Thank you so much for your interest in Central Vermont Humane Society’s volunteer program! We are privileged to have many people who share our mission to protect and advocate for animals in need, and to build a humane community that promotes compassion and seeks to strengthen the human-animal bond, and who want to volunteer.

To Volunteer:

At the moment, we are seriously understaffed throughout the shelter, and do not even have a Volunteer Coordinator at this time. While we have started considering other requests to volunteer, we are being very strategic about how we manage this.  We currently do not have enough staff to give volunteers the attention we have in the past, so we are being more selective, looking for folks with prior animal or shelter experience. If you have prior animal or shelter experience volunteering or as an employee, send us an email [email protected]

At this time we cannot accommodate any mandated community service hours or school required volunteer hours due to the oversight needed for those volunteers.


Volunteer Guidelines

  • All volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation. Upon completing the orientation a volunteer application and waiver of liability must be filled out and submitted to the volunteer coordinator. An interview will then be scheduled to determine the best possible placement for you.
  • You must be at least 14 years old to volunteer with a parent or guardian who is also a volunteer. To volunteer unaccompanied you must be 16 or older. Not yet 14? Click here to find out other ways to help the animals.
  • All direct animal care volunteers must be able to commit to a regular recurring schedule, either weekly or bi-weekly for two hour minimum shifts.
  • Volunteers must be able to communicate effectively and professionally with staff, each other and visitors to the shelter.
  • Volunteers must be able to read and comprehend policy and protocol information as well as remember and follow shelter rules.
  • Volunteers must have the ability to emotionally manage a workplace that can be stressful with a cheerful and positive demeanor.
  • After initial training, volunteers must be able to work independently, with a minimum of supervision.
  • Direct animal care volunteers must be able to see, hear, and interpret animal behavior and body language.
  • All beginning volunteers must complete 10 hours of shelter help before working directly with the animals.

Volunteer FAQ

Why do I have to commit to a schedule? Can’t I just stop in when I have the time?

At CVHS our volunteers do many of the same tasks our staff members do. This requires training and training takes staff time and resources. We are delighted to make the investment in your training so that we can ensure the very best possible care for the animals and continuing education for you! To achieve this, consistency is important.  We also need consistency to ensure proper staffing so all of our animals get the time and the attention they need.

I want to help the animals but I can’t commit to a regular schedule. Is there anything I can do?

Absolutely! You can assist with special events, help with office support as needed, or collect items from our wish list.

I just want to walk the dogs. Why do I have to go through volunteer training?

At CVHS a walk isn’t just a walk! As many of the dogs in our care have minimal or no training, we use walking time to train and socialize our canine residents to prepare them for their adoptive homes. Walking dogs at CVHS requires an understanding of canine body language, force-free training, and safety procedures and protocols. Volunteers wishing to walk dogs must commit to further training and education to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.

I need to do community service hours.  Can I volunteer at CVHS?

Due to limited staffing at this time, we cannot accommodate any mandated community service hours or school required volunteer hours due to the oversight needed for those volunteers.

Volunteer Positions at CVHS

Foster Families:
Do you have a quiet space in your home that could house baby kittens or an adult animal in need of medical care? Learn more about our foster program by clicking here.

Animal Care Volunteers:
Are you able to commit to a regular schedule? Animal care volunteers come in for morning shifts of 2-3 hours, a minimum of once weekly. These volunteers perform all essential animal care and cleaning needed on a daily basis, and involves central cleaning, sweeping and mopping, window washing, training room cleaning, and everything else related to maintaining our facility’s cleanliness. Here you will learn about sanitation practices and protocols that are absolutely essential to keeping the shelter animals healthy and happy.

Cat Care
Do you love cats? CVHS Cat wing may be the place for you! Cat care volunteers assist staff with cleaning cat rooms, feeding, enrichment activities for our feline residents, and much more. As a cat care volunteer you will learn about feline behavior and body language, and have a real opportunity to alleviate stress, and enhance the lives of the cats in our shelter while they await their adoptive homes.

Dog Care
Are you a dog person? Volunteers will clean kennels, feed, walk dogs, and provide enrichment activities to alleviate kennel stress. As dog handling in a shelter environment requires specialized training, volunteers wishing to handle dogs outside of the kennels must commit to further training and education.

Customer Care
Do you love helping people? Can you work in a fast paced and sometimes stressful environment? Customer care may be the place for you! Our customer care representatives answer the phones and assist potential adopters.

Transport Volunteers
CVHS transport volunteers are responsible for transporting animals wherever they need to go, most often to veterinary appointments. To be a transport volunteer you must be 21 years old, have a clean driving record and a valid driver’s license, as you may be driving the shelter van. Our transport needs are very diverse and sometimes require little to no notice; other times they can be scheduled in advance. Animals need to be transported around town, throughout the state, and sometimes across state lines for reasons including medical needs, transferring, or adoption. We have a reliable van that can be used for most transportation needs.

Office Support
Our office support volunteers assist with mailings, filing, copying, and any other office related task. Are you organized and detail oriented? This may be the perfect way for you to help the animals.

Event Volunteers
Do you love to plan and coordinate events? For those folks who can’t commit to a regular schedule, but want to help, events volunteering may be the place for you. CVHS does many fundraising and informational events throughout the year, and relies on volunteers to make them happen.

Other Volunteers:
Whether you can come in on a regular schedule or just simply the occasional shift, we always have projects and tasks to be done. If you want to volunteer, but are not sure of the best fit, let us know, and we will work together to see if we have a match.