Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked Questions (and Answers) about volunteering with the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA).

Click the question below to jump to the answer:

  1. Who can be a volunteer?
  2. I sent in my application. When can I start volunteering?
  3. I am not able to volunteer independently. May I bring a helper with me when I volunteer?
  4. Is there a time commitment to be able to volunteer?
  5. Why do you ask for a 6-month commitment for volunteering?
  6. Will I have training before I start volunteering?
  7. Are there any costs associated with volunteering at HSNEGA?
  8. I just want to walk the dogs. Why does that require so much training?
  9. I have completed volunteer training at another humane society or shelter; can’t I skip training at HSNEGA?
  10. Can I volunteer to receive community service hours for school?
  11. Do you have any short-term or summer volunteer positions available?
  12. I don’t have a computer or email. Will this be an issue?
  13. I’m an avid runner. Can I take HSNEGA dogs out for a run during my volunteer shift?
  14. My child is under 8 years of age and very mature; can they be of assistance to HSNEGA?
  15. Can I be a part of the volunteer program if I have a criminal record?
  16. Do I need to have prior experience to volunteer?
  17. If I am fostering, am I able to choose the foster animals I bring home?

 

1. Who can be a volunteer?

HSNEGA welcomes all volunteers. Our Volunteer Program includes adult (18+), teen (14-17), family and group volunteer opportunities. You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer independently or be a member of our Humane Hero Teen Volunteer Program for ages 14-17. We welcome children, ages 8 and up, to volunteer as long as they are accompanied at all times by a parent/guardian. If you are a parent/child team interested in volunteering, we request that each of you fill out a volunteer application.
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2. I sent in my application. When can I start volunteering?

All volunteers are required to complete our online volunteer orientation and position-specific training prior to becoming an active, independent HSNEGA volunteer. For your convenience, the online orientation can be completed at your own pace. Once done, you will schedule your position-specific training with the Volunteer Coordinator by phone based on the volunteer’s interests and skill set.

When you submitted your application, you should have received a confirmation email with information on next steps. Sometimes this email can go to the Spam folder of your email. If you did not receive the confirmation email, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at Outreach@HSNEGA.org.
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3. I am not able to volunteer independently. May I bring a helper with me when I volunteer?

HSNEGA often receives requests from persons wishing to volunteer as a team of two. Such as a parent-child partnership, an aide-client partnership, or a teacher-student duo. We will always do our best to accommodate volunteer teams; however, due to the physical nature of animal sheltering, safety is our first priority and we do ask that all volunteers meet the “Essential Capabilities of Volunteers” established by the Humane Society of the United States in order to safely interact with the rescues. We offer other volunteer opportunities at HSNEGA that do not include animal interaction but are highly beneficial to our organization and have a direct impact on the animals in our care.
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4. Is there a time commitment?

Yes, we ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of 4 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months. Once a volunteer placement has been worked out, a staff member or lead volunteer will work with you to schedule any required additional training and volunteer shifts.
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5. Why do you ask for a 6-month commitment for volunteering? That seems like a long time.

In order to provide the animals at our facility with the best care and support, HSNEGA requires volunteers to commit a minimum of 4 hours per month for a minimum of 6 months. This requirement is needed to ensure quality training and to maintain a consistent level of volunteer coverage.
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6. Will I have training before I start volunteering?

Yes. Each role has training sessions that cover all aspects of that volunteer role. Training is conducted by staff and/or volunteer mentors. The time it takes to complete training varies based on volunteer availability, training schedules, and specific training needs.
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7. Are there any costs associated with volunteering at the HSNEGA?

Yes, we have a one-time $30 Administrative Fee which helps offset staffing costs and includes items for the volunteer uniform. The Administrative Fee for children ages 8-12 is $20.
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8. I just want to walk the dogs. Why does that require so much training?

Walking the dogs (or socializing with any of our HSNEGA rescues) involves more than a leash and your time. We want to make sure the animals consistently receive a high level of quality care and stay as healthy as possible while they are with us. To do this, we need to educate our volunteers about safety procedures and protocols that are currently in place to limit the transfer of diseases. We also want to educate our volunteers on how to correctly interact with our shelter animals in order to reduce stress on the animals and provide positive behavior reinforcement so that our animals are ready for their new home.
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9. I have completed volunteer training at another humane society or shelter; can’t I skip training at HSNEGA?

That’s great—thank you for your previous service—however, each humane society, animal control facility, or rescue group is an independent agency, so very few of us are connected locally (as in some states) or to any organization on a national level. Therefore our policies and procedures might be completely different from the facility where you previously volunteered. Most shelters adhere to a “Standards of Best Practices/Care,” so there are certainly some similarities; however, we need you to be familiar with our shelter and our policies/procedures.
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10. Can I volunteer to receive community service hours for school?

The short answer is yes; however, please remember that we ask volunteers to make a 6-month commitment. We have limited opportunities for short-term, in-house volunteering. We certainly try to accommodate all requests, but we cannot guarantee we will have any opportunities available on a short-term basis due to the training required for most positions and limited staffing.
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11. Do you have any short-term or summer volunteer positions available?

Due to limited resources and the required training for each volunteer position, we have limited opportunities for short-term, in-house volunteering. We do accept seasonal volunteers, particularly for those not able to volunteer during the school year but who would like to volunteer during their summers off. Our one summer volunteer position is as a Pet P.A.L.S. Summer Camp Counselor. Only Humane Hero Teen Volunteers (ages 14-17) are eligible for this position. Click HERE to learn more about our teen program and to apply to become a Humane Hero.
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12. I don’t have a computer or email–will this be an issue?

Due to the high volume of volunteer applications we receive each year and the costs associated with paper applications, we prefer all volunteer applications be submitted electronically. The most cost-effective way for us to communicate with volunteer applicants and current volunteers is via an online volunteer management software and via email. Using email and online scheduling saves money on postage and printing costs and helps us to keep our program viable and efficient. For these reasons, our application process is online along with all of our volunteer scheduling and communications.
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13. I’m an avid runner. Can I take HSNEGA dogs out for a run during my volunteer shift?

As with people, dogs need to slowly build up muscle strength and endurance in order to avoid potential injury when running or jogging. The dogs in our care have not had the training needed to prevent injury or to build the endurance to sustain them on runs. To avoid injury, we ask that the dogs only be walked, whether casually or briskly, and we try to match our volunteers’ enthusiasm with that of our dogs’ energy levels.
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14. My child is under 8 years of age and very mature; can they be of assistance to the HSNEGA?

Due to the nature of our work at HSNEGA, we are not able to safely accommodate volunteers under the age of 8. For safety reasons, all volunteers must meet our general requirements and be able to work safely with HSNEGA rescues. Our Foster Program is a great way for youths and parents to have a rewarding volunteer experience together. Although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the foster experience. To learn more about our Foster Program and to apply, click HERE.
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15. Can I be a part of the volunteer program if I have a criminal record?

HSNEGA does not accept volunteers with a criminal record of (1) sexual offense, (2) violent crimes, or (3) animal neglect or cruelty within the last 15 years. HSNEGA requires that all adults applying to volunteer state any past criminal records and reserves the right to conduct a background check on any volunteer.
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16. Do I need to have prior experience to volunteer?

No prior experience is needed for our entry-level volunteer positions, but we do require all volunteers have good communication skills and a willingness to learn. We supply all the training needed for each entry-level volunteer position.

For advanced volunteer positions, we ask a minimum hourly requirement; however, each volunteer asking for further advanced duties will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
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17. If I am fostering, am I able to choose the foster animals I bring home?

Communications about animals available for foster go out via email to all current foster volunteers. These animals are placed into homes on a first-come, first-served basis. Foster volunteers are never expected to take an animal that is not a good fit for their home or family. HSNEGA foster homes work with animals in need of medical care, pregnant/nursing momma and babies, or of a recumbent stay. Fosters may also host a Slumber PAWty (short-term foster). More information on Slumber PAWties can be found HERE. Foster commitments, not including Slumber PAWties, can be anywhere from 1 week to 3 months based on the care needed.
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Social:

Make a difference in the lives of animals.

Give with Confidence

At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations: