Become a Volunteer

Download the Volunteer Application

Volunteer Informed Consent and Waiver.pdf

As a volunteer at the Humane Society of Polk County, you're important to us! Volunteers can help the shelter run smoothly, increase adoptions by being knowledgeable and friendly, and make our animals more comfortable and happier. Volunteering is important for the organization and the individual. We want to make the volunteer experience as useful as possible. Please review the following information about our shelter and our volunteer program.

There are two primary types of volunteer work with the Humane Society of Polk County: in shelter and out of shelter.

What is required to be a volunteer? 

Because there is a considerable amount of time involved in the training of our volunteers, our volunteers are required to join our efforts by becoming memebers of the society.  Membership fee is only: $35 for adults which includes - volunteer t shirt, wrist band and a drawstring sports bag.
 $30 for students which includes - volunteer t shirt, wrist band and a drawstring sports bag. 
Once we recieve your application we will sign you up for the next orientation class.  
Thank you for considering being one of our volunteers - we appreciate your service!

In-shelter volunteering

These volunteer positions support our day-to-day operations. Volunteers help us run the shelter and support our programs. These positions mainly have contact with the animals and with our visitors. Options for volunteering with the shelter include the following positions:

Dog Washes

Dog Washes are held at the HSPC office during the warmer months. This event not only generates income for HSPC, but it also gives the public a chance to learn how to care for their pet and an opportunity to ask questions about their pet's health. Volunteers simply show up on designated days. Experience Needed: Should be comfortable around dogs and not afraid to get wet!

Kennel Cleaner

Primarily responsible for helping the staff clean and feed the animals in the morning and helping to keep the animals clean and comfortable throughout the day. Volunteers are trained in the handling of animals and cleaning.

Adoption Desk Support

Volunteers provide clerical support for the staff at the front desk. This includes answering the phones, completing adoption paperwork, and providing general animal care information to the public. Computer knowledge is helpful, and good customer service skills are a must.

Animal Socialization

Volunteers are esential to the success of our training program for the Open Paw method of training.  This is an exciting program that will teach you about animal behavior and training.  There are many levels to this program with fun things to learn and do with and for the pets. 

Adoption Follow-up Calls

We often need volunteers to help us call past adopters about how their adopted animal is adjusting to his or her new home and about their adoption experience at the shelter.  These phone calls can be made during shelter hours, but are most useful evenings and weekends.

Experience Needed: A smiling face! Ability to take direction from office staff and commitment to showing up when expected. Hours are flexible. You can work a set number of hours each week, or be on call to help out when we have a need.

Out-of-shelter volunteering

Event Support

Raising the many thousands of dollars necessary to continue our operations every year is a massive undertaking requiring dedicated volunteers.  We need volunteers who are willing to help plan, organize and participate in special events and fund raisers in the community.  Other jobs may include hanging posters, stuffing envelopes, and other short-term projects as needed.

Adoption Follow-up Calls

We often need volunteers to help us call past adopters about how their how the adopted animal is adjusting to his or her new home and about their adoption experience at the shelter.  These phone calls can be made during shelter hours, but are most useful evenings and weekends.

Off-Site Adoptions

The Humane Society of Polk County goes to various sites around the county where cats and dogs are available for adoption. These events are organized and staffed by staff and volunteers who help setup/take down the tables and cages and assist potential adopters.  

Experience Needed: Dependability is a must. Otherwise, you simply need to have a smiling face and like to be around cats and dogs.

Foster Program

Besides spaying/neutering, the HSPC Foster Program is one of the sure ways to prevent euthanasia of Polk County's companion animals. The Humane Society of Polk County Foster Program rescues homeless cats, dogs, and rabbits from local shelters and places them in temporary foster homes. These lucky animals receive appropriate medical care and are then exhibited on our website in hopes of finding a permanent, loving home for each animal.

We often need families or individuals who are willing to offer their home on a temporary basis to animals in need. Foster care is most frequently needed for animals too young to be adopted.  Foster families actually house rescued animals in their homes until suitable adoptive homes are found.  Medical expenses are covered by the HSPC; you simply provide love and social interaction for the pet.

Experience needed: You will be asked to complete a foster family application and undergo a basic home visit to ensure the animal will be placed in a safe environment

Humane Education

The HSPC conducts humane education through its workshop series, visits to public and private schools, informational booths at community events, presentations to civic and youth organizations, and with individual counseling for new pet owners. It is our mission to emphasize the benefits and importance of responsible pet ownership.

Experience needed: Public speaking, organizational skills, and a willingness to educate others about animal health and issues helpful.


The newsletter committee creates the HSPC newsletter, Pause for Paws by writing and researching articles, editing submitted text, and working with the graphic design to ensure its publication.

Experience Needed: Good organizational and writing skills are helpful.

Publicity Committee

The publicity committee assists with the publicity of all HSPC events and other news-worthy issues. This committee writes press releases, distributes them to the media, and follows up.

Experience needed: Good writing skills, ability to follow through and make sure events are covered in local media.

Spay/Neuter SNIP

HSPC provides free spays/neuters to qualifying families only through special sponsorships and the help of our local veterinarians on our SNIP trailer at different locations throughout the year.

Experience Needed: Volunteers help with publicity, distribution of materials to community, scheduling of appointments and follow-up.

Special Events

Throughout the year, HSPC coordinates several special events in our community to raise money and awareness for the animals.
Experience Needed: Volunteers with good organizational skills, smiling faces, and the discipline to work on event from start to finish are ideal. We also need volunteers willing to work at events.

The Fur Ball

The Fur Ball, our organization's largest fundraiser, is an annual, semi-formal event and silent auction where all proceeds directly benefit our building fund. Community businesses purchase sponsorships and volunteers put on the event. About 400 people attend each year.  Money is raised through ticket sales, business sponsorships, and a silent auction.

The Fur Ball volunteer positions are as follows:

Event Co-Chair

Responsibilities: This co-chair will work with last year's chair in planning event in every aspect, from securing sponsorships to managing volunteers to decorating the day of the event. This position requires a great time commitment, but if you really want to make a difference in the lives of local animals, the rewards can also be great.

Experience needed: Ability to manage several projects at once; tremendous organizational skills, positive thinker, personable on telephone and in correspondence, able to motivate and delegate to volunteers.

Ticket Committee

Responsibilities: Work to find distribution sites throughout town and deliver tickets to those sites; also keep accounting record of tickets sold and tickets given away.

Experience needed: Organizational and follow-through skills.

Sponsorship Committee

Responsibilities: Oversee committee that finds corporate and private sponsors throughout the county, keeps record of sponsorships made and reports progress to Event Fur Ball Committee.

Experience needed: Organizational and follow-through skills.

Auction Committee

Responsibilities: Work with other volunteers to solicit, pick up, and track all donations for silent auction; organize display of items, keep accounting of items' worth and their sale price, and write thank you letters to all donors.

Experience needed: Organizational and follow-through skills; marketing and sales experience would be helpful.

Decorating Committee

Responsibilities: Originate and follow through on theme for event, and work with other volunteers to pull the "look" together.

Experience needed: Creative thinkers with ability to delegate to volunteers and pull together a theme on a limited budget.

Publicity Committee

Responsibilities: Responsible for publicizing event in local media, from marquees at local businesses to public service announcements on television and radio. This committee also works with the decorating committee on themed invitations and posters.  Presents the Purple Paw Award. These awards are presented annually to people and pets who show bravery and courage in the face of adversity. This committee accepts nominees chooses the winners and is responsible for presentation write-ups and organization the night of the event.

Experience needed: Public relations professional or media buyer would be a natural for this position, but anyone with good writing and phone skills and follow-through would succeed.