We are experiencing a higher-than-normal interest in volunteering and it may take longer to process your Volunteer Application. Thank you for your patience and we look forward to welcoming you to the VCAS Family, soon!
Volunteers are 100% essential to our live-saving efforts! They are the lifeblood of dozens of shelter programs and they have enhanced every department at Ventura County Animal Services with their dedication and compassion. Without volunteer support we could not function the way we do.
Volunteers are involved in almost every aspect of our organization, from daily animal care and medical support to marketing and fundraising, they do it all! Some volunteer individually, while others arrive as couples/friends/groups. We recommend getting to know fellow volunteers and coordinating times to come and Volunteer. Those who volunteer together, tend to volunteer more often, and for a longer time.
Although volunteers have the opportunity to play with puppies and kittens, volunteering also means getting your hands dirty (doing laundry, sorting donations), helping staff, and the public. Some volunteer tasks may be physically demanding, but we also need individuals to help with clerical work and media. No matter your abilities are, there is something for you at Ventura County Animal Services!
- Must be 18 years or older.
- Must treat animals and humans with kindness.
- Must like people, be approachable, and be a team player.
- Must work well with a variety of personalities.
- Must be able to accept direction.
- Must be adaptive to changing guidelines and protocols.
- Must adhere to VCAS Volunteer Policies and Code of Conduct.
General Volunteer Tasks:
Assembling Adoption Packets
Greeting the Public
New Volunteer Process:
- Tap/click here to submit an online application. This application includes electronic signature/verification of the Volunteer Agreement, Release of Liability and Waiver, and Code of Conduct.
- Complete a general volunteer orientation session online.
- After submitting the application, you will receive an email with a link to your VicNet volunteer portal where you will sign up for your First Day Training Shift and/or complete training videos online to get started with Shelter Support tasks right away.
- Working directly with animals is enjoyable, but is only one part of volunteering. If you are interested in training to handle dogs, cats, or rabbits, you must meet the essential capabilities of volunteers requirements and attend additional training sessions as required.
Completing a general volunteer orientation is mandatory before you can volunteer at VCAS. Orientation will cover the goals and policies of the organization, as well as explaining volunteer opportunities. VCAS volunteer t-shirts are available for purchase at your First Day Training Shift or through our front office. If you do not wish to purchase a t-shirt, blue volunteer aprons are available to borrow for the day.
- Short Sleeve T-Shirt: $10
- Long Sleeve T-Shirt: $15
Volunteer hour requirements:
Essential Shelter Support
|Minimum Number of Hours Suggested Per Month||No Minimum.||8 hours/month||4 hours/month||4 hours/month|
There is no minimum hourly commitment for Essential Shelter Support Tasks. We ask, however, that all volunteers who handle dogs, commit to at least eight (8) hours of service per month. Doing so will keep you updated on new protocols and handling techniques. Those interested in handling cats or rabbits should commit to at least four (4) hours per month. Volunteers who have not volunteered within one (1) year may be asked to attend a refresher orientation. If life events occur and you are unable to volunteer for some time, simply let us know so we don’t worry. We require all volunteers to adhere to the VCAS Volunteer Policies.
Frequently Asked Volunteer Questions
Court-Mandated Hours: At this time we have limited capacity for those seeking community service hours. Please email our Volunteer Coordinator at to learn if we are able to accommodate.
School/Employee: If you are seeking community service hours for school, an organization, or personal satisfaction, please follow the steps above for becoming a VCAS volunteer. You will be responsible for any and all tracking documentation, including documenting your volunteer hours on your own time sheet if required by your organization/school. You may request that a VCAS supervisor initial your time sheet at the end of your volunteer commitment. If you require other documentation of your volunteer hours including a letter written on official VCAS letterhead, please email the Volunteer Coordinator before beginning your service.
A common reason that an application fails to submit is if required fields are left blank. All items with a red asterisk must be completed. If you don’t receive your welcome email after completing the application, please check your spam/junk mail folder and adjust your email settings to allow email from Ventura County Animal Services.
If you continue to have problems submitting your application or finding the email about getting started, please email email@example.com.
Shortly after submitting the online application, you will receive an email prompting you to sign up for your first shift. This is a very important email, as it contains a link to the volunteer portal, our volunteer handbook, and pertinent details relating to your first shift. Please see the question above if you are having trouble with the application or the confirmation email.
You may watch the Volunteer Orientation video online at your convenience. Once you submit your application, you will have 90 days to begin Volunteering. If you do not log any volunteer hours during this time, your account will be deactivated and you will need to re-apply.
Kind of! Volunteer dog walkers are also asked to help with other shelter duties, such as doing laundry, sorting donations, stocking shelves etc. Those interested in walking dogs must complete our training program. You will receive instructions on how to become a VCAS dog walker when you attend your first Volunteer shift.
Yes. Our “Hound on the Town” program allows you to check a dog out for a few hours or the day. Only approved dogs are permitted out on field trips and you must first attend a Foster Orientation online, and schedule a matchmaking appointment at www.vcas.us/foster. If you would like to be able to choose your own hiking buddy on your own schedule, you must complete a Dog Handling Training as a VCAS Volunteer.
Yes. But due to safety concerns, group volunteering opportunities are limited to project-based activities and not activities involving the handling of animals. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator to set up a Group Volunteering service day. firstname.lastname@example.org.
VCAS depends on the generosity of our community. We encourage groups to set up fundraising drives in place of a service day as we are always in need of funds to help support our live-saving activities.