Want to volunteer and help homeless pets in need?
Volunteers are always welcome! Your help provides our homeless pets with exercise and socialization. All volunteers must fill out a volunteer application and participants under 16 years old must have a parent present. Organizations or groups with more than three people please call in advance to make arrangements. Please fill out your volunteer application, print, and bring with you.
Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
(Open Hours – No Appointment Needed)
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
(By Appointment Only)
ALL new volunteers must sign up and attend a new volunteer orientation before coming in to volunteer. Orientation will be held every Tuesday at 11:00 AM and Thursday at 3:30 PM. If other hours are needed for orientation, arrangements can be made. Please call to speak with an adoption specialist to schedule another time. The orientation sign up sheet is located at adoption desk, or you can also call us at 585-889-8340. 10 volunteers will be allowed per orientation. Please bring completed volunteer application to orientation, or one can be completed upon arrival.
Please read over the following policies. All volunteers attending are bound to follow the policies put forward for your safety, the safety of others, and for the safety of our animals. If we need to speak with you more than 2 times regarding not following these policies we will dismiss you from the shelter. Please keep in mind these are shelter animals and some have been neglected/abused/or may not like other animals.
1. Open volunteer hours are ONLY Monday – Friday between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Volunteers will not be accepted outside of volunteer hours unless scheduled in advance.
2. Volunteer hours on Saturday and Sunday are from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM are now appointment only. Due to high adoption rates please call ahead to schedule volunteering in advance. No large groups on weekends.
3. There is a mandatory volunteer orientation training which you will need to sign up for. These sessions will go over how to handle the dogs and cats properly with staff members, selecting what dog/cat enrichment program you wish to participate in, and facilities duties around the adoption center.
4. All groups of 3 + must have scheduled appointments. Groups are limited to 5 people unless otherwise discussed and approved by Adoptions Director in advance.
5. Court ordered community service hours that need to be completed at non profit organizations can no longer be validated at our
6. When walking a dog on the trail and another dog is approaching, please shorten your leash and keep the dog on your right side. Please do not pick the dog up or stop and hug them. This gives the dog a message that there is a problem and the dog may try to protect them self or the walker. REMEMBER: these are shelter animals and some have been neglected/abused/or may not like other animals. If your not comfortable to continue walking, just stand to the side in place.
7. No cell phone use while walking a dog, none. A walker must be alert of their surroundings at all times.
8. Always close kennel door when taking dog out or returning. Always close door coming into the kennel area.
9. Wear appropriate clothing – No flip flops.
10. If dog area is too loud, we can provide ear plugs. See a staff member to get a pair. Ear plugs must be taken
out when outside walking. Walkers must be alert at all times.
11. Please help keep our adoption center neat and clean. Pick up after yourself and the animal you have taken out. Adopters are coming in through out the day, so if you take out toys/treats, please put them back or throw them away. If a dog or cat has an accident, please either clean it up or ask for assistance of a staff member.
12. No food or drink allowed in the adoption center.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do I do when I get here?
If you have already attended a new volunteer orientation, you must sign into the volunteer log book. If you are a first time volunteer then please see a staff member.
What should I wear to the shelter?
Please wear appropriate clothing when coming to the shelter. For safety reasons, please do not wear sandals/flip flops, skirts, heels, or shirts that do not cover your back or stomach. If you are not wearing appropriate clothing you may be asked to leave or be limited on what you can do as a volunteer.
What if I am afraid of dogs and/or cats?
If you have a fear of dogs or cats, please rethink volunteering at this shelter. If you would still like to see the animals, do not enter any cages or take any animals out. These are shelter animals that are not fully trained. If you are uncomfortable with the animals in the shelter please see a staff member at how you can help in other ways at the shelter.
What is acceptable behavior while in the kennels?
There is no teasing of the animals, screaming, running or loud noises while in the kennels or cat room. This is for your safety and the safety of the animals. Violation of this is grounds for immediate dismissal.
What if I want to volunteer but I am a minor?
If you are under the age of 16 you must have a parent or legal guardian with written permission from a parent to participate. This person must be authorized to make medical decisions for you and that will be responsible for supervising at all times when volunteering.
Where do I take the dogs when I volunteer?
When walking dogs, you may take them out into the field, on the greenway trails, or play with them in the yards if the staff members are not using them. Please ask a staff member before letting any dogs go out into the yard. The adoption greeting room is also available for use as long as it is not needed for adopters who are looking at potential new pets.
Where do I take the cats when I volunteer?
You can take cats out into the adoption greeting room as long as it is not needed for adopters who are looking at potential new pets. You can also take them out in the cat area and keep them on your lap. Please do not let cats run loose in this area.