Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Animal Services, located in Olympia, WA!
Animal Services looks for dedicated, long-term volunteers. When we have openings for volunteers, we will have an orientation.
What does a volunteer do?
Adoption Room Helpers: Most volunteers spend their time working with the animals in cat and dog adoption. The top priorities for all volunteers in these areas are to help visitors safely interact with the animals and to keep the animals’ environment healthy and clean.
Other opportunities in our adoption areas include socializing, walking, grooming and matching adopters with the right pet. The longer you volunteer (allowing us to get to know your skills better), the more options we can provide.
Lobby Greeter: These volunteers are the first point of contact for people coming in the door – answering basic questions and directing visitors to the appropriate place. Lobby Greeters need to be outgoing and comfortable greeting new people. They need to be 14 plus years old, and able to stand for most of their 2-2.5 hour shift. Greeters sign up for a weekly Tuesday-Friday shift (9:30-11, 11-1, 1-3, 3-5:30) or a bi-weekly Saturday shift (9:30-12, 12-2, 2-4).
NEW POSITION – Wildlife Transport Volunteer:
We receive injured and orphaned wildlife at the Shelter and we need to send those animals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators, almost all of whom are out of our area. We are looking for adult volunteers who are interested in helping transport these animals from Animal Services to the rescues, most likely in Graham and Lynnwood.
This is an on-call position and there are no set shifts or required minimum hours. Once we have transport volunteers on board, we will send out an email/text to the group to let them know that we have an animal who needs transport. Whoever is available can then sign up for that transport.
This position does not involve volunteering at the Shelter or handling/touching the wildlife. Transport volunteers are responsible for covering the cost of their transports. (Animal Services cannot reimburse you for the cost of gas.)
Transport Volunteer Requirements:
- Be 18+ years old.
- Have a valid Washington Driver’s License, reliable transportation, and automobile liability insurance with minimum coverage and limits as required by Washington State.
- Have a driving record that includes no more than 4 minor convictions in the last 12 months or 5 minor convictions in the last 24 months provided that not more than one of the minor violations is for negligent driving.
Additional Volunteer Help:
- Foster parents – provide a short-term home for animals;
- Grounds helpers – maintain the grounds;
- Humane Educators – teach kids about pet care and safety around animals;
- Office helpers – clerical work;
- Project helpers – assist with special projects as needed;
- Public events – help staff information booths at community events;
- Publicity – take pictures of our animals for online postings and create educational posters and campaigns;
…and much more!
When can I be at the Shelter?
Volunteers help at the Shelter during working hours. The Shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30-5:30 and 9:30-4:00 on Saturday.
What kind of commitment?
Most positions require a minimum of 4 hours each month for a period of 6 months (or longer!) Lobby Greeters sign up for a 2-2.5 hour weekly Tuesday-Friday shift, or a bi-weekly Saturday shift for a period of at least 6 months.
How old do I have to be?
You must be at least 14 years old to volunteer at the shelter. Junior volunteers, 11-13 years old, must be accompanied by a responsible adult volunteer at all times while at the Shelter, including orientation.
What if I have community service hours to complete?
If you need to fulfill community service hours, you will need to talk to the Volunteer Coordinator before you attend an orientation. We cannot sign off on any hours unless we have made arrangements in advance.
We can sign off on volunteer hours or projects for school, the courts, or any other group AFTER you’ve met the minimum commitment of volunteering 4 hours a month for 6 months.
For court-required community service, you must be at least 18 years old. Court-required community service volunteers are often called on to do projects for the shelter that do not include hands-on time with the animals.
How do I become a Shelter volunteer?
Make a reservation to attend a volunteer orientation. Orientations are offered when we have a need for volunteers in specific positions or shifts. Orientations last around 75 minutes and cover basic information about volunteering and Animal Services. Dates and times of upcoming orientations are posted HERE, as well as on Facebook.
If after the orientation you feel that volunteering at the shelter would be a good fit for you, you may submit a volunteer application. (Applications are handed out at the volunteer orientations.) The application includes background check paperwork and your social security number is required.
It takes a couple weeks to process your application and background check. After that, we will contact you to schedule your first volunteer shift. This is when you will get your hands-on training.
After volunteering 10 hours at the Shelter, all volunteers who work with the animals must pass a dog or cat body language written quiz.
Unable to volunteer at the Shelter?
Would you like to help the animals, but are too young to volunteer at the shelter or you don’t have the time? Don’t worry, there are many ways to help the animals cared for by Animal Services. Here are some ideas, but feel free to think of your own!
Foster homes are needed to care for animals in your own home. Click HERE for more information.
We have instructions for making several different items needed by our animals: from pet toys to dog houses. Please contact the EDUCATION & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR if you have questions.
We always need SUPPLIES and money to properly care for all the animals that enter our shelter each week. With all the economic problems our community and country currently face, homeless animals and their needs are often overlooked. We can always use blankets, towels, quality canned and dry pet food and other pet supplies. Like most shelters, our greatest need is money–medication and veterinary care are costly. We appreciate any support you can offer!
Donations can be dropped off at or sent to:
Animal Services, 3120 Martin Way, Olympia, WA 98506.
You can also donate by phone at (360) 352-2510. Please have your credit card ready.
Please make sure you have permission from your school/office before beginning a fundraiser.
Organize a Walk-a-thon: Organize a walk-a-thon in your neighborhood or at your school/office. To hold a walk-a-thon, simply invite others to participate in collecting donations from friends and family, and walk on the event day!
Hold a Wish List Drive: Click on our current WISH LIST to find out what supplies are needed and hold a donation drive to collect those items. Advertise at your school/office or in your neighborhood and put a marked collection container in a busy area for people to see. Get a few representatives to take the supplies to Shelter and see the animals who will benefit from your hard work. You can also hold specific drives such as a used towel drive or food drive.
Some groups have received permission from local businesses (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) to hold a fundraising drive at their store. They handed out fliers listing the Shelters needs to shoppers heading into the store. Please contact the EDUCATION & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR if you would like a sample of the flier.
Coin Drive: Hold a coin drive with a clever name such as Pennies for Pets, Dimes for Dogs or Cash for Cats. Place canisters in your classroom/office to collect money for the animals.
Giving Tree: Decorate a small tree with our special ornaments, then ask friends, family and co-workers to select an ornament from the tree. Each ornament lists an item the shelter animals need. Then have them purchase and drop off the gift under your tree. If you are in need a bigger list of ornaments please contact the Volunteer Coordinator. Here’s a link to our Shorter Winter Giving Tree packet.
Birthday Donations: Ask that friends and family make a donation to the Shelter instead of birthday gifts.
Other Ideas: You can also hold car washes, bake sales or other events to raise money for the animals.
Even More Ways to Help Animals
Tell People about the Shelter: If someone you know is considering getting a pet, encourage them to come to the Shelter. We not only have dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, we also often have rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and sometimes birds! Check out our adoption page link to adoptable animals to see some of the currently available animals.
Keep pets and people together: Do you know someone who is sick or a senior citizen in need of some help? Why not help them by feeding, walking or brushing their pet? It can be fun for everyone and might help that person keep their pet.
Spread the Word about Important Animal Issues: Add a tagline to your e-mail signature that gets out important messages about spay/neuter, adopting a shelter pet, etc.
Organize an Animal Awareness Week: An animal awareness week in a school, or with the entire community, will encourage animal lovers to spread the word about the importance of being kind to all living things. Be Kind to Animals Week starts on the first Monday of each May, but feel free to choose your own week!
Be Creative: Design a poster about pet overpopulation or pet safety, and post it on a bulletin board at your school/office. Create and post a pet of the week poster that features one of our adoptable animals. Create a newsletter, blog, or website about animals.
Come up with your own idea! If you have questions, please contact the EDUCATION & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR.