Volunteers are a critical part of the Oakland Animal Services team. Our volunteers work closely with the public, provide adoption counseling, and socialize animals.
Volunteers must have good communication skills, an ability to provide excellent customer service, and be committed to volunteering at least 2 hours a week for 6 months. If you are available to commit a significant number of hours for fewer months (e.g. 8 hours a week for 3 months), please reach out to find out if we can arrange something that works. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
Do you have a special talent or skill? Check out these opportunities below. These projects do not involve direct animal-handling and therefore do not require you to complete our volunteer training program.
Steps to become an OAS Volunteer:
- Attend an Open House (~1.5 hours). We can’t wait to tell you all the great things our volunteers are doing to help the pets and public who enter the doors at Oakland Animal Services! During the Open House we will tell you about a variety of ways volunteers are contributing to our shelter. We want to make the best match for your talents and there are so many ways to assist our team. Note: If you do not see any available “Open House” appointments please contact us at email@example.com and we will notify you when we have more openings.
- Complete a volunteer application. You will receive the application link when you attend the Open House.
- Upon receipt and review of the application you can sign up to attend a “Working with the Public Workshop” (~1.5 hours). This workshop will be an introduction to common scenarios that volunteers encounter when they are at the shelter and our volunteer team will coach you on best practices. The workshop allows both you and us to determine if you are a good fit for a volunteer program that relies on volunteers to be the public face of the shelter. This will also be an opportunity for us to determine the best way we can utilize your skills!
- Upon approval to proceed to hands-on training, you will be given the opportunity to train with a volunteer mentor to progressively add skills needed to volunteer in the chosen animal specialty. Since the shelter has a mixed population of stray, confiscated and adoptable animals, your aptitude will be evaluated during the training to ensure safety for our animals, staff and other volunteers. Trainings with mentors are two-hour sessions and you will need to successfully complete two to four sessions before you can be autonomous.
- Meet with the Volunteer Program Manager to officially join the volunteer program so you can volunteer independently.
- Volunteer regularly!
- Enjoy and tell your friends to join the team!
Other volunteer opportunities (updated December 2019):
These volunteer opportunities are for individuals or small groups (2-3 volunteers). At this time we are unable to host large groups of volunteers or youth volunteers under 18 yrs old.
- Organizing supplies:
Enjoy organizing? We could use a professional organizer to help organize our supplies (everything from leashes, collars, treats, toys, etc.). Currently we use cubbies and storage bins which are labelled, however we could use help from someone with an eye to organize things into meaningful groups and put together an organized system which our volunteers and staff can easily follow.
- Developing online training:
Are you an eLearning designer looking to volunteer your expertise? We could use your help putting together short instructional videos for our volunteers. Your work will have a huge impact in making our training process more efficient and effective.
- Videography and photography:
Professional quality photos and videos can make a big difference in how quickly our dogs, cats, and rabbits get adopted. Many of our volunteers already take great photos/videos, so at this time we are looking for additional help only from professional photographers/videographers. We could also use help with video editing on a regular basis (we take the videos and you edit).
Thank you for your interest in volunteering! Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.