Frequently Asked Questions
Q:How easy will it be to fit volunteering into my busy schedule?
A:Volunteering will fit into just about any schedule. Volunteers working directly with our animals will be asked to start their volunteer service during specific hours, but once you have completed your training and served 15-20 hours you can come in as your schedule permits. Typically, the "beginner" hours are weekday mornings, weekday afternoons and weekend mornings. Times can vary. You will be able to dicuss your individual schedule during the training classes.
Q:How much training is involved?
A: Each opportunity has a set of trainings required. Every volunteer role includes Volunteer Orientation (30-45 minutes) as well as additional training based on the role.
Q:Why is there so much training for walking the dogs?
A: Working with shelter animals is physically and emotionally challenging and much different than the interactions you may have with your personal pets. Additional training for volunteers who work directly with our animals is required to ensure the safety of our volunteers, animals, staff and any visitors.
Q: Are there any fees for volunteering?
A: Shelter volunteers will have a $20 application fee to cover costs of volunteer t-shirt, name badge and other materials. Foster Parents and Longmeadow Ranch volunteer applicaitons will not be charged, but are encouraged to contribute the $20 to keep as much funding for animal needs as possible. The application fee is non-refundable, regardless of your ability to continue volunteering for any reason.
Q:I am part of a group that would like to volunteer together?
A: Group volunteer activities are available at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri and during HSMO special events such as Bark in the Park or The Great Forest Park Balloon Glow. All members of the group must meet the specific requirements for the opportunity. If you have a group that would like to learn more about setting up a day of service, please email us.
Q:Where are your locations?
A: HSMO has three St. Louis area shelters (Chesterfield Valley, Maryland Heights and St. Louis City, near Forest Park) and Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Missouri. Click here for directions.
Q:I am a college student in St. Louis for the summer, can I volunteer?
A: We typically request a volunteer provide 1-2 hours per week for 6 months due to the fact that amount of training required, especially for animal handling opportunities. We encourage college students to seek opportunities outside the animal handling activities and to apply/register for training before the end of the spring semester.
Q: Do you have any internships available for college students?
A: Yes and No. The HSMO has limited options to host internships within the volunteer department. Internships would best be suited for students seeking college credit for experience in volunteer management/special events. If you are interested in discussing your specific needs, email us!