Thank You for choosing to Volunteer!

UPDATE (3/25/2020): In an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have currently suspended all volunteer activities in order to keep our staff and volunteers safe. There is no timeline on when regular volunteering will resume.

We are primarily a volunteer run organization, and the animals in our care rely on generous individuals LIKE YOU to help us care for them. We have a variety of volunteer programs to suit all ages and schedules. Whether you are looking for a new family activity, a way to meet new friends, or just some quiet time with the animals, we have a program for you.


Open Paw

Open paw is a reward based training system designed specifically for shelters. The 4 level program is completely volunteer driven, and focuses on teaching dogs and cats behaviors that help them get adopted and stay adopted. Open paw is the foundation for all of our interactions with our animals, all of our volunteers, staff and even potential adopters participate in Open Paw.  Children as young as 7 years old can volunteer for this program. Click here to learn more about our Children’s program- Lexi’s Paw Pals

Please watch the short informational video about Open Paw.

Volunteer Opportunities

PETCO Kitty Kare- We need volunteers to clean cat enclosures and litter boxes as directed, replace linens as needed, feed according to provided guidelines, provide fresh water, socialize and play with the cats. Volunteers are needed every day of the week at 8am and 6pm. Hours may change slightly according to Petco operating hours. This is an excellent way for students to get volunteer/community service hours for school. If you are under 16 years of age, you must be accompanied by a parent who will also serve as a volunteer. Special training is required. In addition to orientation; this requires a minimum of two training sessions with the Petco Team leader.

Canine care team/dog walking- There are two shifts daily- 8:30-10:00am, and 4:30-6:00pm. In order to become a part of the dog walking team, volunteers must complete Open Paw Levels 1and 2, and 3 shifts with a designated team leader as a trainee. This is for the safety of both the volunteers and the animals. Consistency in training is very important for the dogs- it helps them learn faster, and makes them feel more confident and secure in the shelter, and ultimately all new environments. It is very important that all volunteers on all shifts handle the dogs the same way. The dogs have very specific areas that they are to be walked in, and designated areas for socialization, playtime and training. You must be 16 years old to be a dog walker.

Adoption Counseling- Adoption counselors are needed Wednesday through Sunday. Volunteers must be able to handle dogs of any size, and must be computer literate. Volunteers must complete Open paw Level 1 and 2, and  training for meet and greets with other dogs. Volunteers will also be trained on how to properly counsel new pet owners on routine health care such as heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention, and the importance of  vaccines and veterinary care. Must enjoy speaking with the public.

Welcome center Greeters– volunteers are needed to greet customers, make sure they sign in, and help answer questions about the shelter and the adoption process.

Transport– We also need help transporting animals to and from surgery appointments. Must be able to drive the NHAR van.

Special events– We need volunteers who enjoy talking to the public about the shelter programs, and are comfortable handling a single dog at off sight events. There are a variety of special events and fundraising opportunities through out the year.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these positions please sign up.