Volunteer Guidelines

We are so excited you have decided to volunteer with us! The wonderful work you do is very important and there are many ways to lend a hand and heart to make a difference in the animals’ lives. From walking an enthusiastic dog, to cleaning a horse stall, to just sitting and talking to a shy cat, there’s always plenty to do.

Frequent Volunteer Questions

Who can volunteer?

We welcome anyone who is six years old and up, although minors age 6-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while volunteering. Each adult can supervise up to three minors during a volunteer shift. If your group has four or more minors, two adults must be present to supervise them while volunteering.

How far in advance should I sign up for volunteer shifts?

Volunteer shifts should be scheduled as far in advance as possible. Each animal area has a maximum number of volunteers it can accommodate during each shift and may fill up.

What volunteer opportunities are available?

We invite you to participate in the regular routine of animal care such as feeding, cleaning, grooming, walking, etc. Spending time socializing with the animals is also important, as it helps make them more adoptable and gets them closer to a forever home.

For safety considerations, each animal area has its own minimum age requirements:

  • Cats = 6+
  • Dogs = 6+
  • Large Animals = 12+

You can also schedule volunteer time in our Gift Shop (minimum age 18). For volunteer opportunities at Adoption Events and special projects in areas such as landscaping and maintenance, please contact the Volunteer Department in advance to discuss those options.

What are the daily volunteer shifts?

There are two volunteer shifts every day of the year. Shift times are 8:15-11:30 a.m. and 1:15-4:00 p.m.

How do I schedule volunteer time?

Please contact our Volunteer Department on how to schedule your visit. You can fill out the form here.

What happens when I arrive at the sanctuary?

You will have a pre-scheduled 10-minute check-in at the Welcome Center prior to volunteering. A representative from the Volunteer Department will meet with you to provide name badges, schedules, and other important information to make your volunteer experience the best it can be. (Any pertinent lodging or tour information will be provided by the respective departments.)

Can I take an animal on an outing or sleepover?

Some of our dogs and cats are approved to go on outings which is a real treat for them. To take an animal on outing you’ll first need to volunteer at least one shift in that specific animal area. No advance reservations are necessary for outings—those arrangements will be made onsite when you’re volunteering.

What should I wear?

For your protection, closed-toe shoes are required for volunteering in all animal areas. Sneakers or hiking shoes are the preferred footwear and shoes must have a heel strap at minimum. Clog type shoes are not permitted as shoes could fall off while walking or working with animals, climbing ladders or performing other volunteer tasks. Long pants are strongly recommended for volunteering with horses or pigs — in fact, it’s a good idea to wear long pants in all the areas. We advise dressing in layers during the spring, fall and winter months because the mornings can be chilly and the afternoons warm. Wearing a hat is a good idea because the sun is bright year-round. If you work with equines, goats, or sheep at home or in your community, please bring clothes and shoes with you that have not been worn around those animals.

Is there a place to eat at the Sanctuary?

We do not have a café on site as of yet, but we have plans to. We do have vending machines available for food and drink purchases. All food and drinks must be kept in the dining area at all times. There are water stations throughout the shelter for your convenience.

Can my own pets accompany me in the animal areas?

For everyone’s safety, your own pets are not allowed in any of the animal areas nor are they      allowed to remain unattended in your vehicle.

Can large groups volunteer at the Sanctuary?

If your large group is interested in volunteering on a project together (for instance, Girl/Boy Scouts, church group, tour group, college or high school group, etc.), please contact our Volunteer Department.

How can I schedule a Sanctuary Tour?

To schedule a tour, please call the Welcome Center staff at 432-279-0627. Tours are offered daily at 11:30 a.m and 2:30 p.m.

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Have more questions?

Please email us at volunteers@whiskersandtailssanctuary.org or call us at 432-279-0627. We are open every day at 11a.m. – 4p.m. We do have extended hours until 7p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays.