Dog Walking

  • Dogs thrive on routine and this is especially true for dogs in animal shelters as their world have been turned upside-down!  
  • At VAS, the dog gets yard time at least 3x day and the length of time depends on the weather and amount of dogs in the shelter but it does not compare to getting a break from the shelter environment and going out for a walk.
  • Walking is a great way for us to learn more about the dogs, how they react to the world around them to help us find them the right home to thrive in.
  • Walking also is a great bonding time for the dogs! It's good for them to see volunteers = walkies!
  • A tired dog is a happy dog! Letting them sniff on walks helps with sensory enrichment. Hanging out with different volunteers help with their social enrichments and of course physical and mental enrichment too!



  1. Sign up for shifts that you are available for and check in on our volunteer app for updates on dogs to be walked
  2. Come in, gather up the items you'll need (leash, harness, poo bags & kibbles/treats) all provided by VAS
  3. Take out dogs from their kennel and have a fun bonding walk with them! 
  4. Provide them with multiple different enrichment (social, physical, sensory) that will help them thrive while they wait for their furever home!

Please note: Vancouver Animal Services is a small shelter and we may have somewhere between 1-10 dogs available for walks at any time. We also have 3 different levels of dog walking.

Level 1:

Level 2:

Level 3:

Green is where all new volunteers starts at. Dogs that have proper leash manners and are easier to walk (which unfortunately isn't very often that they end up in our shelter). 

Yellow is for those who grasp the skills of walking shelter dogs at VAS and can handle the dogs that are more energetic at first (jumpy, pulling, etc.) but will settle down on walks.

Blue is for those who have proven they can handle the jumpy pulling dogs and can handle the more difficult dogs that are very strong on leash or has behavioral issues.

PS. You can hangout with the dogs in Level 2 & 3 if you're comfortable with them in the yard hangout or VIP room hangout volunteer roles!




  • Must be at least 19 years old to walk dogs. 
  • Someone who is committed and does not mind walking in rain or shine! 
  • Someone that have a lot of patient and understanding that the dogs in shelter react differently from a dog that you are familiar with or own(ed).
  • Must have understanding of dog behaviors.
  • Be comfortable with all types of dog breed and size. If you are not comfortable with a specific dog at the shelter, that is completely okay! You will not be forced to walk a dog you are not comfortable with.  
  • Must have awareness of surroundings at all time and full attention on the dogs while on walks.
  • Must be able to have strength to handle dogs as many will jump on you or pull on the leash. 
  • Need to be able to guide them away from other dogs or members of the public for the safety of everyone. 


  • Minimum of 1-2 hours per week for 6 months after orientation is done.
  • This can be with any volunteer roles and not specifically just one.



  • After you have sent in your application, we will review it and put you on the list for the upcoming orientation.
  • Once we have reached the # of people for the orientation, you and others will be invited to VAS to learn more and get a tour of the shelter.
  • For your first Dog Walking Volunteering shift, you will be paired up with someone (Senior Volunteer or Canine Kennel Supervisor).
  • If you need more paired up volunteering shifts, you absolutely can, just ask the Canine Kennel Supervisor or a Kennel Tech on duty.


Via mobile phone/tablet: APPLICATION TO FILL OUT

Via computer/laptop: APPLICATION TO FILL OUT