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Volunteer with us

Make a paws-itive impact

Volunteers are the heart of the Cochrane & Area Humane Society. They allow us to continue providing services by donating thousands of hours combined in virtually every department of the organization. Regardless of the task, all the work of our dedicated volunteers contributes to our goal of finding loving homes for deserving pets.

You must be 16 years of age to volunteer independently. Youth aged 13–15 years can volunteer as part of the Humane Helpers Program but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18.

Reasons to volunteer with the CAHS

  • Be part of an organization with the highest standards of professionalism and dedication to the welfare of animals
  • Make a real difference in the lives of homeless animals
  • Increase animals’ adoptability so they can find their forever homes faster
  • Learn about animal welfare issues
  • Use your skills and talents to support a worthy cause
  • Gain new skills for personal or professional development
  • Get access to our resource library
  • Make new friends who share similar interests
  • All the puppy pats and kitten cuddles your heart can handle

Corporate or Group Volunteering

The Cochrane & Area Humane Society is pleased to offer one-time volunteer opportunities to corporate and community groups for team building and animal welfare education. Duties for group volunteers will support the mission of the Society but may not have direct contact with animals. Your day will start with a short orientation, which includes the history of the CAHS, safety measures and policies for volunteers, and behaviour and medical information that may be important during your volunteer time. After that, your team will be split into smaller groups, and you will complete a variety of activities that help the shelter. Group volunteers will help us with many tasks, including, but not limited to, administration help, maintenance help, operations work and animal socialization. Group size is a of minimum 6, and a maximum of 12 people.

All volunteers would be required to complete a liability waiver prior to volunteering. To provide the best possible volunteer experience we ask that groups commit to a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 6 hours.

We know that your time is a generous contribution, but we also suggest a $500 donation per group to help cover the time and resources put into group volunteer events.  This can be a monetary donation, items from our wish list or supplies for a special project you may be asked to complete. This donation can make a big impact on the animals in our care.

Group volunteering is available depending on shelter needs and staff/volunteer availability, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator to discuss our opportunities and book available dates.

A volunteer holding a large cute puppy at Cochrane Humane.

Volunteers are at the heart of what we do


Happily Adopted
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Deb E.

Training & Education
The amazing staff and other volunteers are always willing to help and show you the ropes. What really shines through at the shelter is that every person there really and truly loves the animals, and gives so much to make the animals’ lives as good as they can be until they find their forever homes.”

Melanie B.

Training & Education
“I love doing what I can to make the shelter as happy as possible for our feline friends until they find their forever home. It’s such a great feeling when a cat who has been hiding in their cave finally decides to peek out for a head scratch. It makes sitting on the hard floor worth it! And I’ve gotten used to being treated like a cat tree by kittens—who can get mad when all they want is for you to play and cuddle with them?”
Volunteer requirements

We ask all of our shelter volunteers to meet the following requirements:

  • Have a genuine love of animals
  • Be reliable, independent, and at least 16 years of age (unless part of Humane Helpers)
  • Commit to 1 shift per week for the first 3 months and at least 6 hours each month after
  • Attend required training before starting any volunteer tasks

Each volunteer role has its own requirements, such as animal experience, shift time, and physical requirements. Because this is unique to the role, the Volunteer Coordinator will provide you with a detailed job description at the Volunteer Info Session.

Volunteer opportunities
  • Laundry Volunteer: This volunteer role provides essential support to our Animal Care staff by keeping the laundry moving through the cleaning process and ready for animal care volunteers and staff.
  • Cat care volunteer: This volunteer role is one the shelter cannot manage without! Cat care volunteers will help with cleaning, feeding, and socializing shelter cats every day of the week.
  • Dog care volunteer: This volunteer role is responsible for the care of our dogs through feeding, cleaning, and socializing of adoption area dogs.
  • Dog walker volunteer: This volunteer role gives our shelter dogs the energy release they need by taking the animals out on walks. Exercise is essential to their mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Small animal care volunteer: This volunteer role is responsible for feeding and cleaning the small animals and includes daily socialization and playtime outside of their enclosures.

Besides animal care volunteer roles, we also recruit volunteers to assist with community outreach events, administrative support, and our education program. Volunteers in these roles play an important part in raising funds for the shelter and promoting the mission of the Society. A few hours of your life could change an animal’s.

Volunteer application process

Animal lovers wanted! Whether you prefer to work with pets or people, we need your passion and unique talents to help improve the lives of animals in our care. Follow the process below to become a volunteer at the CAHS. If you have any questions, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at

  1. Fill out a volunteer application
    Fill out an application. Your application will be reviewed by the Volunteer Coordinator for applications that match the current needs of the shelter. Please see below for the application form links:
    Individual (16+) and Parents/Guardians Application
    Humane Helpers Application – ages 13-15
    Please note: Humane Helpers applications are not considered complete until we receive the guardian application as well.
  2. One-on-one volunteer interview:
    We will then coordinate a one-on-one interview and tour to further discuss the volunteer opportunities available and the next steps. We want to ensure that we are a good fit for each other!
  3. Required training & administrative fee:
    Once you have been accepted into the Volunteer Program, we will arrange the training sessions for you so that you can get started! Upon acceptance into our volunteer program, a $25 administrative fee will be collected prior to commencing any volunteer activities.
    Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at if you have any questions.
Become a foster parent

When you foster a dog, cat, or small animal with the Cochrane & Area Humane Society, you’ll be giving a second chance to an animal in need while allowing us more space to save another animal who needs our help.

Find out more on Fostering here.

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors helps shape the direction and growth of the Cochrane & Area Humane Society. As a volunteer member of the board, you can help set policies, determine budgets, and implement fundraising strategies. Board members must also be members of the Society.

Find out more on our Board of Directors here.