OCHS relies heavily on volunteers. There are many opportunities to volunteer and a variety of skills and talents are always in need. Volunteer interest forms may be found online, at the shelter and in our Bay Street Stores. After the form is submitted, the prospective applicant should tour the shelter and meet our staff. The new volunteer will be able to select a task of his or her choosing and will be emailed for fund raising volunteer opportunities, or if a special need for volunteers arises.
Become a Volunteer
We welcome volunteers of any age
The following are just some of the tasks needing volunteer help.
Our shelter depends on volunteers to assist the staff with the daily needs of our animals.
- Cat and Kitten Condo Cleaning
- Cat and Kitten Socialization
- Litter pan and dish washing
- Kennel Cleaning
- Dog Walkers/ socializing
- Office Tasks
- Spay/Neuter Recovery
- Animal Transport
- Foster Care Homes
Thrift Shop/ PAWS Boutique
Our two stores on Bay Street provide the major support for our organization and our animals.
- Receive and Sort goods
- Repair and refurbish items for sale
- Moving and arranging merchandise
- Pickups and Delivery
Off Site Adoption Volunteers
Having our animals available for viewing is critical to our adoption success. We need volunteers to transport the animals to these locations and facilitate adoptions for potential pet parents.
- Pet Smart
- Cat/Kitten Adoption on 3rd Saturday of month at Grocery Outlet
- Other opportunities as they occur
Fundraising is an important part of our organization since we do not receive any public or government funds.
- Hot Dog/ Hamburger monthly BBQ
- Christmas Store
- Garden Tour
- February Dinner Fundraiser
- Annual Gala
- Abby’s Pizza Nights
- Bottle Collection and Drop
- Grant Writing
- Other Events as planned
- Newsletter production
- Newspaper articles
There is a greater need than ever for volunteers who have technology experience.
- Social media
- IT to computer programming
- Graphic design
- Web site management
- Writing Blogs
Young people are able to volunteer in a number of ways. Youths over the age of 16 may complete an application and volunteer on their own. Children ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult while volunteering. Both the youth and the adult will need to complete applications and go through the volunteer orientation at the shelter.
Some youth volunteer opportunities include:
- Socializing with cats and kittens
- Walking dogs, socializing puppies
- Participate in parades and other offsite events such as animal visits at different locations.
- Sorting items at the Thrift Shop
We are always in need of dedicated and committed volunteers. Adult volunteers need to have reached 18 years of age. A minimum commitment of 8 hours per month is requested and as well as intent to serve for at least 6 months.
We believe that it is important that all our volunteers understand how our organization runs and how we support each other in our mission to save homeless animals. Prospective volunteers should tour the shelter and meet our staff.
Volunteers are emailed as volunteer opportunities arise. The shelter and thrift stores contact volunteers to schedule work times, for volunteers that express an interest in these assignments.
Young Adult Volunteers
Young adult volunteers are asked to give a minimum of 3 hours a month and strive for a minimum commitment of 6 months. Young adults over the age of 16-18 may complete an application and volunteer on their own, however their parent or guardian will need to sign the volunteer waiver.
Young adult volunteers, ages 12-15, will need to complete a youth application form cosigned by a parent or guardian. An adult must accompany them anytime they are volunteering.
Foster Care Program
Foster homes help alleviate stress on the shelter’s capacity, staff and resources and can provide invaluable information about an animal’s temperament and training, making it easier to match the animal with an appropriate adoptive home.
Foster homes provide temporary care for pregnant animals, their newborn offspring until they are old enough to be spayed or neutered, animals who are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, special needs animals such as diabetics, cats with FIV, etc., animals who are so shy or traumatized that they need to receive extra attention in a quiet, low stress environment and small dogs when foster homes are available.
Hospice care providers are a special group of foster volunteers who give end-of-life care for terminally ill shelter animals. Hospice is for animals diagnosed by a veterinarian with a life-limiting, non-contagious illness. While these animals are not in pain and their symptoms can be appropriately managed, their medical condition and poor prognosis, limit their chances for adoption. Hospice foster care provides an opportunity for them to comfortably spend their final days, living in dignity and comfort.
The shelter will provide food, crate, litter pan, collar, leash, harness and record forms. Medical care includes worming, vaccinations, flea treatments, spay/neuter services, routine medical treatments and contacts for emergency medical treatment.
All animals in foster care will be reviewed by the shelter veterinarian on a regular basis. During these visits, the animal will be evaluated for general improvement and growth. The intervals of the reviews will be determined by the shelter veterinarian. Foster care providers are required to keep records on the progress of their foster animal and of procedures done at home such as worming and flea treatments.
All animals, with the exception of those in hospice care, will be promoted by the shelter and the foster care provider using established marketing ideas such as adoption events which could include trips to PetSmart.
Potential foster care providers will be required to complete volunteer and foster applications and attend a volunteer orientation session. They will need to provide proof that their own animals have been altered and have current vaccinations.