Volunteers are the heart of Heartland Animal Shelter!

As a volunteer, you are helping Heartland Animal Shelter save thousands of unwanted cats and dogs, giving them the opportunity to find loving new homes. Your contribution of time and effort is greatly appreciated. Thank you for being a part of this important effort on behalf of companion animals. You are making a difference!

We request a volunteer commitment of eight hours a month for most volunteer positions.  Volunteer shifts are scheduled in two to four hour shifts from 9 am–1 pm, and 4 pm–7 pm during the weekdays and 9 am–4 pm on weekends.

To become a volunteer, you will need to apply and attend a new volunteer orientation.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Cat or Kitten Room Attendant: This volunteer helps to clean and organize the cat/kitten room, groom the felines in need of brushing, nail trimming, etc. and also learn all about cat behavior through participating in our enrichment program in order to improve the lives of our resident cats while ensuring each of our felines receives special care.
  • Dog Walkers: After attending a General Orientation, we invite you to mentor with one of our senior volunteers. They will teach you how the kennel operates, how to walk our dogs, enrich their lives with puzzles and toys and teach them new skills with positive reinforcement training. Last but not least there’s always the poop to pick up. It’s not the most glamorous task but a necessary part our day. Please come join our team! The dogs will thank you with lots of sloppy kisses and you won’t ever need to pay for a gym membership again.
  • Clean and Feed Team (Dog or Cat): Become a residents favorite by helping us to do our daily feeding and cleaning for our pets! You can even give the pooches a bath if you would like in our dog wash station.
  • Foster Parent: Fostering an animal in need is one of the most rewarding experiences! Sometimes pets need fostering due to health, age or temperament. Opening your home to an animal not only ensures that they will stay healthier and happier while awaiting adoption, but it saves lives by allowing us to add more animals to our program! You must first attend a new volunteer orientation to begin fostering. Once you have completed the new volunteer orientation, please email us or visit our Foster page to learn more.
  • Outreach Volunteer: If you love animals and like to educate people about adoption, become an Outreach Volunteer! This volunteer represents Heartland Animal Shelter off-site and assumes responsibility for transporting the animal to and from the shelter for adoption events.
  • Fundraising Volunteer/Event Coordinator: Like to have fun and help the animals? The fundraising committee is for you! If you are interested in joining the fundraising committee, please attend a General Volunteer Orientation and email us for more information. Heartland’s fundraising committee puts the FUN in FUNdraising!
  • Adoption Counselor (Dog or Cat): Are you a matchmaker and love working with people? Become a Cat or Dog Adoption Counselor and learn to make love connections for all of our wonderful animals waiting for a home! You will assist potential adopters in filling out adoption forms and contracts and qualify applicants for adoption. If you are a new to Heartland Animal Shelter, please attend the new volunteer orientation to become a volunteer first. If you’re already a volunteer at Heartland, please let the volunteer coordinator know you are interested in this position.
  • Heartland Greeter: If you like people and also like to talk on the phone, consider being a Heartland Greeter. This volunteer answers phones at Heartland and directs guests to and through the shelter. Currently all regular shifts are filled but are always looking for people to help fill in when needed.
  • Medical Volunteer: Do you have experience handling dogs and/or cats and want to learn more about the medical tasks involved in caring for pets? Or are you a veterinary assistant, technician or student looking to put your skills to use? We are looking for experienced volunteers to help with the medical care of our resident animals. While we will train, animal handling experience is required. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old for this role.
  • Rush Spay & Neuter Clinic Veterinarian Volunteer: We are currently looking for volunteer veterinarians to help with spays and neuters for the Heartland animals. Surgeries are performed in Heartland’s Rush-Gilbert Spay Neuter Clinic made possible by the kind and generous endowment of Sharon and Jerry Rush.
  • Grant Writers: We are always looking for experienced grant writers to help raise funds for special projects and services at Heartland.
  • Printing & Graphic Design: If you want to help the animals and you have contacts for low cost or donated printing or talent as a graphic designer please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Court Ordered Community Service: If you are assigned Court Ordered Community Service and wish to serve at Heartland Animal Shelter, contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
  • Corporate and Community Groups: If you are with a corporate or community group who would like to donate your time to Heartland Animal Shelter, please email us about opportunities we have available. We ask for a $100 donation per corporate group in order to cover the cost of staffing these important volunteer programs.

When available, paid positions are listed under Employment Opportunities.


When you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you save two lives. The animal you adopt and the one that replaces him.