Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer member of a team that saves the lives of over 7,000 animals annually!

We depend on our volunteers for many crucial tasks, and it is our goal at the Humane Society of Utah to provide a fulfilling volunteer experience for each volunteer. Volunteer opportunities allow our volunteers to work side-by-side with staff as we work to save the lives of more than 7,000 homeless pets each year.

volunteer with happy dog

How old do you have to be to volunteer?

Our volunteer program starts at 12 years old. Volunteers 12-15 must have an adult that joins the volunteer program with them. They will attend all training and shifts together, working side-by-side as a volunteer duo. Volunteers 16 and older can volunteer by themselves. For safety reasons we are not able to make exceptions for volunteer ages, but kids under 12 can help in other ways.

Why are volunteers so important?

Volunteers assist us every day as we work tirelessly to provide for the animals in our care.

  • They provide direct animal support
  • Help educate our community
  • Provide support for our staff
  • Assist in fundraising efforts
  • Help complete important projects throughout the shelter
  • Help showcase our adoptable animals
  • Assist with events
  • And much more!

Our volunteers donate more than 20,000 hours each year, allowing us to save more lives.

What kind of Volunteer Programs do we offer?

We offer volunteer opportunities for a variety of needs, including general volunteer opportunities, event volunteeringcourt-ordered community service, and civil and corporate group volunteer projects. We even have a reading program for our younger supporters! If you are interested in learning more about joining the Utah Humane Society Volunteer Program, please read our Volunteer Program FAQ’s.

dog shaking with volunteer

To get started

Go to the Humane Society of Utah Volunteerhub to create your new volunteer account. Once you have created your account, you will have access to sign up to attend a New Volunteer Safety Training and Orientation. Please read this entire page (including Frequently Asked Questions).

Court-Ordered Community Service

To get started as a court-ordered community service volunteer at the Humane Society of Utah, you will first need to contact our Volunteer Department. We will email you back with a link to our court-ordered community service information page (please allow 2-3 business days for a response) where you will need to create a volunteer account and schedule to attend one of our bi-monthly court-ordered community service orientations. 

Court-Ordered Community Service Requirements:

  • Interested community service volunteers must attend an orientation and have their charges approved before starting their volunteer work.
  • The minimum age for court-ordered community service volunteers at Utah Humane is sixteen (16) years old. 
  • You MUST bring your court documents with you to your scheduled orientation. We will not accept charges that are violent, sexual, or animal-related. We will accept drug or theft charges provided they are Class B or C Misdemeanors only.

Thank you for your interest in getting your family involved in supporting Utah’s homeless pets. Due to the nature of our work here, our volunteer program minimum age is 12 years old (supervised by an adult), but that doesn’t mean that our younger supports can’t get involved. Here are some ideas that you can do as a family to help the animals at Utah Humane:

  • Read to cats – bring in a few of your favorite books and spend some time reading to the cats in our colony rooms. This is great socialization for our cats, especially the shy ones. Please check in with our Adoptions staff when you arrive to read to the cats. Kitty City is open to the public every day, 10-7. Please note: kids under 16 must be supervised by an adult while reading to the cats.
  • Organize a donation drive – work together as a family to organize a food/donation drive. Because we are a local, private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, we rely on the generosity of our community to help provide the daily supplies we need to operate our facility and care for the thousands of homeless animals we receive each year. You can organize a donation drive to help us gather the supplies used every day here at the shelter. View our Donation Wish List to give you an idea of the types of supplies that can help.
  • DIY treats and toys – make healthy treats in your own home to share with the adoptable animals. Here are some recipes to get you started.

Contact our volunteer department for booking and inquiries.

What do volunteers do?

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities here. The most common volunteer need we have is for cat, dog, and small animal care, where volunteers are trained to work directly with our adoptable animals. We often also have volunteer opportunities for special events, greeting patrons, office work assistance, and more.

Is there a commitment required to volunteer?

Yes, depending on the volunteer position. We believe it’s essential that all of our volunteers receive complete training to work safely with the animals here. This is why we have each of our animal care volunteers complete a 2-hour orientation and two 2-hour training shifts. Due to the amount of staff time, we dedicate to training our volunteers, we ask our animal care volunteers to commit to a weekly 2-hour shift for 6 months. Greeters, behavior volunteers, and other positions that work hands-on with the animals also have this requirement. Other opportunities such as housekeeping and volunteering at our events don’t require extra training so they only have the commitment of the shift(s) you sign up for. 

Can I just stop by and volunteer for a few hours if I have some free time?

To make sure that all of our volunteers have the knowledge to interact with the animals here in a way that is safe for both them and the animals, we are not able to offer impromptu one-time volunteer opportunities.   

Why is there a $20 fee to volunteer with you?

It takes a lot of money to offer a volunteer program, including staff salaries, paying for the volunteer database, volunteer supplies, volunteer t-shirts, etc. The $20 t-shirt and application fee helps us to offset the cost of running the volunteer program allowing more money to go directly to caring for the animals. 

Can I complete my Court Ordered Community Service hours there?

We are happy to offer a Court-Ordered Community Service Volunteer Program. We are approved to take most Class B and C misdemeanors, except any charges relating to violence, animal cruelty, or sexual in nature. Please click here for additional information and sign-up instructions for our Court-Ordered Community Service Program. Please note, there is no fee for this program. 

My child is under 12 and wants to help the animals, what can they do?

See “Youth Supporter Opportunities“.

How do I set up a group volunteer opportunity for my school, workplace, or community group?

There are three ways for community or school groups to get involved. We offer onsite group volunteer projects which include a tour of our adoption center and a project, such as landscaping or assisting with donations. We also offer offsite opportunities, such as making kuranda-style beds or toys for the animals. Once you have completed the project we set up a time to have your group come in to drop it off and go on a tour of our adoption center. Please note, if you want to do a project that requires supplies such as making DIY toys, blankets, or kuranda-style beds, we can supply instructions but you would be responsible for providing the supplies. For more information or to schedule a group volunteer opportunity please contact our volunteer department. Our Humane Education Department also offers virtual education presentations for youth school and community groups at no charge. Contact us for more information or to schedule a presentation.

What if volunteering isn’t the right fit for me but I still want to help the animals?

Don’t worry! Volunteering is just one of the many ways that you can get involved and help save lives. You could try fostering a pet, which allows you to open up your home to an animal in need. You can donate money or supplies from our wish list, such as food, treats, cat litter, toys, and other goods that help us to provide the best care for pets in the shelter. Sharing our adoptable pets on your social media channels can also help us to find homes for animals while helping to educate people on the importance of adoption. However you chose to help, we appreciate your support!