Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Sonoma County Animal Services

Volunteer at Animal Services

Volunteer holding puppy

We believe everyone has something to offer to help our animals, and we need you! We have lots of different jobs that help our shelter animals! Our volunteer opportunities allow community members to donate their valuable gift of time and energy to better the lives of Sonoma County Animal Services companion animals.

To volunteer, you must be 9 years of age or older (ages 9-16 years must be accompanied by an adult partner, typically a parent or guardian); those ages 16-18 may volunteer independently with parent or guardian consent.

Please read about our Volunteer Positions to find one (or more!) that matches your interests.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Animal Services!

Volunteer Update

We are currently accepting applications for volunteers! If you are interested please send an inquiry to SCASVolunteers@sonoma-county.org

Please note: All SCAS Volunteers will be required to complete the Fear Free Shelter Training online (approx. 5 hours) and attend an in-person Orientation and Pet Enrichment Session prior to signing up for Volunteer shifts at our shelter. 

Our Volunteer Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm

Volunteer Positions

DOG COMPANION

Our Dog Companions provide hands-on care to the dogs, and assist with ensuring that their shelter living environment is safe, clean and as comfortable as possible. Companions help keep the animals socialized, work on basic obedience training, and provide valuable information for potential adopters by filling out the Enrichment Cards. Enrichment and positive-reinforcement training are two key cornerstones of the Dog Companion position. Dog Companions will be assigned one of three “collar color” levels designating the dogs they may work with. Dog Companions may graduate to the next collar color through continued training and testing by the Shelter Supervisor. The Shelter Supervisor & Managers decisions regarding collar placement will be final and no “advanced green or advanced orange” designations will be available. Occasional exceptions may occur, but they will be limited and communicated to staff in advance.

DOG FITNESS COACH

Our Dog Fitness Coaches provide exercise for the dogs including on-leash walking and off-leash playing in the exercise areas. Dog Fitness Coaches will utilize the Enrichment Cards to determine which dogs have not had the time/resources to hit the gym recently and are in need of some one-on-one walking and play time. Dogs are to remain on leash at all times when on walks. Field Trips are also available by special permission if you would like to take one of our dogs to other parks/hiking in the area or to go in a group.

DOG SPA ATTENDANT

Rub a Dub Dub, Pups In A Tub! Our Dog Spa Attendants provide hands-on bathing of the dogs at the shelter. Spa Attendants will utilize the Enrichment Cards to determine which dogs are in need of a bath and will have access the bathing area. Spa Services may include: bathing, towel drying, brushing, and general pampering to help the dogs look (and smell) so fresh and so clean for their potential new homes. Studies have probably shown that the better they smell, the more likely they are to get adopted.   We do provide a ramp into the tub but for the larger dogs at the shelter, it is recommended that you be able to lift up to 50lbs.

PAWS ON THE PAGE

Our animal friends like to keep their minds sharp while they are here. Whether you want to improve your reading skills or enjoy sharing your favorite stories out loud, our dogs/cats and bunnies will provide a non-judgmental ear (or two) to listen. Your storytelling will also help them improve their social skills! Petting is not required but highly encouraged! Please bring your favorite books or choose from our selection! Volunteers ages 9 to 16 years old need a Parent or Guardian present.

CAT COMPANION  

Our cats often demand cuddles and attention. Our Cat Companions provide hands-on care to the cats, and assist with ensuring that their shelter living environment is safe, clean and as comfortable as possible. Companions help keep the animals socialized as well as provide valuable information for potential adopters by filling out the Enrichment Cards. Enrichment is a key cornerstone of the Cat Companion position.

RABBIT & SMALL ANIMAL COMPANION

Our Rabbit and Small Animal Companions provide hands-on care to the rabbits, etc., assist with ensuring that their shelter living environment is safe, clean and as comfortable as possible. Companions help keep the animals socialized as well as provide valuable information for potential adopters by filling out the Enrichment Cards. Enrichment is a key cornerstone of the Rabbit/Small Animal Companion position.

CLIENT SERVICES VOLUNTEER

Our Client Service Volunteers are usually the first person that the public meets when they come to the shelter. They greet people as they arrive, answer basic questions, and point the person in the right direction. They provide office support such as mailings, filing and assisting with reuniting lost pets and their owners by conducting a search of the website, searching the stray kennels, filling out a lost pet report, and providing advice on how to conduct a search. They also help potential adopters by showing the available pets on the website.

SHELTER SUPPORT VOLUNTEER

We have a variety of special projects that involve different aspects of the shelter. A project may be office-related (when allowed), or it may be related to preparing for a mobile adoption event, or it may involve getting our play yard ready for the dogs to run around in, etc.

ANIMAL CHAUFFEUR

Our animal friends appreciate traveling in style. This position will assist in transporting shelter animals to and from the shelter to various locations such as community partners, rescue organizations, other adoption centers, etc. This will be on an as needed basis.

FOSTER CARE VOLUNTEER

Do you have a loving home that you would like to share with an animal in need? Show your love by providing in-home care and extra TLC to special needs animals such as nursing kittens and puppies or animals recovering from injuries. Foster Care Volunteers can determine the types of animals they choose to receive training to care for.

Please contact SCASFosters@Sonoma-County.org for more information about Fostering animals