Volunteer at the Milwaukee Campus
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee Campus! Every day, volunteers help improve the lives of animals and they each play a vital role in the success of our shelters which care for 40,000 animals each year. Below you will find information about our volunteer program at the Milwaukee Campus and how to become a volunteer.
- Requirements & Guidelines
- Important Notes
- Available Positions
- How to Volunteer
- Volunteer Info Sessions
- Frequently Asked Questions
Requirements & Guidelines to Become a Volunteer
- Due to the amount of training we require for most of our volunteer positions, we ask for a 6 month commitment for 2-3 hours each week. Volunteers come in for a regularly scheduled recurring shift on the same day and time each week.
- Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Youth ages 13-17 must be accompanied by an adult for all volunteer sessions, with the exception of our Orphaned Bird Care Program (available only at our Milwaukee Campus), shelter crew, and retail, as detailed below.
- Volunteers must be able to read and comprehend detailed policy and protocol information as well as being able to remember and follow shelter rules.
- Volunteers must be able to understand and fulfill all responsibilities of their role independently. If an individual cannot volunteer on your own, we may require that someone comes to assist.
- Volunteers must be able to physically fulfill the duties of their volunteer role. Most volunteer roles require volunteers to: be able to stand, and/or walk for up to 3 hours; be able to lift and carry up to 20 lbs. Some positions are more physical than others and require being able to lift 40 lbs.
- Volunteers must be able to have regular access to the internet and an email account.
- Costs & Supplies – all volunteers need to purchase a volunteer t-shirt and name badge for total cost of $10+tax.
Important Notes about Volunteering
- We do not offer court-ordered community service. Please contact the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee, 414-344-3933, to see which organizations do offer court-ordered community service.
- We do not offer group volunteer opportunities for school groups. If a school group is interested in doing a service project, please follow this link for options, www.wihumane.org/for-kids/kids-can-help.
- Due to limited resources and the required training for each volunteer position, we are not able to offer short-term volunteer experiences.
Available Volunteer Positions
Below are the positions we're currently in need of at the Milwaukee Campus. You will learn more about them at your Volunteer Information Session.
- Shelter Crew - age 16 and up alone, or ages 13-15 with an adult
- Adoption Greeter/Teammate - ages 18 and up
- Animal Care Volunteer - ages 18 and up
- Rabbit & Small Animal Socialization - age 18 and up alone, or 13 and up with an adult
- Dog Walking (weekday mornings only) - age 18 and up alone, or 13 and up with an adult
- Pets For Life - ages 18 and up
- Veterinary Prep - age 18 and up alone, or 13 and up with an adult
- Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - ages 18 and up
- Office Hoppers - age 18 and up alone, or 13 and up with an adult
- Animal Antics Retail Store - ages 16 and up
- Animal Ambassador Volunteer - (Therapy animal & handler to work with youth) ages 18 and up
- Youth Program Volunteer - age 18 and up
- Foster - If you are interested in becoming a foster parent to an animal in need, please visit our Foster Information Page.
How to Become a Volunteer
Step 1: Attend Volunteer Information Session. The Volunteer Information Session will give you the opportunity to hear about our organization, our volunteer program and expectations, and what our current needs are. Please register for an upcoming session on our calendar here.
Step 2: Once you have attended the Volunteer Information Session, you will be given a link to complete the volunteer application.
Step 3: Once we have received and reviewed your volunteer application, we contact you to schedule a Meet & Greet. The Meet & Greet will be a one on one meeting or in small groups with the department that you have expressed an interest to volunteer with. At the Meet & Greet you will get a tour of the shelter, we will schedule further training and select your volunteer shift. We will also take payment for your volunteer t-shirt and name badge.Back To Top
Volunteer Info Sessions
Everyone interested in volunteering at the Wisconsin Humane Society must first attend an Info Session. All sessions listed below are held at our Milwaukee Campus. Registration is required and sessions fill up quickly, so please select a date below to reserve your spot. We look forward to meeting you!
- The health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers is critically important to us, so all Volunteer Info Sessions through April 30 have been cancelled. We're very grateful for your patience and understanding!
Frequently Asked Questions
I am under 13 years of age and I am very mature, do you make any exceptions to your minimum age?
For the safety of our volunteers and animals, we do require that all volunteers be at least 13 years of age to volunteer with any adult. There are a few options for youth to volunteer on their own, such as Shelter Crew where you can be 16 and up, and Orphaned Bird Care (seasonal position) where you can be 13 years and up. We have many other ways for youth to support the animals and learn about animal welfare. Please click here to get ideas on how to make toys for the animals, hold your own fundraiser or collect items from our “wish list” from the surrounding community to support the animals.
We also have special youth programs available at our sites for all ages of students. These programs are geared towards youth with a love of animals and a yearning to learn more about how to help the world become a more humane place. This is a wonderful way to become involved and learn more about animal welfare. To learn more about these programs, please click here.
Youth can also consider having a guardian apply to be a foster volunteer. Although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience.
Will I have training before I start to volunteer?
Yes. Each role has training sessions that cover all aspects of the volunteer role. Training is done with both staff and volunteer mentors. The time it takes to complete training varies, based on volunteer availability, training schedules and the specific training needs of the volunteer role.
I don’t have a computer or email; can I just fill out a paper application?
Due to the high volume of volunteer applicants we receive each year and the costs associated with paper applications, we are no longer able to process paper applications. The most cost-effective way for us to communicate with volunteer applicants and our current volunteers is with online services and email. For this reason, we have moved our application process online along with all of our volunteer scheduling.
Using email and online scheduling saves money on postage and printing costs, and helps to keep our program viable and efficient. Plus, the vast majority of communications between WHS and our volunteers is done via email. For this reason, we require that all volunteers have online access and a current email address
Can I be a part of the volunteer program if I have a criminal background?
WHS requires all persons applying to volunteer to state any past criminal record and reserves the right to conduct a background check on any volunteer. A criminal background does not necessarily immediately disqualify you from volunteering.
Volunteers are scheduled one shift per week, what if I am going on vacation?
We understand that life can be busy and have made our scheduling process as flexible as we are able. To make scheduling easy to manage, volunteers have a set schedule working the same shift time on the same day of the week. Volunteers manage their own schedules online and we allow for regular vacations and pre-arranged shift adjustments. When removing themselves from the schedule, volunteers are welcome to pick up a make-up shift, but it is not required.Back To Top