• Once you download and complete the Volunteer Application, you may either drop it by the shelter during normal business hours, mail it, fax it, or scan and email it to us. Once we receive it, we will be in touch with you about the next available orientation dates. The orientation lasts about an hour and is held twice per month. Shelter contact information may be found on our Contact page.  We look forward to having you be a part of the YHS!

    • How do I become a volunteer?

      We love our volunteers! In order to be a volunteer with us, just call or come by the shelter to receive a volunteer application, or you can download it from our website, print it, complete it, scan and email it, mail it or drop it by the shelter. Once the application is submitted, you will need to attend a Volunteer Orientation program. This is a one hour training to orient you to the policies and procedures of the shelter. Orientations are held twice a month and you will be notified of the times. Once you complete the training, you are good to go!

    • What are Some Volunteer Opportunities?

      We have a number of opportunities for you to get involved!

      • At the Shelter - We depend on our shelter volunteers to get dogs out in the play yards for some much needed exercise and socialization. We would also love some help with giving the dogs baths, brushing them and teaching them some basic commands, such as sit and come. Concerning the cats, our volunteers play with them, cuddle them and generally spend time socializing them. The more interaction and time the dogs and cats have with people, the more adoptable they are.
      • At the Barkin' Basement - The shelter operates a thrift store in Burnsville, the Barkin' Basement. This store is the main funding source for the shelter, and we are always in need of volunteers. Volunteers intake, sort and clean donations as well as assist the public in finding items they are looking for.
      • Tails on Trails - This is a program where volunteers sign up to take a dog out on a walk/hike on the weekend. It's a fun way to get outside, meet new friends and give the dogs a much needed break from the shelter. Hike leaders are especially needed!
      • Chain Free Yancey - This program builds fences for dogs that are on chains. We need volunteers to help with the construction and we particularly need volunteers who have the skills to oversee the project.
      • Events - We often participate in off-site adoption events in which volunteers play a big part in assisting us in getting the dogs walked for potty breaks and helping to show our dogs and cats to the public. We also hold rabies clinics throughout the year and could use help doing various things, such as assisting with parking, greeting the public and collecting information needed to issue rabies certificates.
      • Pet Therapy - We take dogs to visit long term care and assisted living residents twice a month. We could use volunteers to assist with this rewarding program.
      • Transport - Periodically we have the need to transport an animal to an adopter. Oftentimes adopters will adopt sight unseen and ask for assistance in getting the animal to them. We will generally meet them half way, within a reasonable distance and could use volunteers to assist us with this.
      • General - If you have specific skills and have some extra time, we need you! For example, if you are a groomer, we periodically have the need to have a dog or cat groomed. If you have experience with photography, we would love for you to take flattering pictures of our pets in order to better market them online. If you have website management experience, we could use you to help us keep our website current. If you have specific skills, we may have a rewarding opportunity for you!
    • How old do I have to be to volunteer?

      You will need to be at least 16 years old to volunteer. However, if you under 16, you may volunteer as long as you have a responsible adult accompany you.

    • My schedule is unpredictable and I can't guarantee availability. Can I still volunteer?

      Yes! You may volunteer anytime that the shelter is open to the public. Of course, we would love for you to commit to a schedule, however we understand that life is unpredictable. So, we are happy to have you, whenever your schedule will accommodate.