Volunteer opportunities and application process

Volunteer holding orange tabby kitten

Animal lovers who are interested in lending their time and talents as an Animal Humane Society volunteer must complete a four-step process. The process is the same for both in-shelter and foster volunteer applicants.

Application process

Step 1:  Please watch this video before completing your volunteer application. Some of the topics covered in the video will be discussed during your volunteer interview.

Video URL

Step 2: Submit your application.

Step 3: After you’ve completed the application, you’ll be instructed to schedule a virtual interview with a Volunteer Services Coordinator.

Step 4: Attend your virtual interview. Our Volunteer Services Team will contact you shortly after to discuss next steps.

Volunteer roles at AHS

Transport drivers

AHS is looking for two individuals to support our transport efforts by transferring animals from out-of-state shelter partners back to Minnesota where they have a better chance of being adopted or can receive specialized treatment.

This role is only available to paired individuals who can commit to volunteering together as a co-driving team. We are not looking for solo drivers, drivers seeking to be paired with another driver, or pairs made up of a driver and supporting passenger.

Important details: 

  • Volunteers must be able to lift up to 50 pounds on their own.
  • This role is primarily a loading and driving role. Once animals are loaded onto the vans, transport back to AHS is non-stop, except for very short breaks.
  • Individuals in this role must have a clean driving record, be able to drive an AHS cargo van comfortably for 36-54 hours round-trip, including overnight, with only limited, short stops.
  • Trips will include a short hotel stay near the source site before loading and returning to AHS. Hotel and daily food allowances are provided by AHS.
  • Volunteers will transport once per month.

Curious what a day looks like for an AHS transport driver? Read more.

If you're interested in this unique volunteer opportunity, or if you have any questions, please contact us now.

Foster volunteering 

Through Animal Humane Society's foster program, thousands of animals have received special care before getting a second chance at life. More than 2,000 animals who come to AHS each year need foster care before they are ready to find new homes, and this need continues to increase.

Volunteer applications for potential fosters who can provide medical and behavioral care for dogs are now open. Learn more.

In-shelter volunteer opportunities

Foundational roles

Foundational roles allow people to offer their time and talents to AHS without having to commit to long-term volunteering or specific shifts. New volunteers in these roles do not work directly with animals and are required to complete a brief training. All first-time AHS volunteers assist with tasks like cleaning food and water dishes, doing laundry, greeting shelter visitors, preparing Kongs and more.

Foundational volunteers receive:

  • Thorough online training
  • Brief in-shelter training during first shift
  • Flexible scheduling ― volunteers can pick up shifts as they go

Due to the high number of applications we're currently processing, we are no longer accepting new applicants. To be notified when applications open once again, please provide your name and contact information here.

notify me when applications open

Mid-level and advanced roles

Mid-level and advanced roles are animal-handling roles available to existing volunteers who are interested in other ways to support AHS. Onboarding and training for these roles is more comprehensive as they involve animal handling and advanced customer service knowledge.

After providing a minimum number of service hours, volunteers may apply to mid-level or advanced volunteer role. There is no external application process for mid-level and advanced volunteer roles. 

Group volunteer opportunities

Animal Humane Society depends on thousands of volunteers each year to help us provide quality care to animals in need. However, we are unable to accommodate volunteer groups in our shelters.

Your group can support our work and the animals in our care by coordinating and participating in offsite group service projects (like making toys, collecting and donating items from our “wish list,” or holding a fundraiser). 


Questions about volunteering at Animal Humane Society? See our Volunteer FAQ. If you have any questions or concerns during the application process that are not answered in the FAQs, please contact us.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline