205-942-1211 | 300 Snow Drive Birmingham, AL 35209

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Volunteer FAQs

How old do I have to be to be a GBHS volunteer?

For safety reasons, all GBHS volunteers must be at least 16 years of age in order to help at the facility.

I'm under 16. What can I do to help out?

We have several opportunities for youth that are under 16, but who still want to volunteer. Our Humane Teen Club offers 12-15 year olds the chance to learn from professionals in the animal care field, or you can become a Paper Pal by helping us prepare newspapers for our kittens and puppies either at home or in the center. See all of our youth opportunities here.

I want to be a General Volunteer. What do I have to do to get started?

To join our general volunteer department, prospective applicants are required to review our FAQ, requirements, and available volunteer positions. Once you find a position that suits your interests, you will be able to submit an application online. Applicants who are approved will be invited to attend an orientation that reviews information about GBHS, our facilities, and our mission, giving potential volunteers the chance to ask any questions they may have. Following orientation, volunteers will be required to complete a set of trainings related to their area of service. All in all, it can take 2-4 weeks for accepted volunteers to begin their volunteer work.

I just want to come in to play with the pets. Can’t I just come in and help?

Surprisingly, playing the dogs and cats actually involves more than just play! We want to make sure the animals consistently receive a high-quality level of care and stay as healthy as possible. To do this, we need to educate our volunteers about safety procedures and protocols that are currently in place to limit the transfer of disease within our shelters. We also want to educate our volunteers on how to correctly interact with our shelter animals in order to reduce stress on the animals.

How often do I have to volunteer?

However often you’d like! While we have many volunteers who maintain a set schedule, you are free to come and volunteer at your leisure.

Can I take a break from volunteering if I have to go out of town?

Absolutely! Simply let the volunteer department know and you can put your commitment on hold.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

General volunteers are required to pay a $25 joining fee that goes towards the volunteer t-shirt, name tag, handbook and technology that are associated with the volunteer department.