FAQs

VOLUNTEER FAQs

Is there an age requirement for volunteering at the Western PA Humane Society?

Yes. The minimum age for volunteering with our animals is 18 years of age; for other ways to help, please contact the Volunteer Manager at sdumaine@wpahumane.org.

Is there a minimum commitment of hours required to volunteer?

Yes. We ask for a minimum commitment of two hours a week for a minimum period of six months.

Do I need to schedule my volunteer hours?

Yes.   We have scheduled shifts 7 days per week for all assignments at the shelter.  Off site event volunteering would be scheduled per event.

Am I limited to interacting with one type of animal?

No. There is a separate New Volunteer Orientation for each type of shelter animal - dogs, cats, and rabbits - and attending each orientation qualifies you for interacting with that particular animal.

I need to fulfill volunteer service hours for school. Can I complete these hours at the Western PA Humane Society?

Yes. You may volunteer as a Dog Walker, Cat Cuddler, or Bunny Buddy if you agree to meet the minimum hours commitment listed in our volunteer requirements section. If you only need to complete a few hours, we have non-animal-handling opportunities available that will fulfill your requirement.

I need to fulfill Court-Ordered Community Service Hours. Are there opportunities available at the Western PA Humane Society?

Yes. If you only need to complete a few hours, we have non-animal handling opportunities available that will fulfill your requirement.

A group of students needs to complete a special project. Is there anything we can do for the Western PA Humane Society?

Yes. Although we cannot accommodate groups of students to participate in hands-on animal activities, many groups have held food drives and other collections to benefit the animals at our shelter. Other ideas include Car Washes and other fund-raisers to collect money for our shelter residents, making blankets for our cat cages or home-made dog biscuits for our shelter canines. You may visit our Wish List to get more ideas. We occasionally have painting projects, planting projects and other projects that can accommodate a group as well.

I have a special-needs client who wishes to volunteer. What are the requirements for special-needs individuals?

If the special needs of an individual would present a health or safety risk to the individual or to our animals or if the individual is not able to learn and put into practice health and safety protocols, it is required that the individual be accompanied by a job coach or social services worker who will directly supervise the individual's interaction with our animals. Please contact nhruska@wpahumane.org or 412 321-4625 x 226 to discuss which opportunities would be safe and what sort of supervision will be required.

How do I foster an animal?

The foster application, as well as the list of foster requirements, is available on our foster page or you may pick that information up at the Western PA Humane Society. For information on beccoming a foster, please contact our Foster Coordinator, Alexis Siminow at asiminow@wpahumane.org.

Can I volunteer at the Western PA Humane Society in a non-animal handling capacity? 

Yes. Our most popular opportunities are Dog Walking, Cat Cuddling, and Bunny Buddying, but we have many more opportunities available for those that wish to donate professional, administrative and clerical services to our organization.  If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, please complete a Helpful Hands volunteer application. Click here to sign up!