Volunteers are the heart of Burlington Humane. Donating their time & love in various areas of the organization. Volunteers are a valued resource making a difference in the lives of so many animals.

We are very fortunate to have a strong group of over 300 volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to help us continue to improve animal care at our shelter.  That said we don’t always have openings available.  We thank you for your patience and interest to Volunteer with us!


* CLICK: Volunteer Application Form*



Current Volunteers LOGIN Portal: 



Volunteer Qualifications

If you love animals, are reliable, are 15 years of age or older, have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination & can make a minimum commitment of 6 months, read on!


Steps to Becoming a BHS Volunteer:
1. Submit an application 

2. You must attend an Orientation session to gain an understanding of what we do and about the volunteer opportunities we have available. Parents must accompany volunteers who are under 18 years of age to the orientation session. Orientation sessions usually occur the second Tuesday of each month. 

3. Attend in-person, role-specific training / shadow session(s)

4. Receive Login information to start signing up for shifts


Volunteer Positions at a Glance



Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and obtain a clear Police Record Check.

Reception volunteers greet the public in person, via email, and by phone. They are empathetic, compassionate and reassuring, whilst also being informed members of the team who refer enquiries and uphold the shelter’s mission. They assist in paperwork, filing, and office administration tasks. Due to the nature of this work, you must have an excellent grasp of English to be able to communicate with members of the public, and give clear and concise information. 

Reception shifts are:
Tuesday through Saturday 9:45 am – 1 pm, 12:45 pm – 3 pm, or 2:45 pm – 5 pm.

Volunteers must be able to read, write, follow instructions and work independently, and have the mobility to show potential adopters to the different cats. Volunteers must complete 2 training sessions, and a number of shadow-shifts with our seasoned reception volunteers  prior to starting the role.



Feed & Clean (Cat & Kitten)

Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age and be comfortable working with and handling cats and kittens. This role is vital to the running of the shelter. 

There are two sets of Feed & Clean shifts each day of the week, every day of the year. Shifts start at 15 minute increments – in the morning from 8:00 am to 9:15 am; and in the afternoon from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
Volunteers must be able to follow instructions, work independently, and be able to read and write. This is a role that requires a good level of mobility and flexibility as you will need to clean cages at ground level.

Volunteers must complete an intense 3-4hr training session prior to starting the role. Training sessions take place on Wednesday or Friday mornings at 8:30 am. Once trained, volunteers are expected to sign up for a minimum of one shift every two weeks.


Cat Enrichment

Volunteers in this role must be at least 15 years of age.

These volunteers work with our more sociable cats while they are waiting to be adopted. These are cats that clearly enjoy human contact and need a little extra time out of their cages. They thrive on affection and need a little extra. In order to make their stay at BHS as enjoyable as possible, we rely on volunteers in this role to provide this enrichment. They play, cuddle, and brush these cats.

This position is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.


Cat Socialization

Volunteers in this role should be at least 18 years of age. An understanding of cat behaviour and prior experience with unsociable cats is an asset.

They play a pivotal role in helping to socialize our more shy cats. These are cats that don’t necessarily appreciate human touch – they may have come from a life where they learned to fear humans. In order to give these cats the best chance of adoption-success, we rely on our Socialization volunteers.

Cat Socialization volunteers must attend a mandatory training session, whereby they learn how to approach these cats; how to interpret signs and body language and recognize when improvements are being made. This is a more structured role that requires a mature outlook, a lot of patience, and a willingness to complete charts and paperwork for each cat visited. Volunteers can expect to spend 30-45 minutes (or more) with each cat (visiting 2-3 cats per shift) and sometimes might not see any progress. It is an extremely rewarding position if you have the time, patience, and care for our fearful cats.

Volunteers need to complete a 2 hour training session prior to starting the role and signing up for socialization shifts.

This position is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.


Laundry Room Volunteer

Volunteers in this role are responsible for cleaning the cat litter boxes and laundering blankets and towels from the cat and dog kennels.

There is no formal training for this role, but you should have basic knowledge on operating a washing machine and dryer.

This position operates every day of the year, however we currently only have weekend shifts available. Volunteers should expect to spend approximately two hours in the Laundry Room between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (this is a more flexible role). We also like to have ‘floater’ volunteers in this role for when our regular volunteers take vacation time.


Dog Walking (Dog & Puppy Care)

Volunteers for this program must be at least 18 years of age and must be comfortable working with all breeds and sizes of dogs. Please note that the majority of dogs at the shelter are medium/large breeds. 

Volunteers are to provide dogs with exercise through walking, playing & positive physical contact; they provide mental stimulation, teach and practice basic key commands and leash training, and feed dogs their breakfast and dinner. Volunteers are also required each morning to clean & sanitize each kennel and must be willing to walk in all weather conditions.. Experience with dogs is an asset. 

Dog walking shifts are 8:30 am, 11:30 am, 4:00 pm & 8:30 pm – 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Training consists of one Group Training Session followed by shadow-shift training in the slot you will be volunteering in. Once trained, signing up for one shift every two weeks would be a minimum expectation from the role.



The Loft & The Attic (Second Hand Store)

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

Tasks: Assist in sorting through donations, pricing, working with the public and displaying merchandise.
Volunteer shifts are: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 1 pm & 1pm – 4 pm.




Events & Fundraising

Although anyone can volunteer for this role, this opportunity is great for those wishing to get Community Hours. Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older.

Events occur both at the shelter and away from the shelter. Volunteers promote the shelter throughout the community by raising funds to help care for the animals, explaining our role and promoting our mission statement.

There are many events throughout the year. We are always in need of volunteers to help represent BHS in the community!



Transporting Animals

This is a critical role as volunteers transport our animals to and from our shelter to local veterinary clinics for their appointments. You must have a full car driving license, your own car and insurance.

This role operates on an as-need basis. We do not have a vet on-site, so the Animal Care Supervisor will reach out to volunteers when we need to transport cats and dogs in our care to and from appointments.



Maintenance Volunteer

If you’re a good handyman and enjoy gardening and lawn care; we would love for you to volunteer at BHS. We have a huge property that needs constant caring, especially lawn care and gardening. This is a great opportunity for students looking for a short-term commitment to complete their hours.

Cleaning & Sanitization

We at BHS maintain a very high standard of cleanliness and sanitization throughout the building, especially with so many animals in one place. Volunteers in this position are responsible for the upkeep of non-animal areas, and therefore do not need to be over the age of 15. Tasks include sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning windows, cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms, and many other tasks. If you’re someone who enjoys this type of work, we can definitely use your help.


This involves school classroom visits & shelter tours. Teaching children about the care and treatment of our animal friends is vital in helping children develop a humane consciousness.



Pet Therapy

Volunteers with their furry family members visit retirement & nursing homes and other facilities within the community. You will be part of a team. There are many different facilities, days, and times to fit your schedule.

Volunteers must provide a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search.
Dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations & pass a screening test. Pet Therapy Animals make a huge difference in the lives of those they visit.  Meet some of the Pet Therapy animals. Click here to meet the animals!









Jess from The Social visits a Pet Therapy Program


Foster Care

Fostering is providing our animals with a temporary home while we search for their forever family. We are always in desperate need of foster homes! You are a guardian angel for a stray, abandoned, pregnant, sick, or injured animal in your own home. This may include giving medications, providing enrichment, socialization, or hand-feeding kittens or puppies who do not have their moms.