“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” – Sherry Anderson
If you have a passion for animals, and would like to help Belleville Area Humane Society save lives, join our volunteer team!
Being a volunteer is extremely rewarding, educational and fun. The impact that you can have on our animals and our community is huge.
Our amazing volunteers help at adoption and fundraising events, socialize with the animals, assist with transports, help our team keep the facilities clean, provide outreach services to pet owners, help create animal enrichment activities and foster animals, help our facilities look their absolute best, and aid with a variety of other volunteer opportunities in support of homeless animals, communities and pet owners of St. Clair County.
Become A Volunteer
The first step in becoming a BAHS volunteer is to complete our volunteer application. Our volunteer coordinator will reach out to you and get you scheduled for either our online or onsite orientation and a tour of the shelter.
FOSTER AN ANIMAL
Fosters are a vital component of the overall health of our shelter and also help teach important social skills to new animals. They ensure the health of our very young population, which is especially susceptible to disease, by housing them outside the shelter environment. In addition, older animals may rest easier in foster care rather than in a noisy shelter environment. Fostering provides an important milestone for our animals on the way to their forever home. A special application is required to participate as a member of this team. Fosters are asked to bring their animals to the shelter for medical checks/shots as well as help promote their animals by providing updated photos and biographical information, using social media to promote the animal’s adoption and attending adoption events where the animals can be seen in a public setting.
For more information about fostering please call the shelter at 618-235-3712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adoption Event Team
Individuals serve as animal handlers who must be in full control of their assigned animal during the event to include ensuring safe interactions with other animals and the public at the event and giving the animal a break if it appears stressed. Additional volunteers on the team share information regarding BAHS outreach programs, like the pet resource pantry, low-cost spay or neuter and vaccination clinics, dog training classes, etc. Team members are responsible for transportation of the animal they are assigned to and from the event in their own vehicle. Team members must have completed the dog handler training session to be an event handler and must be knowledgeable about the Belleville Area Humane Society and our programs.
Animal Socialization Team – Cat
Volunteers on the cat socialization team interact with our kittens and cats at the shelter. They pet, brush, hold, and play with the animals to provide human contact until they move to their fur-ever homes. Team members will also be asked to participate in creating enrichment activities to help make the most of the animals’ time at the shelter.
Animal Socialization Team – Dog
Individuals on the dog socialization team primarily walk dogs around the shelter grounds. Volunteers must complete the dog handler training session in order to walk dogs or take a dog off-site for enrichment activities like Dog Day Out, scheduled nursing home visits, or sleepovers. After completing the handler class, volunteers walk dogs identified as beginner-level dogs to start. Individuals must complete certain volunteer jumpstart programs before being able to participate in the dog handler training session. Experienced dog handlers may be asked to participate in enrichment activities, such as playgroups and dog training.
Did you know that you can earn money for BAHS, just by dog walking? Just download the WoofTrax app and support BAHS while walking your dogs or ours!
Animal Transport Team
There are times when BAHS needs to transport one of our animals off-site for a veterinary procedure or grooming appointment. Volunteers on this team are responsible for transporting an animal to the appointment and back to the shelter using their own vehicle.
Cleaning Team – Cat
Team members clean cat and kitten condos which includes scooping litter boxes and replacing with additional litter as needed, shaking out or replacing dirty or wet linens, sweeping and mopping in either Kitty Corner or the Kitten Room, and ensuring that the room is ready to welcome visitors before the shelter opens at noon.
Cleaning Team – Dog
Team members assist staff in removing linens, toys, and food bowls from the previous day. They may be asked to scoop poop inside and outside dog kennels before spraying the kennels with our cleaning agent. Finally, they may be asked to help reset animal spaces including blankets, beds, rugs and toys. For safety reasons, volunteers will not be asked to be in spaces containing animals as they clean.
Cleaning Team – General Shelter
Volunteers who assist with general shelter cleaning will help with washing/drying/folding laundry, washing dishes, emptying trash and recycling, as well as cleaning bathrooms, adoption rooms and public areas. They may also be asked to assist with pet waste removal in common yards or pick up trash around the property.
Community Education Team
Individuals on this team help spread the word about the great work BAHS does. They may be asked to represent BAHS at youth education opportunities like school visits, lead a session of our summer Youth Volunteer Program, and share humane education information in a variety of settings. Community education volunteers must be knowledgeable about the Belleville Area Humane Society and our programs.
Community Outreach Team
Team members are part of a mighty force of people helping to provide low-cost programs and resources to community members who need that help to keep their beloved pet at home with them. Volunteers may assist in team canvassing of target neighborhoods with information, staff one of many low-cost spay/neuter or vaccination clinics offered throughout the year or help prepare supplies to be given out through our pet resource pantry. Individuals may also help with our efforts to work with caretakers to trap/neuter/return community/feral cats to their colonies to ensure lower populations and better health. Please note, the Belleville Area Humane Society supports keeping pets with their families. Community Outreach Team volunteers must be able to interact with community members in a supportive and non-judgemental manner.
Individuals on the event team help BAHS staff and event chairs organize and conduct fundraising events including the annual Race For Rescues 5K, Bags for Wags, Wine For Whiskers, Howl’oween Pet Parade & Costume Contest, and a host of other events which help raise money to operate the shelter. Team members sign up for tasks and shifts based on each individual event’s volunteer needs which could include set up, clean up, registration, check in, material preparations, etc.
Front Desk/Office Team
Team members assist on a variety of tasks needed to help make BAHS run smoothly. Volunteers assist with getting donor letters in the mail weekly, answering phones as needed, data entry, assembling adoption information packets and adoption bags, making copies and scanning, ensuring our T-shirt shelves are neat and orderly and working on special projects as needed.
Site Maintenance Team
Individuals on this team provide basic facility repairs. Volunteer jobs include gutter cleaning, mowing and weed-eating in the summer, raking leaves in the fall, helping with landscaping and tree trimming, picking up trash from around the property, maintaining walking paths and other important functions that help the shelter operate at full speed.
Children must be 13 to volunteer at the shelter with a parent and 16 to volunteer at the shelter independently. Youth groups can visit the shelter for 1 hour tours. Groups must be 10 children or fewer and have at least 2 adult chaperones with them. Please email volunteer@bahspets for more information.
Junior Volunteer Program:
Please check out our BAHS Youth Volunteering page on Facebook! We have activities and stories for children as part of Facebook Live Streams on Fridays at 2pm. Please join us!
Projects to do at home:
- Have a lemonade stand, garage sale, or bake sale that benefits BAHS
- Create an adoption poster for one of our dogs or cats. Just call the shelter for pictures and information about one of our adoptable animals.
- Collect donations at your birthday party. To see a list of items we need at the shelter go to our Amazon Wish List.
- Make homemade dog treats or cat enrichment toys. There are many recipes and ideas online!
- Earn money for BAHS by walking your dog using the Woof Trax app.
Projects to do at school:
- Ask your principal if your school can participate in Pennies for Pets. The classes or grades in your school can compete to raise the most change for BAHS. Email email@example.com for more details.
- Your class can make homemade dog treats or cat enrichment toys. There are many recipes and ideas online!