Volunteer with Dog
Volunteer and Dog
Volunteer in Training Class
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About Volunteering:

Does working with a group of like-minded people who are making a difference in the lives of thousands of animals appeal to you? Join us as we find homes for the animals in our care, educate the public about our services, teach kindness to children, and raise funds so that we can continue to support our community of pets and people.

Willamette Humane Society volunteers help in every area of our shelter, whether it’s walking and training dogs, assisting with office work, organizing events and fund raising, in-home fostering, helping at our Thrift Store, socializing cats, or serving on our Board of Directors.

Our volunteers are vital to the success of the Willamette Humane Society and to the well being of our animals. We promise to work hard so that your volunteer experience with us is positive, fun, and rewarding.


4 Steps to becoming a volunteer:

  1. Register and attend volunteer orientation
    Class size is limited to 60. We will start checking people in at 5:45 pm and will start the orientation promptly at 6:00 pm. Latecomers may be asked to reschedule.
  2. Complete the online Questionnaire Form
    Each person volunteering will need to complete an application. This includes the parent/guardian if the volunteer is 12 – 15 years old or if accompanying someone while they volunteer.
  3. Schedule a personal interview
    This is where we’ll match you to a volunteer assignment based on your interests, ability, experience, and availability. If you plan to volunteer with a friend, family member, or will have a mentor with you, we ask that you select one interview time and all attend the interview together. Please provide the contact information for the adult, mentor, or primary point person.
  4. Attend your interview
    Where we will get to know each other better and we will discuss the various volunteer opportunities available. We look forward to meeting you! When you arrive for your interview, make sure you have completed the following:

    • You have submitted the online volunteer questionnaire
    • Your parent/guardian (if you are 12 – 15 years old) or staff/mentor (if needed) has also submitted their online volunteer questionnaire form.
    • Bring your signed parental waiver if under 18 
    • Be prepared to pay the one-time volunteer fee of $25, If required to volunteer as a team, then there is only one fee.
    • We never want the fee to be a barrier to volunteering, so please let us know!

Thank you for your interest in making our community a better place for cats and dogs!


How old do I need to be to volunteer?

  • Under 12 years of age:  check out our youth programs here!
  • 12 to 15 years of age:  must be accompanied by adult 18 years of age or older. Parental waiver required.
  • 16 to 17 years of age: may volunteer for most assignments with signed parental waiver.

Cat Ambassador TerryAdoption Ambassadors are on the front lines with the public, showing animals, making matches between people and pets and helping make the adoption process a smooth one. Duties include providing great customer service, answering questions about adoptable animals, checking holds, answering phones, using a computer, and other clerical duties. Volunteers must have good animal handling skills, good knowledge of WHS adoption policies and procedures and be able to professionally represent Willamette Humane Society and our policies when interacting with the public.

Cat Ambassadors 050 editedThis is the team that provides morning room service to our cats! These volunteers help our cats get ready to meet the day and the visiting public by assisting animal care staff with cat care and routine cleanup. This job may require repetitious bending and lifting, and volunteers are exposed to various cleaning agents. This position has high animal contact, but little to no contact with the public. Members of this team may choose to work in our cat Isolation area, providing companionship and comfort to our cats with upper respiratory infections during their treatment and recovery time, as well as basic kennel upkeep. ISO area volunteers may choose from both AM and PM shifts.

Volunteer and DogDog Handlers provide our canine friends with a chance to stimulate their minds and stretch their legs. We have a walking trail, off leash exercise pens, and much more. This socialization and exercise is vital to the dogs’ happiness and health. This position requires a tolerance for loud noise and volunteers must be able to handle dogs over 50 pounds. This is a position with a lot of animal contact. Volunteers in this position must be able to deal with adverse weather conditions, and a wide variety of dog behavior. All dog handlers are eligible to attend behavior and training classes for shelter dogs awaiting adoption. These classes are taught by our well-qualified WHS Behavior and Training team.

Tristan and GunnerOur Kennel Buddy program is an important part of our enrichment program for shelter cats and dogs. The Kennel Buddy program helps to prevent or alleviate kennel stress and provides cats and dogs with companionship. It is also an important part of improving kennel presentation, which can affect how quickly an animal finds their new family. Volunteering as a kennel buddy is perfect if you’re not able to commit to a specific schedule.

Sara PlaygroupDog handlers who meet certain skill based criteria can ask to join the playgroup team, bringing dogs to and from playgroup and helping to supervise off-leash play sessions under the direction of staff or senior volunteers from the Training Team.

Foster DogsOur foster families are truly our “second shelter.” At any point in time, we might have as many or more animals in foster homes as we have in the shelter. Our fosters assist with animals who are too young to be adopted, animals who are shy or shut down in the shelter, and animals who are injured or sick. We also need fosters for short-term in home evaluations.
Learn More About Fostering

Outreach VolunteerOutreach volunteers represent WHS at community events. Events include adoption outreach events, booths at fairs, and our annual events like Bowser’s Boo Bash. Volunteers must have customer service skills and be able to professionally represent Willamette Humane Society and our policies when interacting with the public. When events include adoptable animals, volunteers must be trained as dog or cat handlers before taking pets to outreach events.

Clinic Volunteer (Sandy)Clinic hospital volunteers assist clinic employees with a variety of tasks, including washing surgical instruments, preparing surgery packs, cleaning kennels and the clinic, etc. Clinic Reception volunteers assist our staff receptionist with tasks, such as covering lunch breaks, answering phones, scheduling appointments, filing medical records, and other receptionist duties.

thrift store volunteersAll of the profits from the WHS Thrift Store support the care of the animals and our volunteers are critical to the success of this store. Store volunteers assist customers and represent Willamette Humane Society to the general public. Duties include sorting and pricing donations, stocking and organizing shelves, cashiering, researching collectibles and setting up displays.

Transport KrystalTransport Volunteers transport shelter animals to or from other shelters, veterinary appointments, or grooming appointments. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and be insured before driving a shelter vehicle.

Office Volunteer FranAssist with the general office duties which may include the following: data entry, assembling pet adoption packets, filing and other general office duties. Position may require extended periods of sitting.

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Senior Project Application

If you are a student and are interested in doing your Senior Project with Willamette Humane Society, please fill out and return this application.

  • You will need to provide documentation from the court.
  • Your crime cannot involve theft, animal abuse, or be violent in nature.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Orientation is held every Sunday, except holidays, at 1 pm. You do NOT need to attend our regular volunteer orientation unless you decide to continue volunteering once you have completed your court ordered service.
  • Animal handling is not part of court ordered community service. Your duties will typically involve dishes, laundry, and cleaning.
  • If you have questions about court ordered community service, please contact our Animal Welfare Supervisor at 503-585-5900, extension 323.
  • Community Service Contract Fill out Community Service Contract

Chances are, if you have a talent or something you’re passionate about, we have a place where that skill or interest can be used. We don’t have room to list all of the amazing volunteer opportunities that are available – everything from graphic design, art projects, writing, customer service, community education, yard projects, and programs for kids. Be sure to watch for these opportunities in “Shelter Scoop,” our “classified ads” for volunteers! Find your joy!

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