Thank you so much for your interest in our volunteer program!
Volunteering that involves animal interaction:
To be eligible for animal-based volunteer work for the DCHS, you must be 16 years of age and go through these few simple steps:
- Call us at (715) 232-9790 and register to attend our next animal socialization class (typically 1 hour). This class is required for any animal interaction.
- Attend the class and pay the class fee of $20. The class fee for active students at any school in Dunn County is only $15. At the end of the class you may choose to continue on with the process. If you choose not to, you will still receive a DCHS t-shirt.
- If you choose to continue with the process, you would need to fill out a volunteer application. Once your application is approved (typically that day), you may begin volunteering!
- The process is designed so that you completely understand what volunteering entails before committing to it. If you decide it isn’t for you, the least you will receive is a great class on animal socialization and a DCHS t-shirt!
Volunteering that does not involve animal interaction:
We hold many events each year, all of which rely on volunteers to plan and run the events. There is no class requirement or minimum age requirement to volunteer for any event or special project not involving direct animal interaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often get asked the following questions about our volunteer program:
- Why do I have to take a class to volunteer? The class is required for your safety and the safety of animals in our care. Many of the dogs we have at the shelter are larger and knowing how to properly interact with them, ensures a positive experience for you and our dogs. All the cats in our care are strays, often times they are sweet and friendly, but do not have refined social skills. The class teaches safe animal interaction and animal body language.
- Why do you charge for the volunteer class? We charge for the volunteer class to cover the cost of the volunteer t-shirts and the time for staff to conduct the training.
- Why do I have to be 16 to spend time with the animals? This is a safety concern. In years past, the age for volunteering was lower and also was approved if a parent was present. Unfortunately, there were many problems with our younger volunteers not following rules, leading to safety issues. We also experienced parents not properly supervising their children, leading to safety issues. Because of these repeated problems, we found it best for everyone if we stuck to the age of 16. Those under 16 are always welcome to help with events and projects that do not require direct animal interaction and no class is required for that.
Thanks again for you interest, volunteers are a great way for you to share your best gifts with the community!
Never volunteered before? A little apprehensive? Learn more about volunteering in general with this helpful guide!
**Please note, the process and opportunities for court-ordered community service differ from the above. Please stop by the shelter to fill out a court-ordered community service application. We retain the right to refuse applicants based on the nature of the offense and will verify applicant information with officers of the court.