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Veterinary Care

Volunteer for Dog Enrichment

(1) Kennel Enrichment Volunteer

Kennel Enrichment Volunteers work closely with shelter staff and the Shelter Animal Behavior Manager to provide comfortable and stimulating living environments for our shelter animals. This includes providing a safe environment for our animals as well as using a variety of toys, treats and training techniques to keep the animals’ minds active to prevent mental deterioration or behavior issues from developing. The purpose of Kennel Enrichment Volunteers is to improve the lives of animals during their time in our shelters. Note: Kennel Enrichment is not currently available at our Westport Area Center in Maryland Heights.

Essential Responsibilities of the Kennel Enrichment VolunteerKennelEnrichmentVolunter

Include the following but may include other responsibilities as assigned.

  • Distribute kennel enrichment toys and/or treats to the appropriate animals.
  • Clean, sanitize and ensure proper storage of supplies.
  • Supervise and observe animals using kennel enrichment toys to ensure safety of animals.
  • Recognize and report all animal behavior or medical concerns.
  • Uses the appropriate scheduling methods to sign up for volunteer shifts.
  • Follows appropriate departmental procedures for recording volunteer time.
  • Follows all HSMO and departmental safety policies and procedures. 
  • Maintains all departmental confidentiality requirements.

(2) Dog Walker Volunteer

Dog Walker Volunteers are essential to keeping our shelter dogs happy and healthy. As a Dog Walker, you are responsible for walking and socializing our shelter dogs. Getting the dogs out for walks not only gives them a chance to take a much appreciated potty break but also provides them time out of their kennels which is critical to their mental stability. The purpose of Dog Walker Volunteers is to provide our shelter dogs with exercise and socialization.

Essential Responsibilities of the Kennel Enrichment Volunteer

Include the following but may include other responsibilities as assigned.

  • Walk shelter dogs using approved leashes, collars and harnesses.
  • Follow Colored Star Rating system to know which dogs are appropriate to walk.
  • Clean, sanitize and ensure proper storage of supplies.
  • Teaching basic obedience to shelter dogs using HSMO approved methods.
  • Recognize and report all animal behavior or medical concerns.
  • Uses the appropriate scheduling methods to sign up for volunteer shifts.
  • If unable to show up for as assigned shift, finds replacement Dog Walker.
  • Follows appropriate departmental procedures for recording volunteer time.
  • Follows all HSMO and departmental safety policies and procedures. 
  • Maintain all departmental confidentiality requirements.

DogWalkerVolunteerFor both Dog Enrichment Volunteer opportunities:

Supervisor(s)

All Dog Enrichment Volunteers will report jointly to the Volunteer Manager, Shelter Managers/Supervisors and the Shelter Animal Behavior Manager.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those a volunteer may encounter while performing the essential responsibilities of this opportunity.

  • Well lit adoption center and sheltering facilities.
  • State of the art animal caging
  • Moderate to loud noise level.
  • Frequently a fast paced and high stress environment.
  • Exposure to dander and allergens found on animals.
  • Exposure to powerful smells including cleaning agents.

Qualifications

To perform this volunteer opportunity, an individual: 

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be able to perform the above stated essential responsibilities as well as possess the following skills and experience.
  • Follows instructions and suggestions as given by Supervisor(s) and team leads.
  • Balances team and individual responsibilities.
  • Be open to constructive feedback.
  • Values success of the team over success of the individual.
  • Accepts responsibility for own actions.
  • Completes tasks on time and to expected standards.
  • Writes clearly and informatively.
  • Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Speaks clearly.
  • Able to listen and ask for clarification when needed.
  • Able to answer questions directly and specifically.
  • Focuses on problem solving, not blaming.
  • Able to interact with individuals of varying experiences, abilities and personalities.
  • Remains open to others’ ideas and suggestions.
  • Approaches others in a tactful manner.
  • Maintains a respectful and helpful demeanor in stressful situations.
  • Treats others with respect and consideration.
  • Able to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide.
  • Able to stand and walk unaided.
  • Able to use both hands and arms simultaneously.
  • Able to use both legs and feet simultaneously.
  • Average sense of vision, hearing, smell and speech.
  • Able to bend, squat and maneuver in tight places.
  • Able to tolerate strong and unpleasant odors.
  • Able to tolerate loud and unexpected noises.

How to Become a Volunteer

First step? Learn about HSMO and our volunteer program by submitting your volunteer fee to attend a Volunteer Open House - Open Houses are scheduled 1-2 times a month and fill up quickly! Submit your volunteer fee now »

If you have any questions, please contact us at 314.951.1577 or volunteer@hsmo.org