Saving the lives of companion animals through
rescue, adoption, and spay/neuter

Volunteer Program

We need you and so do the animals!

volunteer1TAILS Humane Society offers a variety of exciting opportunities designed to provide the best quality of life for homeless animals in our care. We offer opportunities to work directly with our animals and also opportunities that are “behind the scenes”. Examples include fundraising event committee members or administrative support roles. TAILS utilizes Volunteers Monday-Sunday from 7AM-close, including holidays. Your Volunteer time, regardless of your interest or assignment, will directly impact our rate of success.


Volunteer Opportunities

TAILS Pals

Children aged 5 – 15 years can become part of the TAILS Pals program. For safety reasons, TAILS Pals must be accompanied by an adult Volunteer (18+) who will submit their own volunteer application and attend the Volunteer Orientation session, training, and accompany the TAILS Pals for all volunteer assignments at the shelter and/or events. There will be some restricted Volunteer activity for this age group. All TAILS Pals are asked to contribute a $10 fee to offset the cost of their Volunteer shirt, name badge, and printed materials.

Junior Volunteers

Teenagers aged 16-17 years can become part of the TAILS Junior Volunteers program. TAILS Junior Volunteers may volunteer unaccompanied by an adult Volunteer, but must have their application signed by a parent/legal guardian (18+). All TAILS Junior Volunteers are asked to contribute a $15 fee to offset the cost of their Volunteer shirt, name badge, and printed materials.

Adult Volunteers

Adults aged 18 years or older can become part of the TAILS Adult Volunteer program. Adult Volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application and Release of Liability and are asked to contribute a $20 fee to offset the cost of their Volunteer shirt, name badge and printed materials.

Community Service Volunteers

Adult aged 18 years or older assigned to TAILS to complete court-ordered community service hours. All CRS Volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application and Release of Liability and are required to contribute a $20 fee to offset the cost of their Volunteer shirt, name badge and printed materials.


How Volunteers Can Help

It will be important that you have the appropriate availability to commit to the opportunity you choose. After you decide what you’d like to be involved in at TAILS, you will be asked to attend training to further learn and understand how you will be helping TAILS.

Adoption Greeters and Assistants (Adult Volunteers Only)

These highly trained Volunteers are integral to the adoption program at TAILS Humane Society. They provide exceptional customer service to shelter visitors by greeting and answering general questions and support the TAILS Adoption Counselor in guiding potential adopters through the beginning stages of the adoption process and other shelter procedures.

Commitment: 3-5 hours each shift, at least once monthly. Volunteers must be available for the entire shift.

Availability: Friday evenings 4pm – 7:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Dog Walking (Junior and Adult Volunteers Only)

Volunteers will ensure the shelter dogs receive at least the minimum recommended number of walks/exercise each day and will better prepare the shelter dogs for adoption/transition into their new homes. We have two types of dog walkers at TAILS:

  • Animal Care Shift Dog Walkers: These Volunteers will assist with a morning or evening animal care shift. The dogs will be walked, following TAILS handling procedures, outside while a Volunteer or staff member cleans the dog run or cage.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am – 11am, Monday-Sunday 3:30pm – Close

  • Dog Socializing Walkers: These Volunteers will assist with an afternoon shift only. The dogs will be walked for a longer period of time and the focus will be on basic behaviors and releasing energy through exercise and rest/relaxation.

Commitment: 2 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 1pm – 3pm

Dog Care (Junior and Adult Volunteers Only, CRS friendly)

Volunteers will assist TAILS animal care staff in ensuring the dog and puppy cages/runs are properly cleaned and sanitized and properly setup in accordance with TAILS Humane Society policies and procedures. Volunteers will also assist with providing proper dietary requirements.

Commitment: 3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am -11am, Monday-Sunday 3:30pm – Close

Dog Socializing (No age restrictions)

Volunteers will assist TAILS Animal Care Staff in ensuring the shelter dogs receive quality, individual attention, assist in making the dogs more adoptable and to help reduce stress among shelter dogs. Volunteers will aid in increasing dog enrichment through Kong stuffing/distributing and rest and relaxation practices.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am -11am, Monday-Sunday 4pm – Close

Dog Mentoring (Junior and Adult Volunteers Only)

Dog Mentors work with our dog candidates at TAILS, teaching them basic obedience, socialization and good citizenship, providing them with the tools to adjust more quickly into a new adoptive family. This reduces the time they are at the shelter and increases their likelihood of being adopted. Dog Mentors will use positive reinforcement and clicker training techniques according to TAILS policies and procedures. Dog Mentors will also be expected to assist with a monthly Dog Care shift.

Commitment: 1-2 hours each week, min. 8 hours each month, this includes a monthly Dog Care shift

Availability: Must be available during the TAILS obedience class hours for training and availability during shelter operation hours for mentoring

Cat Care (Junior and Adult Volunteers Only, CRS friendly)

Volunteers will assist TAILS animal care staff with cleaning and setting up cat/kitten cages/rooms according to TAILS policies and procedures and to provide proper daily dietary requirements.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am -11am

Cat Care Feeding (No age restrictions, CRS friendly)

Volunteers will assist TAILS animal care staff with providing proper daily dietary requirements according to TAILS policies and procedures.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 3:30pm – Close

Cat Socializers (No age restrictions)

Volunteers will assist in ensuring the shelter cats/kittens receive quality, individual attention, to assist in making TAILS cats/kittens more adoptable and to reduce stress among shelter cats/kittens. Volunteers will aid in increasing cat enrichment through making/distributing Catsicles and other socializing practices.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am -11am, Monday-Sunday 3:30pm – Close

Little Critters Care (Junior and Adult Volunteers Only, CRS friendly)

Volunteers will assist TAILS animal care staff with cleaning and setting up Little Critters cages according to TAILS policies and procedures and to provide proper daily dietary requirements.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am -11am, Monday-Sunday 3:30pm-Close

Little Critters Socializing (No age restrictions)

Volunteers will assist in ensuring the shelter Little Critters receive quality, individual attention, to assist in making TAILS Little Critters more adoptable and to reduce stress among shelter Little Critters. Volunteers will aid in increasing enrichment through proper socializing practices.

Commitment:  2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7am-11am, Monday-Sunday 3:30pm-Close

Foster Volunteers (Adult Volunteers Only)

Volunteers provide care and housing for animals including puppies, kittens, injured/ill adults and behaviorally challenged animals.  It is important that Foster Volunteers be able to keep foster animals away from their own animals, at least until it can be determined that neither poses a threat to the other with regard to disease transmission and behavioral concerns.

Commitment: 2-3 weeks at minimum

Availability: Dependent upon type of fostering, but generally someone with a consistent schedule

Brooms and Brushes (No age restrictions, CRS friendly)

Volunteers aid in general shelter duties, including but not limited to, washing windows, sweeping and mopping, cleaning dishes, rotating laundry, cleaning and sanitizing hard plastic items, organizing and cleaning shelter rooms, refilling water bowls throughout the shelter, spot cleaning dog/puppy runs, opening and shredding newspaper, organizing donations, emptying the garbage and recycling, etc.

Commitment: 2-3 hours each shift, 6 hours each month

Availability: Monday-Sunday 7AM-Close

Events/Fundraising (Age restrictions may apply)

There are a number of events that occur throughout the year, designed to help fund the efforts of TAILS Humane Society.  Volunteers will assist with event setup, tasks during the event and also with tear down after the events. Events include: Barb City on Tap, Tropical TAILS Auction Gala, Mutt Strut and Walkathon, Pumpkin Fest, Intersection Collection, Jingle Paws, offsite adoption events, and community outreach events.

Volunteer Committees (Adult Volunteers Only)

Skills-based Volunteers or those looking to gain experience can join TAILS Event Committees to help plan fundraising events from inception to completion. Those looking to gain work experience can build their resume by joining a committee. TAILS also utilizes Marketing Volunteers to assist with graphic design, website design, social media, newsletter writing/editing, etc.


Ready To Get Started?

Contact Nicole Brokaw, Director of Volunteers and Outreach, to discuss the volunteer onboarding process. You will receive a volunteer screening in addition to your application that will need to be completed prior to being approved to join the volunteer program.

After approving your application, TAILS will invite you to join a Volunteer Orientation session. Please bring your complete application and volunteer fee to orientation. Please do not leave it at the shelter beforehand.

After you have completed orientation, Nicole will work with you to schedule your training. After you’ve completed training, you will be able to schedule shifts to come in and volunteer.

Have questions or would like to request a volunteer application?

Read about our FAQs or contact Nicole at nbrokaw@tailshumanesociety or 815-758-2457 ext. 103. 

Thank you so much for your interest in volunteering at TAILS!

Announcements

Dog Training Canceled Sat Apr 30

We'll be using the Training and Veterinary Center for Comcast Cares Day.  See you May 7th!

Adoption Event at DeKalb Petco!

Thank you to everyone to came out to the adoption event last weekend!  32 animals spend Sunday night in their new homes after being adopted from Petco or the shelter!

Volunteers Needed for Comcast Cares Day

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 30, and volunteer at TAILS! We have been chosen as this year's local non-profit partner for Comcast Cares Day. Anyone in the community can volunteer their time for a few hours in the 
morning to do spring cleaning and organizing the entire shelter. There will be a fun project for kids as well. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Plus, you'll receive a free t-shirt for pitching in and helping out. Click here for more information and to register.comcast-cares-logo

   Last updated 4/26/16