Meet Interesting People

Volunteering brings together a variety of people. You can even volunteer with your friends!

Get Academic Credit

Almost all schools require and offer academic credit for volunteer work through “service learning.” This method combines hands-on learning (through service to the community) into the school curriculum. It is available in most high schools and some middle schools. Check with your guidance counselor to find out if this could be an opportunity for you!

Send a Signal to Colleges

Colleges pay attention to your life inside and outside of the classroom. Your extracurricular activities reveal a great deal about you, such as what your interests are, whether you can manage your priorities and maintain a long-term commitment, what diversity you’d bring to the student body, and know how you’ve made a meaningful contribution to something.

Get Real Experience

Volunteering is a great way for you to make a difference in your community, but it could actually be a positive impact on your life as well. Our volunteer program offers a variety of areas that may interest you. As a volunteer at our Humane Society, you will be able to make important networking contacts between you and future employers and we can help develop or strengthen the skills you need to be successful in your career and gain work experience through our program.

Share a Smile

Do you like to make people happy? Help us bring smiles to the faces of residents with disabilities at local nursing homes, schools and retirement centers! As a Pet Therapy Assistant you can take puppies and kittens on visits to these locations and brighten up these residents’ day.

Love an Animal

Do you love taking care of animals? Help the animals at the shelter by spending time with them. As a volunteer you will be able to walk, brush, bathe, feed and show the animals to potential adopters. Show these animals some tender loving care by socializing and exercising with them.

The Humane Society of St. Joseph County is in search of long term and committed volunteers to fill a variety of volunteer positions. Visit nursing homes, schools and local civic groups with shelter pets, participate in off-site adoption events, fundraisers and outreach activities or spend an afternoon walking dogs and snuggling cats. If this seems like something you would like to do, then let’s get started! If you are 16 years of age or older, you can volunteer on your own. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult volunteer at all times.

Volunteer Program

We are currently building on our volunteer base and increasing participation by offering a 2 session initial training. Ongoing  training and specialized training are then provided for volunteers based on their needs and interests. Many citizens, children and their families, local students from University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s Bethel, IUSB, and Purdue colleges join our family of   volunteers to make the lives of our animals healthy, happy and adoptable along with raising funds and awareness about shelter programs.

Pet Therapy

Volunteers and staff visit nursing homes and hospitals with animals, providing a chance for animal/human bonding. This is a very rewarding program for many people who are past owners of pets and crave the furry animals who love them unconditionally.

Doggy Day Out Program 

Doggy Day Out allows you to take dogs from our community shelter on outings and field trips.  Common Doggy Day outings can include a hike, a trip to a beach or lake, a sleepover in a home or even a nice dinner in a pet friendly restaurant. These outings help shelter dogs manage kennel stress, burn off energy and get more exposure in their communities.  Doggy Day Out only requires minimal training commitments for   participants. This is an opportunity for those who normally wouldn’t have time to volunteer.  It allows you to engage with your community shelter and advocate for the animals. It’s a great excuse to get out and get some exercise or explore with a canine sidekick! To apply to be a Doggy Day Out Volunteer fill out the application here.

Community Education & Outreach

Our staff, volunteers and pets visit local K-12 grade schools in the area and present information about the prevention of abuse and the humane care of animals. One such program is called HELP (Humane Education Learning Program) which brings animal books to classrooms throughout our community. Another great program is Paws For Pages. This literacy program is open to children between the ages of 6-13 which takes place at the   shelter. Children take turns reading to the adoptable pets  and then participate in crafts and animal presentations.  Programs are also available for area service club visits. The use of public service announcements, television and newspaper exposure, and free literature are other ways that we reach out to the community. During the summer, the Junior Humane Society Day Camp teaches our youth who are interested in the humane treatment of animals.

Volunteer Training Step 1:

Please watch the informational video below and take the following quiz.


Step 2: Complete Volunteer Application 

Step 3: Attend Hands on Training Session.