Volunteer Information & Opportunities

Download the CCHS Volunteer Brochure

First Step to Volunteer at CCHS: Apply Online 

Next Step to Volunteer at CCHS: Attend One of the Monthly Orientations

Open orientation sessions for anyone interested in information about the CCHS Volunteer Program are held monthly. Check the Calendar or email Natalie@cuhumane.org for the location, date, and time. Paper applications will be available at orientation if you didn't get a chance to fill one out online.

You must be 18 years of age or older to volunteer.  During the orientation you will learn about CCHS and some of the many ways that volunteers help the organization.  After we go over all the different opportunities, we can find a way for you to help that best suits your skills and interests. At the end of the meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to speak with CCHS staff members and sign up for your first shelter tour & training session at CCHS.

Because it takes time and resources to train new volunteers, we ask that volunteers be prepared to commit to a minimum of 4 months of service, where they volunteer at least 3 hours per week. (does not need to be consecutive). We hope that once you become a CCHS volunteer, you’ll be with us for a very long time!

If you have to complete court mandated community service hours we may be able to accommodate you, however this is a separate program which is run by our adoption staff. If you are interested in completing your community service hours here at CCHS, please email Rory@cuhumane.org instead of attending the open orientation. 

Shelter Tour & Training Sessions

Shelter tour & training sessions are for volunteers that have attended the orientation and are interested in working at the shelter and helping with dog, cat, and small animal care.


For all of the volunteer positions described below that involve animal handling, volunteers must be able to remember & follow instructions, and must be able to work independently. Volunteers must have quick reflexes and utilize good judgement. Additionally, after attending training volunteers need to feel confident and comfortable handling a variety of individual animals, and be friendly towards other people working alongside them.

Cat Kennel Assistants

After attending orientation and a tour & training session, volunteers can attend a cat kennel assistant training session. Cat kennel assistants make sure the cat kennels are clean and presentable, replace old toys and blankets, and feed the cats. These shifts begin each morning at 8:30am and we finish around 11:00am. After attending training, volunteers can sign up for shifts online.

Small Animal (Critter) Kennel Assistants

After orientation and a tour & training session, volunteers can attend a critter kennel assistant training session. Critter kennel assistants make sure the critter kennels are clean and presentable, replace old toys, and feed the critters.  These shifts begin each morning at 8:30am and we finish around 11:00am. After attending training, volunteers can sign up for shifts online. 

Cat Socialization Volunteers

Cat Socialization volunteers help provide exercise, grooming, enrichment, training, and affection to the CCHS cats. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 4 shifts as a Cat Kennel Assistant, attend Cat Socialization training session.  Requires one 3-hour shift per week. M, W, Th, F : Anytime 8:30am—7pm T, Sat, Sun: Anytime 8:30am — 5pm

Dog Socialization Volunteers

Dog Socialization Volunteers help provide exercise, grooming, enrichment, training, and affection to the CCHS dogs. There are two levels that volunteers may progress through in this program. Prerequisite: Attend a dog walker training session upon completion of the tour and training session. Requires one 3-hour shift per week. Shifts: M, W, Th, F: 8:30-11am, 12-3pm, 4-7pm T, Sat, Sun: 8:30-11am, 11-2pm, 2-5pm

Small Animal (Critter) Socialization Volunteers

Small-Animal Socializers provide exercise, grooming, enrichment, training, and affection to the CCHS critters. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 4 shifts as a Critter Kennel Assistant, attend Critter Socialization training session.  Requires one 3-hour shift per week. M, W, Th, F : Anytime 8:30am—7pm T, Sat, Sun: Anytime 8:30am — 5pm

Fostering

Foster parents provide a temporary home for animals who need a little extra tender loving care. Animals needing foster care might be sick, injured, scared, nursing a litter, or pregnant. Some of them are too young to thrive in a shelter environment. To give them the best chance at finding a forever home we place these special needs animals with foster homes until they’re ready to come back to the shelter to be adopted. For more information follow this link.

Medical Lab Program

Medical Lab Volunteers help maintain the heath of our animal population by administering treatments and performing exams. Requires one 4-hour shift per week. Shifts: 8-12, 11-3, 12-4:30

Folding Newspapers

Something everyone can do! We use newspaper in our cat and puppy cages EVERYDAY, so we are always in need of folded newspaper. By folding the papers and removing the inserts, you can help speed up our cleaning process, allowing our staff to devote more time to animal care. See this link to learn more.

Sometimes newspapers need to be folded at the shelter. If you’re a shelter volunteer with extra time on your hands, ask the Shelter Manager or Volunteer Coordinator if there are papers that need to be folded.

Special Events

Special Events Volunteers represent CCHS at off-site events. Some events are held to raise money for CCHS (Mutt Strut, Fur Ball, and other smaller events). Others help raise awareness about CCHS and the animals available for adoption. And still others are aimed at educating the public about our mission and humane treatment of animals. Special Events Volunteers work on an “as needed” basis

Giant Garage Sale

Beginning with set up in mid May, continuing through the actual sale on the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and ending with final cleanup - this event is our oldest fundraiser and our single greatest need for volunteers. Follow this link to learn more. Location: Champaign County Fairgrounds