Volunteer Policies

Volunteering at Vancouver Animal Services

Do you love animals and want to help shelter animals out? We would love to have you volunteer with us! 

Before you go on to fill out an application, please read below to understand more about the shelter to ensure that we are a right fit for you


Important things to consider if you are interested in volunteering with us:

 Please understand that the vast majority of dogs in our shelter are large in size, strong on a leash and are still in the process of learning good manners and behaviors. You will get yanked, jumped on (with muddy paws too) and some are very good at keeping you on your toes with their untrained leash walking habits

 Dogs that are in a shelter environment are “different” than the family and friends dogs you may be familiar with. They are in a strange place, with strange people and strange sounds. Their anxiety, nervousness and uncertainty are all heightened, so it is very important to stay aware and follow all safety protocol and rules.

Being a true animal lover with understanding really helps. Not all animals are on their best behavior all the time. The ability to stay level headed and respond to situations accordingly with the animals best interest in the forefront is essential in an animal shelter volunteer.

We do not have cats; instead, stray/surrender cats are taken/brought to the BC SPCA and VOKRA. We mainly have dogs as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, birds and infrequently other small animals.

You must be comfortable being around dogs; even if you are not doing any dog-related volunteering as you will most likely see a dog, whether it's in the lobby, in the kennel hallway or outside. The staff will always do their best to ensure the safety of everyone whenever they're taking a dog out of their kennel but be aware that encountering dogs is highly likely in our small shelter. :) 


We will review submitted applications on a scheduled basis and will contact you when volunteer spaces open up to complete an orientation before you can start volunteering at VAS.


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