What To Expect
Expectations Of AWLMC Volunteers
Dedicated volunteers make up our entire organization, and we schedule their hours according to animal care needs. It is vital that volunteers show up for their shifts or let the appropriate people know when they cannot make it so that we can find a substitute.
While people come to AWLMC because they love animals, AWLMC volunteers must also be able to work well with other people. AWLMC is not just about animals—it’s about people helping animals.
For everyone’s protection, volunteers must use the safe animal handling techniques taught in their required training. Volunteers must have familiarity with and be used to handling cats.
Volunteers must have a valid ID with their current address
All tasks, from cleaning cages to stuffing envelopes, have specific procedures. Volunteers must adhere to these procedures unless a Team Lead directs them otherwise.
Once volunteers know their work routines, they are expected to work with minimal supervision. Following through on tasks ensures the animals are receiving the best possible care. Team Leads are always available to answer questions.
If you are interested in volunteering with AWLMC, please follow these steps:
- Be of age. All volunteer positions have a minimum age requirement of 18. Under 18? Check out these youth volunteer opportunities .
- Submit an online application. Go here to fill out a volunteer application and tell us a bit about yourself.
- Attend an orientation. You will learn about the volunteer positions available at AWLMC, our history and policies.
- Choose a position and shift. Look over the volunteer position descriptions to see what kinds of positions AWLMC has available.
- Make a commitment. There are some flexible options, but a one-year commitment is required for most volunteer positions. In-shelter opportunities require a minimum of one regularly scheduled, recurring shift every other week. Shifts are 1-3 hours depending on assignment.
- Once we have received your volunteer application, please be aware that a background check will be carried out before your volunteering status is confirmed.
- AWLMC cannot accommodate those seeking to fulfill court-ordered community service.
- AWLMC cannot accept any volunteers who require on-shift supervision from a job coach or caregiver.
- We rely on our volunteers to help us carry out our mission and invest significant time in their training, so dependability and long-term dedication are extremely important!
- Most correspondence between AWLMC volunteers takes place via e-mail. All volunteers are required to have an email address and check it regularly for correspondence.
- Looking for group opportunities? If you would like to volunteer as a group, be it colleagues or a community group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest in volunteering for AWLMC. We hope to meet you soon!
I am under 18 but am very mature for my age. Do you make exceptions to your minimum age rule?
For the safety of our volunteers and animals, we require that all volunteers be at least 18 years of age to volunteer without exception. However, we have other ways for young people to support the animals and learn about animal welfare. Learn more about our youth volunteering options here.
Will I have training before I start volunteering?
Yes. Each role has training sessions that cover all aspects of the volunteer role. Training is done with the team lead and other volunteers. The time it takes to complete training varies based on volunteer availability, training schedules, and the specific training needs of the volunteer role.
How often do I need to volunteer?
We require volunteers to fill a regularly scheduled shift at least once every other week. Volunteers are welcome to work more often if there is a need for shift coverage. Volunteer shifts typically range from 1-3 hours.
Why do you ask for a full year commitment?
We require volunteers to commit to a full year of volunteering on a regular schedule, in order to provide the animals in our facilities the best care and support. This requirement helps us ensure quality training and consistent volunteer coverage.
Do you have short-term, SSL, or summer volunteer positions available?
Due to limited resources and the training required for each volunteer position, we are not able to offer short-term, SSL, or summer volunteering experiences on-site. Holding a fundraiser or collecting food for Chompers Pet Food Bank are two ways to support the AWLMC for those with limited time.
I don’t have a computer or email. Can I fill out a paper application form?
We are not able to process paper applications. Additionally, the most effective way for us to communicate with volunteer applicants and our current volunteers is through online services and email. For this reason, we require that all volunteers have online access and a current email address.
Do you accept court-ordered community service hours?
We no longer accept court-ordered community service volunteers.
Interested In Fostering?
What Does A Foster Do?
Our Intake Fosters will care for an adult cat that comes from a public shelter for 2-3 weeks. This is done to make sure the incoming cat is 100% healthy before introducing it to the cats in our shelter. This time will also give the foster a chance to interact and get to know that cat. The more we know about a cat’s personality the easier it will be to find the best home for it! During this time the foster may need to take the cat to vet appointments at no cost to the foster.
Kittens Fosters are also needed and take a longer commitment. Kittens will need to be taken to the vet for their vaccinations and brought to adoption events. They need socialization and to be taught not to scratch, bite, or jump on things. Kittens will stay with their foster until they are adopted with their foster bringing them to the shelter for adoption events.
We are often asked if the foster will need to find a home for the cat or kittens being cared for. The answer is no! The AWLMC has an adoption program that finds suitable homes. Anyone interested in adopting animals from the AWLMC must go through a screening process and be approved by an adoption counselor. Any of your friends or family that are interested in adopting must go through the same adoption procedure.
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