Do You Want to Make a Difference in the Lives of Homeless Animals?
If you answered "yes" to the above, consider being a volunteer at the Animal Adoption Foundation (AAF)!
Please Read Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Below About AAF's Volunteer Program & Find Out How You Can Get Involved...
What Volunteer Opportunities are Available at AAF?
AAF welcomes and depends on volunteers for many crucial aspects of the shelter's operations. For example, AAF volunteers provide the following for the shelter:
- exercising and socializing dogs and cats
- assisting with off-site adoptions
- cleaning and organizing
- fostering animals
- grooming animals
- adoption counseling and more!
What Hours Is AAF Open for Volunteers?
Effective 11/15/11, AAF's volunteers hours are as follows:
- Monday 11 am- 6 pm
- Tuesday-Friday 11 am- 7 pm
- Saturday 11 am- 4pm
- Sunday 12 pm- 4 pm
What are the Age Requirements for Volunteering at AAF?
- Youth Volunteers (individuals < 15 years of age): youth volunteers must be accompanied by an AAF adult volunteer who is willing and able to provide adequate supervision. AAF is proud to be one of the only animal shelters in the area that permits minors to participate as volunteers; and,
- Adult Volunteers (15 years of age or older): for safety reasons, only adult volunteers may enter the dog kennel areas.
How is AAF's Volunteer Program Structured?
The character of AAF's Volunteer Program is captured in two words: flexible and progressive.
Flexible: AAF's Volunteer Program is set up to accomodate individuals who can't commit to coming to the shelter at specific times and/or on a regular basis. If this sounds like you, please know you can contribute!
For those volunteers who are willing and able to commit to specific times, AAF offers numerous programs and opportunities. Either way, to learn more about AAF's Volunteer Program, attending a General Orientation is the way to get started!
Progressive: AAF knows that our volunteers are a diverse group of people who come to the shelter with a wide range of skills, interests, and available time. For example, many volunteers express a preference for exclusively working with either cats or dogs; other volunteers have an interest in helping the shelter with important functions (e.g., fundraising, office support, etc.) that involve minimal contact with the shelter's animals.
Based on the above, AAF's Volunteer Program is set up so volunteers can choose to participate in more extensive volunteer training sessions as their time and interest allows. Additionally, volunteers can progress through various levels of AAF's Volunteer Training program at their own pace.
Can I Participate in Any of AAF's Programs Before I Commit to Becoming an AAF Volunteer?
Yes! AAF offers a number of programs that are open to members of the community as well as our regular volunteers. These programs allow individuals to "try us out" before coming to a General Orientation session. For example, community members (as well as all AAF volunteers) have a standing invitation to join us for the following dog and cat related 1-hour programs:
- Walk-A-Hound (http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on "Walk- A-Hound")
- Meow Mingle Mondays (www.aafpets.com)
What Should I Expect at AAF's General Orientation?
Our General Orientation is an interactive session (using a "scavenger hunt" approach) that lasts approximately 90 minutes. Specifically, the General Orientation session includes:
- an introduction to AAF and our mission
- a facility tour
- an overview of AAF volunteer opportunities
- meeting other AAF volunteers
- a discussion and demonstration of AAF’s integrated approach to animal care and cleaning protocols for animal wellness
note: We are not able to serve lunch or refreshments during General Orientation. Also, participants in the General Orientation session will be, for the most part, standing or walking throughout. Please contact us in advance if you need special accommodations as a person with a disability or special needs.
When are AAF's General Orientations for New Volunteers Held?
Orientations for New Volunteers sessions are Saturdays 11:30 am- 1 pm. There are a limited number of Saturdays when General Orientation sessions are not conducted. The online system of registering for General Orientations will indicate when a General Orientation is not being held (i.e., check the top of the online page for dates when General Orientation will not be held).
Can I Sign-Up in Advance to Attend One of AAF's General Orientation Sessions?
Yes! AAF strongly encourages individuals interested in coming to a General Orientation session to register online (as doing so will allow our facilitators know how many participants to expect). However, it is not absolutely necessary to register online (e.g., you do not have online access, etc.).
To register for a General Orientation session, go to: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on "Getting Started As a New Volunteer")
(Note: if you are reading this online, and wish to register for the General Orientation, go to the top of the page and click on the "Register" button. Pick the date you'd like to attend and you'll be guided through a brief and hopefully painless process of registering. From there, all you need to do is show up on the date you've chosen.)
(Note: If you have online access, please print out and complete the AAF's Volunteer Application prior to attending the General Orientation and bring your completed form with you to General Orientation. See www.aafpets.com and look under the Volunteering section).
How Will I Be Able to Help as a Volunteer After I Attend a General Orientation?
Upon attending AAF's General Orientation, new volunteers:
- have access to all of AAF's cats and cat-related programs (such as Meow Mingle program; see aafpets.com for details)
- have access to AAF dogs that are in Get Acquainted Rooms
- are eligible to participate in AAF's Doggie Date program (see http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on "Doggie Date")
- are eligible to participate in AAF's "Walk-A-Hound" program (see http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on "Walk- A-Hound")
Volunteers interested in greater access to AAF's dogs (e.g., walking dogs during times other than Walk-A-Hound and/or visiting in dogs in the kennel areas, being a Adoption Counselor, etc.) will need to complete additional training. A select number of these programs are described below.
I'd Like More Detailed Information About the Various Levels of AAFs Dog-Related Volunteer Training? Can I Get Details?
As noted above, once volunteers have completed the General Orientation they will have received all of the training that is currently required for interacting with and handling AAF cats. Volunteers who want to work more extensively with AAF dogs will need to participate in AAF's CARE program (CARE=Canine Adoption Readiness & Enrichment) training that are described below.
CARE* Level 2: This is a hands-on indoor training session that covers:
- clicker training for shelter dogs
- learning dog-related and kennel safety procedures
- understanding canine body language
- practicing helping dogs be more adoptable
CARE Level 2 participants must be AAF Adult Volunteers. CARE Level 2 is generally offered 2X/month on alternating Saturdays (11 am- 1pm). For details and/or to register, go to: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on CARE Level 2).
CARE* Level 3: This is a hands-on mostly outdoor training session that covers:
- safely choosing dogs to interact with during outdoor activities
- learning dog-related safety procedures and emergency responses
- leashing and harnessing dogs for walking and exercise
- dog walking protocols
- using the dog exercise areas
CARE Level 3 participants must be AAF Adult Volunteers who have completed CARE Level 2. CARE Level 3 is generally offered 2X/month on alternating Saturdays (10 am- 1pm). For details and/or to register, go to: go to: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com; click on CARE Level 3).
I'm Interested In Helping AAF's Shelter Pets Get Adopted. Are There Any Programs for Volunteers for This?
Certainly! AAF volunteers play a key role in helping prepare our animals for adoption and directly assisting with both dog and cat adoptions! Specific volunteer positions and/or programs include:
- Adoption Counselors
- Adoption Assistants
- I-CARE Trainers
For more details on each of these volunteer opportunities, follow the link: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com.
Can I Get More Details About Other Volunteer Programs @ AAF?
Yes! For additional information about other programs and opportunities available for AAF Volunteers, go to: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com.
I'm Part of a Group...Does AAF Allow/Need a "Day of Service" from Groups?
Yes! If you are part of a group (e.g., work, fraternity, sorority, scout troop) that would like to provide a day (or part of day) of service, please contact AAF for details, please check the link below:
I'd Like to Donate Supplies...Does AAF Have a "Wish List"?
- cat litter (inexpensive clay litter is best)
- bleach (unscented)
- dish soap
- canned dog & cat food
- soft dog treats (Natural Balance-Turkey formula for training)
- KONG chew toys
- Easy Walk Harnesses (medium, medium-large, large, x-large)
- compostable bio-waste bags (for picking up dog waste)
- peanut butter and squeeze cheese (for dog enrichment toys)
- Pill Pockets for dogs and cats (for dispensing medicines)
- name tag holders
Can I Contact AAF If I Have More Questions?
Certainly! Below are a variety of ways we can be reached:
- phone: (513) 737.PETS
- web: www.aafpets.com
- social media: www.facebook.com/AnimalAdoptionFoundation
- volunteer events/programs: http://aafvolunteer.eventbrite.com
Thanks for Your Interest in Helping Homeless Cats and Dogs!
Animal Adoption Foundation
The Animal Adoption Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill shelter for homeless dogs and cats. Our caring volunteers and generous donors help us provide a safe haven for dogs and cats that are waiting to be adopted. Thank you for your support!