PLEASE NOTE: Due to an overwhelming interested in our Volunteer program, VCAS is placing a temporary hold on new volunteer applicats. If you are currently signed up for an Orientation & Training class any time between now and April 21st, don't worry, you are good! We look forward to welcoming new volunteers sometime this summer. Thank you so much for your interest! :-)
Volunteers play a crucial role here at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS). Not only do they share our love of animals, they assist our staff with the care, comfort and promotion of our animals. We have numerous programs for volunteers aged from 13** and up, so if you love animals, we would love your help!
Click here to complete a Volunteer Application.
** Parents and legal guardians MUST go through the Volunteer process and accompany minors (under 18 years) during all visits to the shelter. Minors may never be unattended or be dropped off for any volunteer activity both onsite and offsite. If a different parent or guardian will be accompanying a minor to the shelter, he/she must go through the same volunteer process and have equal training as their child.
Click here to learn about fostering!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1) Can I volunteer at the Simi Valley Animal Shelter, too?
Yes, but you will need to attend Orientation & Training and all animal handling classes at the Camarillo Animal Shelter (600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010)
2) When/how can I sign up for animal handling classes?
After you have completed your initial Orientation & Training class, you will be shown how to sign up with a VCAS Volunteer Mentor for animal handling classes.
3) Is there a minimum amount of time that I need to volunteer?
No. But we suggest volunteering on a regular basis. Many people choose a specific day and time and make it part of their week. We understand that life happens and you will sometimes need to go out of town or deal with a family issue. Don't worry. We understand and we will be waiting for you when you return.
4) Is there a maximum amount of time that I can volunteer?
No. However, shelter life can sometimes be taxing. Taking occasional breaks is good for the mind, body and soul.
5) When can I volunteer?
7:00am - 7:00pm every day of the week including holidays and days we are closed to the public.
6) What will I learn at Orientation & Training?
Orientation is roughly 45 minutes and is a brief introduction to shelter life. The training afterwards is about 1.5 hours and is mostly outdoors. This training will show you the many things you can do to benefit the animals in our care.
7) Is there a place where I can learn more about the shelter before my visit?
Yes. Ventura County Animal Services has created a 9-part documentary series called "Shelter Life". It is available to watch at www.vcas.us/ShelterLife.
8) Can I work with animals other than dogs, cats and rabbits?
Yes. Ventura County Animal Services houses a variety of animals in addition to dogs, cats and rabbits. We house fowl (Roosters, Hens, Chickens, Ducks...etc.), and many types of cold-blooded pets (Turtles, Snakes, Lizards, Bearded Dragons, Geckos, Tortoises...etc.) as well as Horses and sometimes Donkeys and Sheep! If you have experience with any of these types of animals, please let us know after orientation.
9) What's the best method of communicating with the shelter?
10) Can I do volunteer work from home?
Yes. We need help marketing our animals and you can do so by posting photos and video of the pets you see. You would be surprised how many lives you can save by simply sharing content on your own! You can also become a Foster Parent. You can take care of shelter pets at home. Visit www.vcas.us/foster for details.
11) Can I fulfill court-ordered community service?
Unfortunately, no. VCAS unable to offer temporary volunteer opportunities for those needing to complete community service hours.
- Help promote animal to find them a permanent home.
- Assist with animal care in our kennels
- Socialize our pets
- Foster our pets in your home. (Learn more at www.vcas.us/foster)
- Find a family to foster a pet temporarily
- Organize a fundraiser for the shelter (VCAS has a 501(c)(3) non-profit Foundation called "Friends of VCAS")
- Participate in animal enrichment programs
- Help out at events and with special projects
- Educate the public about animal welfare
- We even have specialized groups for people who love certain types of animals:
- Must love animals!
- Must want to make a positive difference in the lives of our animals.
Click here to complete and ADULT VOLUNTEER APPLICATION
Junior Volunteer program: 16 – 17 years old
Junior Volunteers can volunteer on-site with a legal parent/guardian. They can participate in almost any on-site program that a basic adult volunteer can, including:
- Shelter Support
- Special Events
- Office Help
- Marketing & Social Media
- Bunny Brigade
- Callaway Cats
- Dog Squad/Pit Crew
Both the parent/legal guardian and the Junior Volunteer MUST submit volunteer applications AND attend orientation/trainings. If you are interested in becoming a Junior Volunteer please fill out a JUNIOR VOLUNTEER APPLICATION and have your parent fill out the ADULT VOLUNTEER APPLICATION then register for one of our available orientations.
Note: Junior Volunteers CANNOT volunteer without their parent/guardian volunteer.
VolunTEEN program: 13 – 15 Years old
Youth between the ages of 13 and 15 are eligible to volunteer alongside a parent or legal guardian who is also a volunteer as part of our VolunTEEN Program. VolunTEENs are able to participate in many of our regular programs including:
- Select Shelter Support activities
- Special Events
- Bunny Brigade
- Select Callaway Cats programs
- Select Dog Squad programs
The parent/legal guardian and VolunTEEN will work as a team and the adult will be responsible for handling all animals. The teen cannot be left alone with any animal at any point in time. Both the parent/legal guardian and teen must submit volunteer applications and are responsible for attending the initial orientation, as well as any subsequent training classes required for their chosen position. If you are interested in becoming a VolunTEEN please fill out a VOLUNTEEN APPLICATION and have your parent fill out the ADULT VOLUNTEER APPLICATION then register for one of our VolunTEEN orientations.
Already a Volunteer? Sign In Here (VicNet)