There are many fun, easy, and rewarding ways to contribute to DHA and enrich the lives of animals waiting for new homes. Whether you want to work with the animals or have other skills to offer, we can help you find a volunteer activity that is right for you. If you are interested in any of the opportunities below, please visit our Become a Volunteer page! Please note that we are unable to accommodate drop-in volunteers.
Age Requirement: Volunteers must be 18 years old to volunteer independently. Volunteers ages 14 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Those under 14 years old are welcome to participate in the Junior Volunteer program.
Cat caretakers assist staff with feeding and cleaning the feline adoption and intake/iso areas. Responsibilities include laundry, washing and sterilizing food/water bowls and litter pans and cleaning free roaming rooms/towers. Socializers cuddle, groom, play with and give affection to cats during their stay.
Requirements: Complete cattery training.
Feline Friend Maker
Feline Friend Makers will assist staff with engaging the public and making a match between our customers and adoptable cats in the feline adoption and intake/iso areas. Our greatest need is during high visitation hours, which are generally Tuesday through Friday 4 pm to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. We are looking for volunteers who want to learn the cats’ personalities, educate themselves about the adoption process, proactively go about fact finding when the public has a question, and bring cats into the meet and greet rooms when needed.
Requirements: Complete cattery training. Service time spent as a cat caretaker/socializer.
Dog caretakers assist staff with feeding and cleaning the canine village and intake/iso areas. After completing dog handling training, dog handlers exercise and socialize our adoptable dogs, helping to promote consistency through teaching our dogs proper leash behavior.
Requirements: Complete dog handling training.
Canine Friend Maker
Canine Friend Makers will assist staff with engaging the public and making a match between our customers and adoptable dogs in the canine adoption and intake/iso areas. Our greatest need is during high visitation hours which are generally Tuesday through Friday 4pm to 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 5pm. We are looking for volunteers who want to learn the dogs’ personalities, educate themselves about the adoption process, proactively go about fact finding when the public has a question, and bring dogs into the meet and greet rooms when needed.
Requirements: Complete dog handling training. Service time spent as a dog caretaker/socializer.
Satellite Adoption Center Volunteer
DHA maintains a satellite adoption center for felines at PetSmart in Brandywine Town Center in North Wilmington. Volunteers are needed seven days a week to clean and maintain cat cages, socialize the cats available for adoption, and answer questions from the public about the cats.
Requirements: Complete satellite adoption center training.
Adoption Event Volunteer
DHA regularly holds off-site adoption events where we need dog handlers and information table volunteers. There may be events where dog handlers are asked to transport the dogs and/or event materials to and from the event. Volunteers need to be comfortable talking about our adoptable animals and speaking to the public about DHA.
Requirements: Complete dog handling training.
Community Outreach Volunteer
DHA is invited to various events that offer the opportunity to set up our information table and build awareness about who we are. Through these opportunities, Community Outreach Volunteers educate the public about DHA’s mission, the adoption process, and the services we provide the community. Other responsibilities may include assisting the Community Outreach Coordinator with presentations to students, scout troops, corporate groups, and/or hosting various types of celebrations (e.g. birthday parties, retirement parties, baby showers, etc) at DHA.
Requirements: Complete Community Outreach training.
Center Support Volunteer
Center Support Volunteers assist staff with non-animal related tasks such as laundry, cleaning food/water bowls, washing liter pans, organizing storage closets and supply cabinets, straightening food pantry, cleaning crates and putting away donations. We also need seasonal support such as planting and watering seasonal flowers and decorating the reception area for various holidays.
Requirements: Complete Center Support training.
Foster Care/Ambassador Volunteer
Foster Care Volunteers provide temporary care for animals too young for adoption (and in some cases their mothers), as well as sick, injured, or undersocialized animals until they can be safely returned to DHA for adoption. Duties may include administering medication, bottle feeding, bathing, etc.
Foster Ambassador Volunteers perform the duties of a foster care volunteer, but will also work on finding the animal a permanent home. They will do this by showing them what it’s like to be in a home, providing training, taking the dog out into the community and to our events, and promoting them on social media and through various forms of networking.
Requirements: Complete Foster Care application, which is subject to approval. DHA will provide support and/or behavioral training tips to ensure a smooth transition into the foster home.
Learn more about DHA's Foster Care Program
Foster Care Program Application [PDF]
Office Support Volunteer
Office Support volunteers help with mailings, data entry, filing and copying in our business office or front desk.
Requirements: Complete Office Support training.
Customer Service Volunteer
Customer service volunteers assist with greeting potential adopters during high traffic times, putting together adoption packets, and making follow up calls to recent adopters. This role requires an upbeat, outgoing personality, strong communication skills, a professional demeanor and the ability to engage our customers.
Requirements: Complete Customer Service training.
Vaccination Clinic Volunteer
DHA sponsors vaccination and microchipping clinics off-site and at DHA throughout the year. At these clinics, we need volunteers that can set up and clean up, assist with customer service, process paperwork, and help with line control.
Requirements: Complete Vaccination Clinic training.
Transport volunteers will assist DHA with frequent transporting needs. Responsibilities include taking cats to and from our satellite adoption centers, picking up donated items from local stores, taking animals to and from our veterinary partners for appointments, and bringing our adoptable animals and supplies back and forth from adoption events.
Requirements: Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
Junior volunteers will meet once a month under the supervision of DHA’s Volunteer Coordinator. These young volunteers can help us with various tasks at DHA, such as light cleaning, filling Kong toys with treats for dogs, making homemade cat toys, reading to animals, and supervised cat and dog socialization. We will also encourage our young volunteers to assist with bake sales for our special events, organize pet donation collections, and develop special projects and/or fundraising ideas.
Requirements: For volunteers between 8 to 13 years old.
Corporate Group Volunteers
Would your workplace be interested in having a service day at DHA? We are happy to have groups come in to help us with big projects that might include landscaping, general cleaning and special events. Let us know if your employer is interested and we can set up a date.