Frequently Asked Questions About Volunteering at St. Hubert’s
How old to I have to be to volunteer with the animals?
You must be at least 18 years of age before you can walk the dogs, work in the cat room, or otherwise have contact with the animals (either shelter animals or those who attend Doggy Day Camp or our dog training classes). We apologize for the restriction, but issues related to insurance force us to impose this requirement. However, if you are at least 16 years of age you can work as a kennel assistant (cleaner). Please see below.
If I’m under 18, can I still volunteer with the animals if I work alongside a parent or other adult?
Sorry, no. But there are other ways you can help. See below.
If I’m under 18, what jobs can I do?
If you are at least 16 years of age you can work as a kennel assistant (cleaner). You can also work at some of our special events. For example, if you are at least 15 years of age you could be a “scooper” at the ice cream socials. You can ask your friends, relatives, neighbors, and classmates if they’d like to donate things such as blankets, towels, dog toys, bags of kitty litter, etc. These donations are very helpful to us, since we use an enormous amount of supplies every year. You and your family can also help with foster care.
Are students allowed to volunteer?
Yes, we welcome college students who are at least 18 years of age. College students are generally qualified to be kennel assistants (cleaners in the kennel and/or cattery), work in our Doggy Day Camp, help with special events, or do clerical work (as needed basis). Most other jobs require additional training and are usually not available for temporary (summer only) volunteers. However, there is more flexibility for college students who live locally and commit to at least six months to do other jobs such as walking dogs. Students who are at least 16 years of age can work as kennel assistants and help with special events.
Do you offer a summer-only volunteer program?
Yes, please see above for students. Summer volunteers are generally welcome as kennel assistants (16 years +) and Doggy Day Camp counselors (18 years +). In order to qualify for summer volunteer work, we need to receive your volunteer application in JUNE.
Are there any other requirements for volunteering?
You should be able to read and communicate well enough to follow instructions. You should get along well with others, because you may have to work closely with staff members or other volunteers. But you should also have the ability to work independently – without close supervision.
Dog-walkers need to be healthy and reasonably strong, since many of the shelter dogs pull hard when they are on a leash. Kennel assistants and Doggy Day Camp counselors also need to be healthy since the jobs can be physically demanding.
If you are taking immuno-suppressive drugs, you should check with your doctor before you start volunteering.
Do you have a foster care program?
Yes, and the whole family can help with this rewarding job! We’re always looking for people who can provide temporary care and housing to young or ill animals. The animals would live with you for a period of a few weeks until they can be returned to St. Hubert’s for adoption. You don’t need to attend a volunteer orientation session in order to do foster care. Contact the volunteer office for more information 973-514-5920.
What jobs area available for people who want to come in and work with the animals at St. Hubert’s?
There are a variety of animal care and office jobs available. You can read some brief descriptions of St. Hubert’s volunteer opportunities on our job description page.
Are there any jobs that do not involve contact with animals?
Yes! We need help with various clerical or administrative-type duties as well. We also need volunteer help at our special events. More information on non-animal related jobs is available on our job description page.
Is there a minimum time commitment?
Yes. If you have an animal-care job, we request that you agree to volunteer for at least two hours/week for at least six months. You’re welcome to work more hours if your schedule allows. We apologize for imposing such stringent requirements. Our staff and existing volunteers invest substantial time and effort into training new “recruits”. Having a large turnover puts a strain on everyone involved.
Please consider whether or not you are able to honor this commitment before completing the application. We do make an exception to the 6 month commitment for students who are home for the summer and wish to work as kennel assistants (16 years +) or in Doggy Day Care (18 years +).
Can I drop in and work whenever I have time?
No, we ask that people adhere to a regular schedule (for example, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday). Of course, we assume that you will occasionally be forced to miss your shift as a result of vacations, doctors’ appointments, etc. However, we do ask that you make a good-faith effort to follow your schedule whenever possible.
Are there exceptions to the rules about time commitment and keeping a regular schedule?
Yes. Foster care is performed in your home, so there is no particular schedule. Event help is done on an as needed basis. Some of the other non-animal care jobs are also more flexible about time commitments. Ask us for details.
Does your volunteer program cover court-ordered community service?
No, we generally do not provide court-ordered community service. We may make exceptions for minor traffic violations. Call the volunteer office with questions.
What if I need to do a certain number of hours for school?
You may be scheduled to help with a special event. You can do this without attending a volunteer orientation session. Advance notice is required.
You can also organize a drive to gather items such as blankets, towels, dog toys, bags of kitty litter, etc. These donations are very helpful to us, since we use an enormous amount of supplies every year. For additional opportunities, and for younger children, please see our “kid’s packet"
How do I set my schedule?
Once you have completed our New Volunteer Orientation session, the staff will with work with you to determine a mutually acceptable schedule.
What are the hours during which volunteers can work?
Work hours depend upon the job that you are doing and are covered in our Volunteer Orientations. For example, kennel assistants (cleaners in dog kennel and cattery) work from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. every morning. On-site volunteer jobs are only done when staff are working at the shelter generally between the hours of 9am and 7pm daily.
Okay, I’d love to help! What’s the next step?
Please fill out our online application, and we will contact you. We generally hold New Volunteer Orientation Sessions at both Madison and North Branch once a month.
If you have questions, please contact our volunteer office at 973.514.5920.