Join the Saving Paws ​Volunteer Family

Volunteering

We rely entirely on volunteers to care for the homeless, abandoned, injured and special needs pets we shelter. We are always in need of volunteers to help in a variety of areas. Below is a bunch more information about being a volunteer!
 
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Volunteer Opportunities

Being completely volunteer run means that volunteers do everything that needs doing around the shelter! Consistency and commitment are key for many of these activities, but we also appreciate every single volunteer, no matter their schedule or availability!

Many volunteers start with things like cleaning and socializing and grow/expand their involvement into anything from helping with the adoption process to helping give animals medicine or transporting them to appointments and events. We also welcome new ideas and these opportunities aren't exhaustive, so if you see a need not being met and have an idea for improvement, then ask about it!

Community Service

Our community service program helps volunteers meet requirements set for them through schools, scout troops, and other organizations. At this time we're unable to accommodate court ordered community service. To participate, community service volunteers must attend a new volunteer orientation and schedule their community service hours with the volunteer coordinator. You will be given credit for the service hours and tasks that you commit to and then successfully complete. Only the volunteer coordinator signs for community service hours.

To perform community service for school, you must be at least 16 years old and, if under 18, must attend while a code-holding volunteer is present (access codes will not be given to those under 18).

Dog Volunteers

Dog volunteers tend to work primarily with dogs. They providing support when there is a dog transport, help with the care of dogs that are on site, give baths, walks, and training where necessary. Those who help with care on site will also help with washing dishes, mopping floors, doing the laundry, etc.

Cat Volunteers

Cat volunteers tend to work primarily with cats. Those providing care on site will help with cleaning that includes scooping litter boxes, refilling food and water, changing blankets in cages/on climbers, sweeping, mopping, doing laundry, etc. It's not all work though! Cat volunteers also play with cats and kittens, help socialize shy and help with any required grooming (brushing, nail trimming, etc).

Maintenance

Saving Paws does employ some contractors where necessary, however we like to use a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity wherever possible! Maintaining the rescue premises is similar to maintaining a house and that can require quite the variety of talents from replacing lightbulbs to mowing the lawn to putting up drywall.
 
Usually, the maintainers group is emailed whenever there's maintenance needs, and then whoever is available comes into the shelter complete the work.
 
Below is a list of different abilities we've used in the past, however if you have other experiences, we welcome them all!
  • Dry-walling
  • Painting
  • Flooring
  • Building shelves, fencing, cat climbers, etc
  • General maintenance (ex: changing lightbulbs)
  • Car maintenance (ex: oil changes)
  • Lawn mowing
  • Snow plowing
  • Landscaping
  • Certified electricians
  • Certified plumbers

Events, Fundraising and Community Outreach

Our fundraising committee develops and organizes fundraising events to raise valuable funds to support our mission. We need volunteers at all levels of fundraising, from event staffing to leadership.  Become a member of our fundraising team and raise much needed money to help the animals in our care.

Volunteers for community outreach events are often found by posting on our volunteer-only facebook page so once you're an approved volunteer, keep an eye out there! You can also email fundraising@savingpawswi.com for more information.

How to Become a Volunteer

Volunteer Requirements

Before submitting a volunteer application, make sure you can meet the following criteria:
 
  • Be eleven (11) years of age or older to volunteer with a parent and sixteen (16) years of age or older to volunteer alone.
  • You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to be given access codes to the buildings. If between 16 and 18, another volunteer must be present to allow you access.
  • Be able to squat, bend, twist, lift, and stand for long periods while working directly with the animals.
  • Attend required orientation and training classes.
  • Have a genuine concern for the welfare of animals.
  • Be able to complete multiple tasks, have good communication skills and be able to follow rescue safety protocol as outlined in the volunteer orientation.
  • Be self-motivated and have the ability to make appropriate judgment calls, asking questions when necessary.
  • Have a willingness to work with all animals, regardless of appearance. A sick animal is not always a pretty animal, but they may be  the one most in need of your love and attention.
  • Experience with cats or dogs and knowledge of their body language is preferred but not required.

Becoming a Volunteer

There are three easy steps!
  1. Submit an application
  2. Email orientation@savingpawswi.com to schedule an orientation
  3. Attend the orientation, complete your training "job shadows", and start helping!
The orientation will give you a tour of the rescue and you will learn about your specific areas of interest. There are often "job shadows" required that include additional training and those sessions will be discussed during orientation.

Code of Conduct

Volunteers must put the welfare of animals first and must be willing to demonstrate a positive, customer-oriented attitude when dealing with the public as well as a collaborative team approach when dealing with other volunteers.​
 
 
Notice: We are in the process of updating our email addresses! If you receive any emails that end with "savingpawswi.com" instead of "savingpaws.com" (for example, cats@savingpawswi.com and dogs@savingpawswi.com), it's still us!
It will take us a while to update all locations to use the new addresses, so if you see any places that don't match, please be patient and know that we're still monitoring the old addresses as well.