Thank you for your interest in volunteering! The mission of the Volunteer Program at the Vanderburgh Humane Society is to provide a fulfilling experience to the volunteer and provide necessary assistance where needed at the shelter. Volunteers are the bread and butter of our organization and one of our most valuable resources. With your commitment and assistance, we will work together to make the organization successful in promoting animal welfare, providing public education on the proper care and treatment of animals, and giving shelter animals some much-needed love and attention.

Requirements to Volunteer

All volunteers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age (click here for activities for kids under 16!)
  • Commit a minimum of 4 hours per month long-term.*
    *If you are needing short-term opportunities for either school hours, businesses/groups, or court-ordered community service, scroll to the bottom of this page!
  • Must never have been convicted of any crimes related to sexual misconduct, assault/battery, theft, or animal- or child-related offenses such as cruelty or neglect.
  • Have an approved volunteer application on file (see below)
  • Have a valid email address
  • Attend orientation
  • Complete 2 trainings in desired area
  • Pay a $25 volunteer fee to cover the cost of your T-shirt and materials
  • Agree to follow all VHS safety and disease control protocols when interacting with animals

Volunteer Opportunities & Schedule 

We have volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas! You can help in direct animal care, such as taking dogs out to potty twice daily or cleaning cat cages. You can serve as a cashier or help price items in the resale shop. Or you can work our special events or answer phones at the front desk.

Whatever your passions and skills are, we can help match you with an area of need!

View Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Onboarding Process

Do you meet all of the above requirements? Hooray! Let's get started!

Step 1: Complete Volunteer Application & Profile 

Click the button below to fill out your initial volunteer profile in our database, Giveffect, and complete the volunteer application. Be sure you use a valid email address.

Start Your Volunteer Journey Here!

Step 2: Sign Up for Orientation

We host monthly orientations for new volunteers. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] to find out the date & time for the next one!

Step 3: Schedule Your First and Second Training

You will go through 2 full trainings in the area you choose to volunteer in.

Step 4: Begin Self-Scheduling and Volunteering!

After training... you're officially a volunteer and can begin to sign up for shifts independently, whenever you want!

Current Volunteers, Schedule Yourselves Here

Short-Term Volunteer Opportunities

High School/College Class Requirements
The VHS gets hundreds of requests each year for students wishing to complete their volunteer hours for school at our shelter. While we always appreciate volunteer help, we must train our regular animal care volunteers extensively. As a nonprofit, we are unable to devote valuable staff time and resources to train those who will only serve a few hours for a short-term project.

Occasionally we will have short-term opportunities for students at the shelter. These are not duties that deal directly with the animals, but they are still vital in helping us care for them and maintain a pleasant facility for potential adopters! 

They include tasks like:

  • Folding & putting away laundry
  • Washing windows, sweeping, & dusting
  • Dividing up pet food
  • Picking up trash

We will also allow students to organize offsite fundraisers or supply drives for our animals and apply those hours toward their project.

All of our volunteers at the shelter must be at least 16 years of age. If you would like to discuss doing short-term volunteer hours for school, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] with AT LEAST 30 DAYS' NOTICE of when your hours are due to be completed. DON’T DELAY! We have very few of these opportunities throughout the year, and they fill up quickly. VHS reserves the right to turn away help at any time and volunteer hours for classes are not guaranteed.

Businesses & Groups
If your company, fraternity/sorority, or other group would like to volunteer together, we can usually accommodate requests made at least 30 days in advance. Our group volunteer opportunities are limited to 25 people at at time. 

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] to inquire about group volunteer opportunities!

Our #1 corporate volunteer opportunity every year is our West Side Nut Club Fall Festival Booth the first full week in October! Inquire about volunteering at the Fall Festival at [email protected]

Scout Projects & Senior Projects
VHS is a popular place for local Scouts and high school seniors to complete their senior projects. While we appreciate the help and support from the community, we can only devote staff time & resources to a small number of projects each year. These projects are approved on a first-come first-served basis. Don’t procrastinate!

Some examples of current available projects are:

  • Completing landscaping on our property
  • Improvements to our Cageless Cat Lounge
  • Offsite fundraisers

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] to inquire about any available Scout projects!

Court-Ordered Community Service
The VHS accepts volunteer help from participants in the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office Pre-Trial Diversion Program and select participants from other counties. This is not part of our regular volunteer program and court-ordered community service hours are not considered “volunteer” hours, whether for personal use or for school projects.

Community service help must come to the shelter and fill out a preliminary release Tuesday-Friday from 9 am – 6 pm CST before beginning hours. The following restrictions apply:

  • All participants must be age 18+.

  • Those with charges of animal cruelty or neglect may not participate.

  • Those with charges of other offenses such as attempted murder, battery, theft, or armed robbery may not participate. VHS reserves the right to deny entry into the program for any participant. We are not a judicial court -- whether you believe you committed the crime or not, we will not accept participants charged with these offenses.

  • Community service help must provide a valid photo ID and proof of health insurance when signing up for hours.

  • Most of our community service duties at the VHS involve lifting of up to 50 lbs., scrubbing, bending, and being exposed to all types of animals. Those with allergies, fear of certain types of animals, health conditions that prevent these types of duties, or those who are pregnant are strongly encouraged to complete hours elsewhere. (Keep in mind that very few duties involve direct contact with animals. Most duties are manual labor and cleaning tasks.)

  • Community service help must devote at least 2 hours of time every day that they volunteer (for example, one cannot volunteer from 1:30-3:00. All shifts must be at least 2 hours in length. This means that all community service must be signed in by 2:30 pm daily.) 

Additional information will be provided upon enrollment. Do not delay -- if you have hours to complete, start as soon as possible. VHS reserves the right to turn away help at any time due to lack of staff or available duties for community service help. Hours are never guaranteed.

For questions regarding Community Service hours, paperwork, or other issues, please contact Cyndi Hoon Donley at 812-426-2563 ext. 206 or [email protected].