HOW TO VOLUNTEER
Volunteers are the backbone of our facility and aid our staff in daily operations. While we do have individuals that prefer to concentrate on one specific area (i.e. cats, mailings), the majority of our volunteers are multifaceted.
The volunteer experience at the shelter includes (but is not limited to):
- dog walking / feeding / handling
- cat socializing / feeding / handling
- cleaning animal areas and facility
- bathing animals
- greeting guests for special events
- assisting potential adopters
- speaking to public about Henry’s Haven mission
- fostering kittens and cats
- assisting in the kitten nursery
- transporting animals
If there is anything you are physically unable to do, you must let us know before you begin volunteering.
The first step is to fill out our Volunteer Application. You may either complete our online version or print a copy and mail it to our location. Once we have received your application, you will be contacted through email to set up a Volunteer Orientation (please allow 4-6 weeks for processing).
Is there an age requirement to volunteer?
Yes. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.
What is the time commitment?
The minimum commitment is a standing 3-hour shift each week for at least 6 months.
Why are new volunteers required to make a $30 donation?
New volunteers are kindly asked to make a one-time, tax-deductible donation of $30 at the time of your first volunteer orientation. This covers the cost of your volunteer t-shirt, online scheduling account, training and application processing. We are very grateful for your help and realize that many volunteers donate their time in lieu of a monetary contribution. But without this extra help, we could not afford to maintain a successful volunteer program.
How soon after orientation can I begin volunteering?
Right away! You will receive the login information for our online scheduling program immediately following your second orientation.
Can I bring my child with me when I volunteer? I want him/her to have the experience of caring for animals.
Unfortunately, no. We do not have volunteers under the age of 18 working at the shelter because we cannot be responsible for minors. Additionally, if you are watching your child, you are not focusing 100% on your job, which can be dangerous.
Can I bring my family member or friend to volunteer with me?
No. Anyone who performs the duties of a volunteer or enters Staff Only areas must be a registered volunteer of Henry’s Haven. This is for the safety of our staff, volunteers and animals.
Does Henry’s Haven offer foster opportunities to volunteers?
We do have a foster program that is open to Henry’s Haven volunteers. You will find out more about this at your volunteer orientation.
How do I volunteer for events?
Henry’s Haven volunteers are welcome to volunteer at all events. Once you have attended both orientations, you will begin to receive weekly volunteer emails with information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
Can I pick up any infections or diseases at the shelter?
Our cats and dogs are all under veterinary care and have received their standard vaccinations. In the event an animal comes down with a contagious infection, we isolate them from the rest of the shelter and inform volunteers of their condition. While we take every precaution to protect our staff and volunteers, the risk of contracting minor infections ( i.e. Ringworm), is present in all animal shelters and facilities with a large number of animals.
I have a disability. Can I still volunteer?
Henry’s Haven has a place for everyone. Some of our volunteer opportunities (such as dog walking) require volunteers to be in good physical condition, however, we have different options for volunteers of all abilities.
Henry’s Haven offers a variety of internship opportunities for college students, professionals and others interested in gaining hands-on experience with animal care or those looking to gain experience in the field of animal welfare outside of direct animal care.
Internships at Henry’s Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, located in Austin, Texas, are open to college students (both undergraduate and graduate) seeking a career in animal welfare, as well as other candidates who have equivalent life and work experience. You must be at least 20 years of age to apply for an internship; the minimum age is higher for some internships. Please note that internships are unpaid.
We offer internships in the following areas:
- Cat care
- Community cat program: trap-neuter-return (TNR)*
- Dog care
- Dog training
- Kitten nursery*
- Rabbit care
*The minimum age to apply is 21.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional program information or application instructions. Please let us know which program you are interested in pursuing.
At Henry’s Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Austin, Texas, you can get real-world experience and hands-on training working under some of the best veterinarians in the field. If you are studying to become a veterinarian or a veterinary technician, or you are seeking a career in veterinary shelter medicine, explore the possibility of completing your preceptorship or externship at Henry’s Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.
Fourth-year veterinary student preceptorship
If you are a fourth-year veterinary student considering a career in shelter medicine, there is no better place than Henry’s Haven to spend your preceptorship. Under the guidance of Henry’s Haven veterinarians, you will participate in performing daily medical rounds of the sanctuary animals, practicing making diagnoses and offering treatment recommendations. You will acquire experience interpreting diagnostic testing and giving opinions about medical treatments being used on particular animals.
In addition, if your surgical experience is appropriate, you will perform spay/neuter surgeries and possibly other surgical procedures as well. Students will practice conducting scheduled appointments with the public and may take part in emergency situations. There is ongoing medical care for animals hospitalized at the Sanctuary. And, as time permits, special projects may be suggested or assigned. Henry’s Haven has a beautifully equipped, state-of-the-art veterinary clinic for homeless pets and some of the best vets on the planet. Take part in this experience of a lifetime!
The length of the preceptor rotation is two weeks.
Veterinary technician externship program
If you are enrolled in a certified veterinary technical program and you are interested in animal welfare or working in a sanctuary setting, then this may be the externship opportunity for you.
The veterinary technician externship program is open to individuals who are age 20 and over, who are currently enrolled in a certified veterinary technician program, and who have at least six months of experience working in a clinical setting. If you are interested in pursuing a career within a sanctuary setting, this externship will be particularly beneficial.
The program gives you hands-on experience with setting catheters, drawing blood, restraining animals, cleaning surgical instruments and assembling surgical packs, assisting in surgery, cleaning kennels, performing medical treatments on patients and helping with radiographs (if the student has taken a safety course). You may be asked to perform general care of hospitalized patients, such as feeding, walking, cleaning living areas, doing laboratory work (e.g., fecals, urinalysis, preparing lab samples) and assisting in cleaning the hospital at the end of the day. There may be other duties assigned, depending on the needs of the animal patients, but you will always be under the supervision and guidance of our top-notch veterinary staff.
The length of this externship rotation is four weeks.
Be a hero to a homeless pet.
By providing a short-term foster home you can be a long-term lifesaver.
What does it mean to foster a pet from Henry’s Haven?
To foster means to open your home temporarily to a pet (or pets) and provide love and care while they wait to be adopted. Henry’s Haven provides everything else: support, medical care, food and supplies. You can find more general information about fostering here.
What animals at the Sanctuary typically need foster care?
Several types of adoptable or soon-to-be adoptable Sanctuary pets need foster care for different reasons. Here are some common examples:
- Mama cats with litters (until the kittens are old enough for adoption)
- Orphaned kittens (until they are old enough for adoption)
- Adult cats with special medical needs or behavioral challenges
- Puppies (until they are old enough for adoption)
- Adult dogs with special medical needs or behavioral challenges
- Hospice care pets needing a comfortable place to spend their final days
- Guinea pigs
Fostering helps prepare homeless pets for adoption and sets them up for success in their new homes. And as a bonus, you get to share your home with an adorable bundle of love and fuzz!
Fostering also might give you the opportunity to provide healing care for a sick pet, or to offer comfort during a senior pet’s final days.
How do I get started?
First time volunteers: If this is your first time volunteering with Henry’s Haven, you will need to make a volunteer profile and complete our foster orientation.
For more information, email email@example.com or call 540-450-7918. Foster parents should live within a 30 minute drive of the Sanctuary.