Three white and orange kittens laying in a bed

Become a Foster

Foster volunteers offer TLC and a quiet retreat for pets in need. Join us and make a lifesaving difference.

A brown dog wearing a harness and collar with a volunteer wearing grey clothes. The volunteer is smiling and holding the dogs cheeks in an embrace

2022 Annual Report

We're here for the people and pets of Southwest Washington. Learn more about our lifesaving work in the community.

a volunteer in a red apron is licked on the cheek by a large golden brown dog with black stripes

We Love Volunteers.

Make a Difference Today.

We care for more than 8,000 animals annually and couldn't do it without our incredible community of 500 volunteers! From animal care and enrichment, to administrative support, assisting with adoptions, or lending a hand at ReTails Thrift Store our volunteers make an enormous difference in completing families every day.

Current Opportunities

Click the opportunities below to learn more about volunteering at HSSW. To register, please click the registration link in the opportunity that best fits your interest.

  • Adult Volunteer

    Volunteer at opportunities at the Adoption Center & Shelter come in lots of shapes and sizes. Whether you're interested in working directly with the animals or supporting our work in other ways, there's a place for you here. We currently have the greatest need in the following areas:

    • Dog Walking
    • Cat Care
    • Laundry and Dishes

    More Opportunities

    Not sure if the positions above are the right fit for you? No problem! There are more opportunities available - click the link below to register and learn more.

    Register Now

  • Foster Volunteer

    Foster volunteers provide lifesaving care to animals who need time away from the shelter. Animals may require foster support for a number of reasons

    • Young animals - For puppies and kittens, foster placement helps ensure they are healthy, safe, and socialized until they can be adopted. 
    • Medical cases - Foster placement is a great way to ensure animals with special medical needs receive care in a reduced-stress environment. Most animals seeking foster for medical reasons are easily cared for and fosters receive support and training from our team. 
    • Behavior support - Shelters can be stressful places for some animals, and taking a break with a foster is not only more enriching, it also helps reduce and prevent unwanted behaviors that may result from shelter stress.

    Foster volunteering is a great way to help all year round, and is most important during the spring, summer, and fall months when kittens are in need of care. Fostering kittens is also a great way to get the whole family involved - especially kids!

    If you think fostering might be the right fit for you, click the link below to register. 

    Register Now

  • ReTails Thrift Store

    ReTails is more than just a thrift store, it's an experience! ReTails is the destination for clothing bargains, vintage items, home furnishings, holiday decor and so much more. But we can only do it with the help of our incredible volunteers! 

    We have immediate openings in the following volunteer positions:

    • Department Specialists provide customer service and assist with sorting, repairing and organizing merchandise in one of ReTails many departments which include Apparel, Books, Linens, Electronics, Kitchen, Garden, Holiday, Jewelry, and more.
    • ReTails Greeters ensure customers feel welcome, answer questions, and provide directions and information.
    • Merchandising Volunteers assist with merchandise intake, sorting, and pricing. Volunteer shifts and qualifications vary based on the assignment.

    To lend a hand at ReTails, click the link below to register!


    Register Now

  • Teen Volunteers

    Loving animals is only part of the job - like all volunteers at HSSW, teen volunteers need to love working with people and enjoy being part of a team. HSSW is now accepting applications for teen volunteers, age 16 an older.

    If you are interested in being a teen volunteer, you must: 

    • Be over the age of 16 
    • Commit to one two-hour shift per week for six months, or five two-hour shifts per week for two months
    • Have approval from their parents to participate

    If you're interested in becoming a teen volunteer at HSSW, you can begin the process here

    Apply Now

    We cannot accept any volunteers under age 16, even with parental supervision. Teen volunteering may not be used to complete required service hours for school or community service. 


  • Group Volunteer Opportunities

    Group volunteers can make a big impact for the animals! We can accommodate groups of up to 40 individuals. Opportunities are limited, and must be scheduled in advance. Learn more below. 

    Group Volunteer Activities

    ReTails Thrift Store

    With more than 30,000 square feet of space, there's always room for group volunteers at ReTails. Owned and operated byt HSSW, ReTails sells donated clothing, books, electronics, housewares, and appliances to benefit the animals. We love to invite groups to help us price sort and tidy up our store (and you can finish your day with some great shopping)!

    Gardening and Yardwork

    Our facilities team is always looking for teams to help with power washing, landscaping, and distributing wood chips. Volunteers must provide their own gloves. Depending on the project, providing additional equipment for the project is helpful.

    Special Events

    Events like Walk/Run (the first weekend in May) and our Gala (the first weekend of October) are excellent opportunities for groups to lend a hand. There are opportunities to help with a variety of tasks and roles.

    Fundraising and Supply Drives

    Fundraising and supply drives can be a great way to unite your team to support a good cause! Learn more about supply drives. If you would like to host a fundraiser, you can contact us to learn more.

    Requesting a Group Volunteer Opportunity

    Group Service opportunities Space is limited, so group service dates must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance, between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Email [email protected] with your group type, group size, the activity you're interested in, and 3 ideal dates for service

    Youth Group Volunteers

    HSSW is not able to supervise children, any youth groups with volunteers under the age of 16 must provide a their own adult supervision. Groups should have one trusted adult present for every five youth participants. Adults must accompany children at all times. There are always risks of scratches, bites, or other injury when working in a shelter environment. Anyone under the age of 18 (or otherwise ineligible) must have a waiver of liability signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate in group volunteer opportunities at the shelter or ReTails.

To volunteer at HSSW, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be able to commit to a six-month term with two hours of service per week.
  • Meet the requirements and scheduling availability for your chosen volunteer position.
  • Complete all required training prior to starting your volunteer service.

If you meet the requirements above and are ready to join us as a volunteer, please register via the link in one of the opportunities above. Please complete the questionnaire including contact information, areas of interest and special skills. If you are a new user, you'll need to create an account.

Unsure what might be the best fit for you? No problem! Complete the Adult Volunteer Form to get started and we'll help find the best possible match for your interest. 

Why Volunteer?

We think Volunteering at HSSW is a great way to help animals in need. We're not the only ones! Hear from some HSSW volunteers about why they give their time and talent to support the animals. 


Contact us:
[email protected]