  • All the volunteers are required to have proof of mandatory tetanus immunization. If a candidate is vaccinated for hepatitis (A or B), the corresponding report should be provided. The same rule applies to any other vaccination, like pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
  • The candidate must fulfill all the requirements mentioned in the Essential Capabilities of Volunteers document.

Commitment Policies

  • The animal rescue volunteers of the Humane Society can be called to work anywhere in the United States when needed.
  • All the volunteers of the Humane Society have an initial commitment of one year.
  • In addition to that, they are also requested to participate in at least one deployment per year.

FEMA Courses

Picture of the FEMA logo and link for the app on a computer screen

Humane Society requires you to complete several online courses (free) before applying for being a volunteer on their animal rescue team. All of these courses are offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The applicant must submit the certificate of completion to the staff. The list of those courses is as follows.

Although they are not compulsory, the Humane Society also recommends that its volunteers take the following disaster-related courses.

NOTE: Humane Society can also recommend you to take some other disaster-related courses, like Pet First Aid and CPR.

Interested in helping injured animals but don’t know where to start? Check out our post “How to Volunteer at an Animal Hospital” to learn more.

Procedural Details

Close up of a person filling out an application

Once you have completed all the requirements, you can start the application process. The stepwise instructions of the procedure are discussed below.

  • Make sure that you have gathered all the necessary information, including educational, employment, and volunteer history. You should also have a complete record of immunizations, training, and certification. Lastly, don’t forget to provide emergency contact information.
  • Fill out the volunteer application by entering the required information.
  • Wait for the verification email before printing, reading, and signing the Essential Capabilities of Volunteers document. Follow the instructions (given in the email) carefully.
  • When the application is complete, the staff of the Humane Society will contact you to carry out an interview.
  • They will also ask you to initiate a background check and fill out additional paperwork, such as a volunteer agreement and a waiver and release of liability.
  • Once the criminal background check is complete, you could be deployed as a part of the screening process. During this phase, you are assessed and interviewed by HSUS staff or contractors.
  • If all goes well and both the parties mutually agree, you will become a regular volunteer at the animal rescue team.
  • All the selected volunteers are required to inform about their preferences for deployment and their ability to travel. This helps HSUS to contact qualified volunteers whenever an animal rescue response is needed. All the important details including location, length of deployment, and any special skills needed are conveyed.
  • The volunteers will get back to the HSUS staff with their response and the willing ones are then deployed. Not only does the organization help to make travel and accommodation arrangements, but they will also reimburse deployed volunteers for any travel expenses incurred.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.