Caring for more than 2,300 animals every year is a huge job, and our staff simply couldn't do it all by themselves. At CVHS, we are concerned with nurturing all of our animals' needs: physical, psychological, and emotional. In order to reach this goal, we need lots of help from the animal lovers in our community. We depend on the many dedicated volunteers who assist us in caring for our guests and making them comfortable and happy.
From direct animal care in the shelter to fundraisers and special events, there is a volunteer opportunity available for everyone. Every little thing you do in the life of one of our animals makes a big difference in his/ her quality of life. Together, we can make an animal's stay a comfortable and positive experience. And, in return, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are improving the quality of life for many homeless, abused, or neglected animals.
If you love animals and are looking for a way to help the homeless pets in your area, please consider donating some of your time to Cocheco Valley Humane Society!
How You Can Get Started
In order to get started, you must complete and submit a volunteer application. You will need to read the information below in order to complete your application. Please read the application carefully and sign in all places. Applications that are not filled out correctly will be returned.
Click here for a read-only version of the volunteer application. You will need to print it out and return it to CVHS either by mail, in person, or by fax. Each person applying to the volunteer program will need their own application - this includes anyone who is acting as a supervisor for another volunteer.
To request a copy of the application by email or traditional mail, call the Volunteer Coordinator at (603) 749-5322 ex. 111 or email email@example.com.
Applications can be mailed to CVHS at 262 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820
Applications can faxed to CVHS at 603-749-3484.
Once your application is received and approved, we will contact you with orientation information. All new volunteers must attend an orientation session before they can begin volunteering. At orientation, you will be given some general information about the shelter and you will be prepared for the kind of duties you'll be performing. Orientation sessions are held monthly and prior registration is required. Once your application is approved, the Volunteer Coordinator will contact you to let you know the date and time of the next session. Volunteers MUST be approved prior to attending orientation.
Important Volunteer Policies and Guidelines
* It is crucial for the volunteers working at CVHS to be knowledgeable and consistent in order to be a true benefit to the animals and staff. In order to facilitate this, we ask that volunteers who wish to help in the shelter commit to a minimum of one hour per week.
* Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer without supervision.
* Volunteers aged 14-15 years may volunteer with the supervision of a parent or guardian.
* CVHS is not able to accept volunteers under the age of 14 - no exceptions!
* Any person(s) supervising another volunteer must submit an application and attend any required orientation and training sessions. Supervisors are expected to perform the same tasks as the volunteers they are monitoring and are responsible for making sure the volunteers in their care are adhering to CVHS' policies.
* All volunteers are expected to support CVHS and our mission, and to adhere to all policies and guidelines set forth at orientation and training sessions.
* CVHS does not accept volunteers wishing to complete court ordered community service.
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.
Anyone under the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian with them at all times who is at least 18 years of age.
In-Shelter Animal Care: Our shelter's daily operations require a great deal of work. In-shelter volunteering involves direct animal care (cleaning, feeding, and caring for dogs, cats, and small animals), general shelter care (washing food dishes, doing laundry, scooping poop, etc.), and animal socialization (spending time with cats, and small animals, and walking/training dogs). If in-shelter volunteering is something that interests you, be prepared to perform a variety of different tasks. This is a good way to spend time directly with the animals and make the small contributions that make their lives a little sweeter.
Fundraisers and Special Events: Approximately once a month, CVHS participates in special events outside of the shelter. Some of these events are fundraisers designed by our event committee to raise money for the shelter, and some are events organized by outside parties that we attend in order to promote the shelter in our community and raise awareness for homeless animals. In either case, we depend greatly on volunteer help to run these events. Each of these events requires many people to perform various duties: selling retail items, answering questions for the public, handing out literature, volunteering with your dog at our Doggie Kissing Booth, etc.
Event Planners: Do you have experience organizing events? CVHS is seeking highly motivated volunteers to help organize and run various fundraisers throughout the year. With the support of the staff, event planners would be responsible for managing our fundraisers throughout the year, including current fundraisers and new future events. Event planners should be comfortable reaching out to businesses for sponsorships, donations, and support (securing venues, menu planning, etc.). Volunteers must be well organized, proficient in Microsoft Office, and comfortable speaking with potential vendors and supporters.
Foster Care: Some of the animals we care for require more attention than we can offer them and would fare much better in a home setting rather than in a shelter. Dogs and cats that are pregnant, injured, ill, or suffering from behavioral problems require a peaceful place to rest and recover, as well as lots of personal attention. For these animals, we are pleased to be able to offer foster care, in which an animal with special needs can go to the home of a foster care volunteer for a specific period of time. If you have a little extra space in your home and your heart, consider becoming a foster care volunteer and give animals with special needs the extra care and attention that will help them flourish. Foster parents must be at least 21 years old. Additional training is required. Visit the foster care section of our website to learn more about the program and find a copy of the foster care application.
Bingo: Every Saturday evening, Seacoast Bingo Hall in Somersworth holds a Bingo game to benefit CVHS. This is one of our most important and lucrative programs, raising over one hundred thousand dollars for the shelter every year. An exciting and interesting spectacle to behold, our Bingo game is run almost entirely by volunteers. Bingo volunteers must commit to one Saturday per month. We are always in need of new volunteers, over the age of 21, to help us raise money for the animals by selling tickets, calling numbers, etc. Stop by Seacoast Bingo any Saturday night to learn more about this volunteer opportunity!
Humane Education: The Humane Education program gives us the opportunity to teach kids about safety around animals. This program involves traveling to area schools to give presentations to children of various ages, as well as leading tours at CVHS for groups of children who want to learn about the functions of a humane society. We encourage anyone who has experience with public speaking,a background in teaching, or who enjoys spending time with children to apply for this program. Volunteers interested in this program will go through a special training process.
Offsite Adoption Event Volunteers: Every other week, CVHS is involved in offsite adoption events. Whether its at the Dover Petco or another local business, offsite adoption events are a chance for us to get our animals seen in the community. Volunteers are needed to help set up and man information tables as well as to handle the animals we bring over from the shelter.