Essential Volunteer Capabilities


Shelter work is an exceedingly rewarding, yet uniquely challenging experience. In order to ensure the safety of the animals in our care, as well as the volunteers that provide them with care and enrichment, Chesapeake Animal Services (CAS) has the following essential requirements for participation in the volunteer program.


  • Quick reflexes and ability to use both hands simultaneously (example: open cage door while handling animal).
  • Ability to travel unaided on unpaved, uneven, rugged, slippery, and sometimes muddy terrain (both indoors and outdoors), and maneuver cramped spaces.
  • Ability to bend and squat in order to leash/harness and/or pick up an animal.
  • Ability to stand for significant periods of time while walking dogs, socializing cats, or cleaning cages/kennels.
  • Ability to see well enough to move safely throughout the building, distinguish animal body language, and read instructions and an animal’s paperwork.
  • Ability to hear if animal is giving warnings, such as growling, yelping, or hissing.
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally.
  • Ability to react quickly in order to prevent dogs or cats from escaping (example: ability to quickly pursue and retrieve any cats or dogs who have escaped from a kennel or cage).
  • Ability to cope with a very loud environment due to animal noises.


  • Ability, once trained, to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Recognize limitations in knowledge and abilities, and know when to ask for help if needed.
  • If lacking the ability to work independently, whether due to age and/or neurological abnormality, must be able to work alongside a parent or guardian with a focused attention on the task at hand.
  • Ability to read and understand instructions and procedures.
  • Possess basic reading, writing, spelling, and communication skills.
  • Ability to solve problems.
  • Ability to handle redirection and constructive criticism without responding with negativity.
  • Ability to recognize potentially hazardous situations when working with the animals.
  • Ability to remain calm with animals who are upset, to behave sensitively and confidently, and act appropriately in these situations.
  • Ability to communicate professionally and politely.
  • Accept the boundaries between the role of the volunteer and the role of the staff.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and a solution-oriented approach to challenging situations, rather than resorting to complaining or gossiping.

It is our hope that the information provided serves as a thorough and useful tool for potential volunteers when deciding whether Chesapeake Animal Services is the right fit for them. If you have any questions about these essential capabilities, or would like more information, please email the Outreach Coordinator (OC), Krista Loveless at

I am new to

You will need to enter a unique username to identify yourself to the system. You should select something that is easy for you to remember such as your email address or your name. Your username must be at least 6 characters long. If the name you enter is already in use by someone else, you will be prompted to choose another username.
Username must not start with space
Username must not end with space
Username must not have two or more spaces in a row

I already have a username

If you have signed up with this organization before, or are a member of another organization that uses, you can use the same login to access all organizations with which you are associated.
Forgot your username or password?
Already use to volunteer with this organization?
Go to volunteer login

It appears that you do not have cookies enabled, cookies are required to use this site. Please see this document for details on how to fix this error.
Some scripts that are essential to this site have not loaded correctly. Please contact your organization administrator for assistance with this error.