Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 04-23-2019 11:54 AM

    Just wanted to touch base on large/one off volunteer groups. Quit often we get asked by companies, religious groups, etc. to come in and volunteer for a few hours. Most of the time we are scrambling to put a project together-we can only landscape or paint the walls so often! Plus many things around the shelter require training, etc. We DO want to welcome them and teach them about our mission so we believe it is important to accommodate them.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on projects they do with big groups? Process on handling big groups? Best Practices? Etc.

    Thanks in advance!


  • 2.  RE: Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 04-23-2019 11:59 AM

    We use these groups to help with enrichment.  We generally give them a quick tour (of our adoption/education center first.  Then we discuss our existing programming and how our volunteers (like them) make our shelter successful.  We usually set them up with various enrichment such as peanut butter/oat balls, biscuits/peanut butter, toilet paper tubes, small lids with wet cat food....etc.  Of Course, we generally allow them into one of our cat rooms and or have a couple of dogs to interact with them as well.  We usually rotate larger groups out at various stages to ensure everyone gets the same amount of animal exposure.


  • 3.  RE: Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 04-23-2019 01:32 PM

    Have you thought about using them as adoption ambassadors...doggie day out-type programs? So much has been said lately about the value of these programs. maybe have the volunteers take the dogs to parks, drive-thrus,, or visit their own jobs if allowed? I've only heard good things about these programs and their value for getting dogs exposed to a larger pool of adopters and giving them a change of scenery from the shelter.


  • 4.  RE: Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 04-23-2019 08:26 PM

    Our local Humane Society does a reading program. It's aimed towards kids, but honestly something like that would be a safe way to have lots of people helping with lots of dog enrichment at once. 

    Another idea- ask them if they would do a fundraiser to sell bricks for a path (the kind where people get to design them or put their names on them) and then have them lay the path. 

    Or maybe an outdoor dog wash day! 


  • 5.  RE: Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 04-28-2019 12:10 PM

    One project we've often had groups do is staffing what we call a Shop N Share. We ask a local business for permission to set up outside, and pass shopping lists to customers entering the store, asking them to pick up an extra roll of paper towels, laundry soap, dog treats, or whatever supplies we are in need of. When the shopper leaves, they can drop off their donated item with the volunteers at the entrance. At the end of the day, all the donated items are loaded up and taken back to the shelter. It has been a pretty good way to encourage donations of items we might otherwise have to buy, and many stores are pretty open to the idea, since they don't have to do much and it means people spend more money.


  • 6.  RE: Large Volunteer Groups-Need Ideas!

    Posted 08-13-2019 01:47 PM

    We just have them help with the morning clean. We try to make it on a Saturday morning so we have enough staff to supervise them. Honestly a lot of them end up working for a couple of hours and then wandering around taking selfies with puppies, but most of them are corporate offices for our shelter so I think they like the opportunity to do some physical work.