They need us. We need you. Volunteer.|
Worcester Animal Rescue League cannot survive without volunteers. The shelterís doors have remained open for a century due to the financial contributions and efforts of the residents of Worcester County.
WARL can house nearly 200 animals. Animals are in WARL 24 hours a day / 365 days a year. The animals are fed twice a
day or more. Their cages/kennels are cleaned at least once a day. Medication and treatment are given to sick and
ill animals as prescribed. Dogs are put in outdoor kennels or taken for walks at least twice a day. Cats are put in
the cat room or an office to play. In short every animalís needs are met whenever that animal needs us. WARLís
dedicated employees come to the shelter during blizzards, work by candlelight and flashlight during power
outages, return on their own time to treat a sick animal or meet a policeman with a stray dog at 2:00 in the morning.
Itís a lot of work, most of which is cleaning up after the animals. Thatís where we lose a lot of volunteers.
Many people take one look at the sink of dirty litter boxes and pile of soiled laundry and leave, never to
return. Employees are no different. Our initial reaction to the piles was ďyecch,Ē but the difference is we
cleaned up the mess then came back the next day and the next.
Volunteers and employees come to a shelter because they love animals. They want to be with them, play with them
and cuddle them, because itís fun and makes us happy.
The reality is that animals canít feed themselves or clean up after themselves. They need people to do that. When
there arenít any volunteers at the shelter, the staff spends all day cleaning and feeding with no time left
for important tasks like testing, evaluating or comforting animals. We need volunteers to clean and feed so that
staff can use their expertise and experience to meet the animalsí emotional and physical needs.
If you really canít handle cleaning, you can help us in other ways. Thereís clerical work; the Recycling Programs
of cans, cell phones and print cartridges that need to be turned in or shipped; and transportation of animals
to veterinary hospitals or new homes with rescue groups. To date, Ohio is the farthest weíve driven an animal.
What are your skills?|
Do you have a marketing background Ė Join our fundraising efforts.
Are you good at public speaking Ė Join our community outreach program.
Are you handy Ė There are always construction projects around the shelter.
Do you know computer hardware or software Ė Shelter computers that house animalsí medical records breakdown frequently. Come in and fix them when that happens.
Tell us how you can help the shelter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer Requirements and Orientation|
Volunteers must be 18 years old to handle animals at the shelter. Insurance regulations allow teenagers 16 and 17 years old to volunteer at the shelter (without helping animals) if a parent or guardian works with them.
For consistent scheduling, we do ask that you work at least 4 hours a month. However the top requirement for volunteers is not how many hours you can work but your reliability. Staff and volunteers are scheduled on the weekly worksheet. If you donít show up thereís a gap in the schedule that canít be filled.
Volunteers are required to attend a half-hour orientation during which youíll be given a tour of the building and shown where you can and cannot go. Restrictions are the surgical suite; sick cats and dogs; and caution signs on specific cats and dogs. Some animal illnesses are spread between animals by the people treating the animals. For example: a cat with an upper respiratory infection sneezes on a personís shirt; that person moves to a healthy cat; the cat leans against the person and the virus is spread. We donít want you to take illness home to your pets. As for treacherous animals, employees have current tetanus and rabies vaccinations and are trained on how to handle difficult cats and dogs. We donít want you to get hurt or for the animal to escape.
After the initial orientation, you can sign up for additional dog and/or cat orientations during which youíll be shown how to handle animals safely. Still we encourage you to stay within your safety zone. If at any time you feel uneasy about handling an animal, ask an employee for help.
Ready to Help? Apply to Volunteer|
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with WARL. Below is an outline of our program. Please decide if you are
able to commit to our program before completing and submitting the application. Once the application is returned to us, we will
contact you with the next orientation date.
Commitment of three months
Weekly commitment for a monthly schedule
Attendance of general orientation
Attend one scheduled two hour morning shift at an assigned station, shadowing an employee learning our cleaning protocols
Attend one scheduled two hour morning shift demonstrating what you learned during your shadow shift in that station
Each station requires shadowing before independent volunteering begins. Training Stations are as follows:
Cat Kennel Sunday, Thursday, or Friday 8-10am
Front Desk Tuesday or Thursday 10am-12pm
Dog Kennel Monday or Wednesday 8-10am
Dog Walking (which is done after completing kennel training) Friday 8-9am
Begin independent volunteering for your scheduled shifts!
Kids for Kritters Program|
Children have the most enthusiasm for helping animals. The irony is that insurance regulations prevent children from hands-on helping animals at the shelter. We donít want to stifle childrenís compassion for animals. Staff can give shelter tours to kids or bring animals to school assemblies.
Children can help the shelter by collecting money with our coin cans or collecting empty cans, cell phones and empty print cartridges to recycle. Some children ask for donations to the shelter instead of gifts at their birthday parties. Kids are so inventive they come up with ideas to help animals that we havenít thought of yet. How would your child like to help WARL?
The foster program is an extraordinary way for individuals and families to help animals. Foster parents provide love, care and attention to animals that need the comfort of a home for a variety of reasons.
The majority of foster animals are kittens with or without their moms. We also need foster homes for animals recovering from injuries or surgery, and for animals that canít tolerate shelter life. Itís a very stressful environment for sensitive animals.
We placed over 400 cats in foster care in both 2009 and 2010. In addition to providing homes for needy animals, the foster program emptied cages and kennels that allowed WARL to take in more animals.
Fostering is a life-saving experience for animals and an enriching experience for families. Children learn compassion, patience and responsibility. Adults caught up in busy schedules undergo a change from having to find time to focus on an animalís needs to wanting to spend even more time with the animal.
The length of time for foster care varies from a couple weeks to a few months. WARL retains ownership of the animal and is responsible for its medical care. Shelter staff is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
If you would like to become a foster parent, download the Foster Parent Application form, fill it out then mail it to the shelter, fax it to 508-852-1868 or email it to email@example.com (for cats) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions about the volunteer program, contact email@example.com.
Fulfilling Community Service Requirements|
If you are required by your school, church, or other community group (excluding court-ordered service) to
fulfill community service requirements, it is important that you contact us well in advance of your deadline (two
months or more, depending on the number of hours required). We cannot guarantee that we will be able to
accommodate requests to fulfill community service hours, but we will do our best with the resources we have
available. You will need to complete the volunteer application and attend the general volunteer orientation.
Court-mandated Community Service|
As with regular community service, it is very important that you contact us well in advance of your deadline (two
months or more, depending on the number of hours required). Contacting us well in advance will give you a
greater chance to be able to fulfill your hours with us, however we cannot guarantee hours. All court mandated
community service volunteers must complete the volunteer application, attend the general volunteer orientation, and provide:
Court documentation of offense;
Number of hours to be completed;
Deadline for completion; and
Supervisor/Probation Officer/Court contact information.
Please note: The crime must have been completed while applicant was over the age of 18, and the reason for
required hours must NOT pertain to the following:
Court mandated community service volunteers will be placed, when possible, in one of the following areas:
Grounds keeping, indoor maintenance, and other special projects when available. Court ordered community
service volunteers will not be placed in positions working with the animals or visitors.