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SBHS Volunteer Information & Opportunities
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Santa Barbara Humane Society! We are currently accepting applications for future volunteer needs.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. We are looking for long-term volunteers who can come visit with the dogs or cats several times per month and can commit to being an active volunteer for at least four to six months.
Your attendance at an Orientation meeting is the first step in volunteering for the Humane Society and is a requirement for all volunteer applicants. The Orientation provides you with information about the Santa Barbara Humane Society and the volunteer program, available volunteer opportunities, a brief overview of animal handling and safety procedures, and a tour of the facilities. We strive to provide you with adequate information so you are aware of the time commitment and may make an informed decision to become a volunteer.
As our volunteer needs arise, you will be contacted when the next Volunteer Orientation is scheduled. At Orientation you will need to purchase a volunteer shirt for $5 cash. This cost helps offset the administrative cost of the volunteer program. Volunteers also receive a name tag.
Orientation takes 1.5 hours. Volunteers will learn how to work with dogs and cats at Level One of Open Paw. From this point forward, volunteers will be cleared to do Level One Open Paw.
After a volunteer has completed 10 hours of Level One of Open Paw, they will be eligible to take the test to pass to Level Two of Open Paw. There are four levels total.
- If you have questions, please email [email protected]
Canine Companion Volunteers - Learn More
Canine Companion Volunteers
Each time they visit, volunteers choose from a pre-selected set of dogs to work with that day. Dogs are taken one at a time to one of the exercise yards where they are allowed off-leash. The volunteers may brush or play with the dogs, throw a ball, and allow them to sniff and explore. Playing with the volunteers in the exercise yard will teach the dogs that going to the yard is fun. When a potential adopter visits with them in a yard, they will be responsive and excited to interact, which will increase their chance of finding a new home. Because most potential adopters appreciate a well-trained dog, volunteers are also asked to reinforce the training the dogs have received from the Canine Behaviorist.
The first session will be spent with a Canine Behaviorist learning safe techniques for entering dog kennels and proper on-leash handling techniques of the dogs. The Canine Behaviorist may ask to meet with a volunteer again for additional training and he/she will want to help choose the dogs to be walked the first few times.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Canine Companions must have a love of dogs and the ability to maintain control of a dog. They must be willing to follow Humane Society procedures, especially the safety rules, which will be discussed during orientation and training.
You will be making a very significant difference in the life of a dog that, through no fault of its own, finds itself living in an animal shelter. You will get to know some really nice dogs and they will be excited to see you each time you come. When a dog you have walked gets adopted, you can be proud that your efforts helped to keep it socialized and temperamentally sound.
Cat Companion Volunteers - Learn More
Cat Companion Volunteers
Volunteers select the cats to work with from a list of the adoption cats. They try to visit the cats that have had the fewest visits that week. Cats are taken out one at a time to the Cat Visitation Room where they are allowed to stretch, scratch the scratching posts, and explore. The volunteers are encouraged to play with the cats so they will get some exercise and to brush them so they will look their best for potential adopters. Some cats are extremely shy when they first arrive here, especially those who have lived indoors in a quiet home with few visitors. It is important that these cats learn to be comfortable around different people in order to increase their chances of finding a new home.
The first session will be spent with the Volunteer Coordinator learning safe techniques of removing cats from cages and proper handling techniques. Some volunteers may need additional help until they begin to feel comfortable with the cats and the cats begin to become more relaxed with the volunteer.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Cat Companion volunteers must have a love of cats and be able to handle them safely. They must be willing to follow Humane Society procedures, especially the safety rules, which will be discussed during orientation and training.
You will be making a very significant difference in the life of a cat that, through no fault of its own, finds itself living in an animal shelter. You will get to know some really nice cats and they will be happy to see you each time you visit them. When a cat you have worked with gets adopted, you can be proud that your efforts helped to keep it socialized and temperamentally sound.
Interested in Volunteering?
This is NOT for Community Work Service (CWS). If you are interested in earning hours for court-ordered CWS, email [email protected]