Dog walkers are an essential part of our volunteer program because they provide much needed exercise, socialization, and training for the dogs at the Shelter. By volunteering to walk dogs at the Shelter you are enhancing the quality of life for the dogs and improving their chances of being adopted. We ask that dog walkers work with the dogs on basic commands such as sit, stay, lie down, etc. See below for dog walking procedures and policies. Dog walking takes place during regular business hours.
Morning Dog Walking
Morning dog walking takes place from 8am until 10am on Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, morning walking takes place from 10am until 12pm. Walking dogs in the morning is a scheduled shift and every volunteer that takes part in this program is required to commit to at least one morning a week. Procedures for getting the dogs from the kennels are different in the morning and require a separate training.
Mutts In The Mountains
Our Mutts In The Mountains program is an opportunity for the dogs in our care to get out on a local trail for greatly needed exercise and social interaction. This is a group program which takes place on Saturday mornings at least once a month. Summer months will see multiple hikes each month. This program requires you to sign up but no special training is required outside of the initial dog walking training. Once you have attended a Mutts In The Mountains hike with the group you are able to take a dog out on a hike on your own.
All volunteers are welcome and encouraged to help out with special events throughout the year. Interested volunteers are occasionally needed for activities such as finding sponsorships, making decorations, distributing flyers, organizing events, working at public relations booths and much more. Special events will be advertised throughout our volunteer network.
This program is for volunteers interested in being a positive role model for young adults. We have many young adults that would like to volunteer with us and need a mentor to accompany them while they are here. Volunteer Mentors work closely with volunteers ages 14 to 17.
Volunteers interested in working in this position should enjoy working with young adults and must be at least 21 years old. This is a great program for teachers and those that work with young adult populations.
Dog Washing and Grooming
Volunteers can help by giving our dogs much needed baths. This is an important roll because a clean dog is not only a healthier dog, but makes dogs more adoptable. Although the kennel staff will give baths to the dogs that need them, they are often too busy with other essential tasks. By helping as a dog washer/groomer you are a tremendous help not only to the animals but to the hard working kennel staff. A short orientation is required before you can begin this opportunity.
This program allows the animals from the shelter to visit local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals. It places animals in a social environment and provides healing therapy from the clients of these facilities. There is additional training required for this program as well as a background check and TB test. Training is on a one-on-one basis and can be scheduled with the Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers in this position walk dogs in downtown Durango to help get them out into the public and increase awareness for the shelter. Volunteers are eligible for this program after constantly volunteering for one year, and must provide their own transportation and have a valid drivers license. A background check and an additional orientation is also required for this position. Orientations can be scheduled with the Volunteer Coordinator.
Dog Training and Project Dogs
Volunteers with these programs help specific dogs with basic commands and general socialization issues. Additional training is required and a set time commitment will be agreed upon between the Volunteer and Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers must be willing to make a solid time commitment to these programs due to the nature of the training and work involved. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
Humane Education Instructor
Volunteers in this position will visit local school groups, children’s tour groups, adult civic groups and other community organizations to educate the participants about animal welfare and proper animal care and interaction.
Volunteers can help in a variety of ways in the cattery by helping clean cages, fill water bowls, give treats, brush, and socialize the cats. Volunteers can also help with laundry and dishes. Helping the general public with adoptions is also a part of being a Cattery volunteer.
Cattery opportunities are typically during regular business hours. Volunteers can come in prior to business hours to help with cleaning in the cattery. Cleaning before business hours requires additional training and must be scheduled in advance with the Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers are always needed in the Thrift Store which is a pivotal part of our organization. Without the funds provided by the Thrift Store the Shelter would not be able to operate. Volunteers are needed to help with sorting merchandise, hanging clothes, stocking shelves, operating the cash register and whatever else the day demands.
While there is no contact with the animals at the Thrift Store keep in mind that the more income that the Thrift Store generates, the better the animals lives get. Also, volunteers who spend an average of six hours a week at the Thrift Store receive a discount on their purchases, see policies and procedures section for more information.