Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community, help out the shelter, and be around animals that need your love and attention!

Being a YVAS volunteer doesn’t just mean cuddling puppies and kittens all day- although that can be part of it! Our YVAS volunteers help around the shelter by taking on tasks that staff would never have time to complete all by ourselves. Volunteers help with shelter “housekeeping”, cleaning outside yards, sorting donations, laundry, sanitizing wild boxes, making adoption packets & goody bags, preparing enrichment, and much more. 

Know that every task is important to the health and well-being of the animals and makes a huge impact on our ability to care for these animals.

Volunteer Age Requirements

All YVAS Volunteers must be at least 10 years old. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied during all volunteer activities by an adult who is also a trained YVAS volunteer. Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian signature in order to participate in shelter activities.

How to Become A YVAS Volunteer

Step 1 - Attend a Volunteer Orientation

During this one-hour orientation, we will give a tour of the shelter, explain what we do here, and point out areas of need for volunteers. View our calendar of orientation dates by clicking here.  Orientations fill quickly but don’t worry, we will add additional dates as soon as possible.

Step 2 - Mentoring

Complete one hour of one-on-one or small group mentoring with an experienced YVAS volunteer mentor. They will help teach you general housekeeping tasks and show you where supplies are kept. Sign-ups will be provided following completion of Volunteer Orientation. After mentoring is complete you may come and volunteer on your own time; however, you will be limited to general shelter tasks until cat and/or dog classes are completed.

Step 3 - Complete Feline Friends or Canine Companions Trainings

These classes are required to interact directly with shelter animals. Training teaches volunteers about animal behavior, ways to socialize them, health & safety while volunteering, etc. We often don’t know much about the history of the animals that are brought to us, so we want to help our volunteers be as prepared and safe as possible to handle different situations while handling animals.

Feline Fan Club

Feline Fan Club is a program designed especially for those kiddos that are too young to be a regular YVAS volunteer. Once a month we offer an opportunity for kids to come and read books to shelter cats for half an hour.  Feline Fan Club participants must be between ages 5-9 and must be accompanied by a parent at all times.  Space is limited so pre-registration is required.

Special Events Volunteering

We often have volunteers help out at special events such as adoption events, booths at festivals, shelter holiday events, our low-cost spay & neuter clinics, and more! Volunteers assist staff by answering questions about the shelter and the adoption process, transporting animals, and creating positive interactions in the community.  Volunteers will be notified of upcoming events and have access to sign-ups. 

Liability

All YVAS volunteers will be asked to sign a liability and photo release. Understand that there are always risks involved in working around live animals, especially when we don’t know the backgrounds on most of the animals that are in our care. 

Court-Ordered Community Service

Court-ordered community service is separate from our regular Volunteer Program. Participants will not be working directly with the animals, but instead will be completing shelter housekeeping tasks.

Court-Ordered Community Service Guidelines & Requirements

  • Participants must be at least 16 years old to complete court-ordered community service at YVAS.  
  • YVAS can only accept one community service person at a time.  
  • An onboarding meeting must be scheduled in advance with the Volunteer Coordinator to complete all paperwork and set up a schedule. Days and times for completing hours must be scheduled with the Volunteer Coordinator. CS people need to bring any paperwork to be signed or have the court contact information with them during the initial meeting.  
  • There must be a single point of contact. If over 18 years of age, this must be the volunteer themselves. If under 18, the point of contact can be the guardian. Either way, there must only be one point of contact. That person will be responsible for all scheduling.  
  • The participant will be responsible for keeping track of their own hours.   

 

Hours Requirements:

  • Hours must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.   
  • CS volunteers must plan on volunteering for a minimum of 2 hours each time. 
  • CS volunteers will be eligible to complete up to 6 hours per week at YVAS. 

 

Zero Tolerance Attendance Policy:

Being late beyond 15 minutes or missing a shift makes the participant no longer eligible to complete community service through YVAS. If needing to cancel a shift, YVAS must be notified by the end of the business day the day prior to the scheduled shift (i.e. if scheduled for a shift on Friday, YVAS must be notified before 7 pm on Thursday).

 

If you are needing to complete court-ordered community service hours, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at riley.bailey@yvas.org for availability and to set up an onboarding meeting.  In your email, please include the following information: age of the participant, number of hours to be completed, and the date hours need to be completed.  

 

Step 1: Schedule an onboarding meeting with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Step 2: Sign Community Service Waiver.

Step 3: Schedule shifts for completing community service hours.

Get Involved