Thank you so much for your interest in Central Vermont Humane Society’s volunteer program! We are privileged to have many outstanding volunteers 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.

Were it not for volunteers, Central Vermont Humane Society would not exist. Imagine how many lives have been saved because of the generous gifts of time, talent and resources from our volunteers! Volunteers here do a variety of jobs, including direct animal care, event staffing and fund raising, shelter maintenance, general cleaning, animal transport, office assistance and more.

Upcoming Volunteer Information Sessions:

Due to the pandemic, sessions are currently suspended.

To learn more , email

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, collect items from our wish list, and come to visit with the shelter animals during open hours. We love visitors!

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, 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?

Community service hours may be fulfilled through general shelter help. Because of the training time required to be a direct animal care volunteer we cannot offer those opportunities on a short term basis. Attendance at a volunteer orientation is still required and will count toward your community service hours.

Volunteer Positions at CVHS

General Shelter Help

General shelter help 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. Every volunteer is required to complete 10 hours of general shelter help before being trained to do direct animal care.

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. Ten hours of general shelter help are required before becoming a cat care volunteer.

Dog Care

Are you a dog person? CVHS has opportunities in our dog wing to assist staff with dog care. 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. Ten hours of general shelter help are required before becoming a dog program volunteer.

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, assist potential adopters and visitors to the shelter and help keep the front desk and the lobby neat and attractive. Ten hours of general shelter help and specialized customer service training are required to become a customer care volunteer.

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 will be driving the shelter van.

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 find a match.