Volunteer Positions

Volunteer Opportunities

Cat Floor

Cats have specific needs that must be met for them to be successful in a shelter environment. SafeHaven has a cat room filled with toys, treats, brushes, and windows to help meet these needs. Our goal at SafeHaven is to get every cat out of its kennel as often as possible. Volunteers are encouraged to let cats out to play, be brushed, given treats, and cuddled! Cat socialization takes place between noon and close each day. In addition to the social/mental wellness of the cats, volunteers can also participate in the husbandry of the animals. This includes cleaning the cat’s kennels, provide meals, updating information on the animal’s personality, and helping staff to advocate for the animals to potential adopters.

Dog Floor

We understand how stressful the shelter environment may be on an animal. To help overcome this stress, the shelter depends on volunteers to come to the shelter and help give the animals the extra attention needed to feel happy! We have 6 play yards and a puppy pad at the shelter for dogs to get out and exercise. Our goal at SafeHaven is to get each dog out of its kennel and into a play yard a minimum of three times a day. Volunteers play a vital role in accomplishing this goal. Volunteers are encouraged to take dogs into yards to play, work on commands, be brushed and loved on! The human interaction that the dogs get through this volunteer socialization helps promote positive behavior, as well depression in the animals. Dog socialization takes place between noon and close each day. In addition to the social/mental wellness of the dogs, volunteers can also participate in the husbandry of the animals. This includes cleaning the dog’s kennels, playroom, showing rooms, yards, provide meals, updating information on the animal’s personality, grooming/bathing, and helping staff to advocate for the animals to potential adopters.

Dog Handling Classes

Dog handling classes are an essential part of working with dogs in a shelter environment. Through these free classes, volunteers can learn more about dog behavior, training, and shelter safety. There are 3 levels of dog handling courses. Level 1 dog handling is the basic course that teaches volunteers how to safely work with adult dogs in the shelter. The level 2 and level 3 courses are offered to volunteers that have served a set number of hours (50 hours for level 2 and 100 hours for level 3) who are interested in working with dogs that may need additional training.

General Cleaning/Laundry/Dishes

SafeHaven prides itself on providing a clean, sanitary kennel for each animal each day and in turn creates a professional and welcoming environment for our community. Every morning our staff, with the help of volunteers, clean every animal’s kennel, and provide them with clean blankets, food, water, and toys. This process is very time consuming, and we depend on volunteers to be able to get everything done in time to open the shelter to the public. Volunteers can sign up to help with morning cleaning duties for either dogs or cats. Afternoon shifts are also available for more light cleaning, laundry, and dishes.

Volunteering in Specific Departments

Community Outreach

Community is at the heart of SafeHaven’s mission, and we love getting out there and sharing what we do with our wonderful community! We also strive to offer our support for different community programs and endeavors all across Linn County. Volunteers are always needed to assist with this by attending events in the community. Volunteers in this position frequently staff information tables, escort adoptable animals, assist with donation drives, and perform other activities depending on the event. Some past events SafeHaven has attended are OSU Pet Day, The Lebanon Strawberry Parade, Pet Therapy in Assisted Living Facilities, Adoption Events, and Fill the Van donation drives at various stores.

Grooming and Bathing

SafeHaven is very thankful to have a grooming room with a bath and a grooming table to help keep our animals clean and looking nice! Several of our dogs coming from transports or as owner surrenders are in desperate need of a bath and a trim when they arrive. Volunteers are welcome to help in this department working with dogs to prepare them for adoption.

Humane Education

The goal of SafeHaven’s Humane Education Program is to help create a more humane world for all those who inhabit it. To this end, we offer a variety of educational programs that are geared towards teaching practical skills that encourage successful and safe human-animal interactions and relationships, as well as developing social and emotional skills that promote kindness, empathy, compassion, and responsibility. One of our favorite teaching styles is education by accident or teaching in a relaxed environment through enjoyable activities that do not necessarily feel like learning. Some of the programs we offer are Pets & Pajamas movie nights, Birthday Parties, Classroom Presentations, Field Trips, Camps, Youth Volunteer Groups, and the Happy Tales Reading Program. There are Humane Education Volunteer Opportunities available for youth 14 years and older as Youth Activities Assistants, as well as opportunities for adults.

Medical Department

SafeHaven is proud to have a full medical suite in house that offers a variety of medical needs to our animals. SafeHaven’s veterinarians do on-site high quality, high volume spay/neuter surgery three to four weekdays per week. On busy surgery days, the medical department greatly benefits from volunteer help in two different volunteer positions: General Medical Volunteers and Recovery Medical Volunteers. General Medical Volunteers assist with: cleaning kennels and the medical suite, wrapping surgery packs and cleaning surgical instruments, maintaining a clean and organized environment in the medical suite, doing laundry, and restocking shelves. Recovery Medical Volunteers assist with: holding animals for the veterinarian for pre-surgery exams, recovering patients from anesthesia (including monitoring their vital signs), trimming toenails and cleaning ears on patients that are in recovery, and setting up and restocking the recovery area. Volunteers must be 18 years or older for these positions and have the ability to commit to at least 2 shifts each month.

Office Help

The administration team at SafeHaven works hard to keep the shelter up and running both financially, as well as logistically. We are often looking for volunteers to help with organizing, sorting, filing, and more clerical work in our offices. We also utilize volunteer help with data entry across many of our departments, including our Customer Care, Intake, and Foster Care teams.

Volunteer Department

The Volunteer Coordinator welcomes in new volunteers through Volunteer Orientations as well as maintains records for all the active volunteers. Active volunteers are welcome to assist with orientations, entering in volunteer hours, guiding new volunteers, and more. Volunteers are also encouraged to assist with the development of the volunteer program by creating new enrichment activities, hosting and planning volunteer events, creating new volunteer assignments, etc.

SafeHaven Volunteering

Volunteer Special Events and Programs

Can Crew

SafeHaven collects donations of cans and bottles throughout the year to raise money for the animals in our care. We often need help receiving donations at can drives, sorting, organizing, and re-bagging these cans to get them ready to take to BottleDrop. This is a great opportunity for individuals or as a group project and is extremely beneficial to the shelter.

Dog Walk Group

It is important that our dogs get time outside of the shelter environment to exercise and stretch their legs. The dog walk groups are a great way for volunteers to interact with the dogs outside of the shelter. The dog walks take place near SafeHaven and are about a mile walk.


As a non-profit organization that is funded only by donations and fundraising efforts, events are a fun and vital component to SafeHaven Humane Society and its continuing mission. There are many ways to become involved with SafeHaven without committing to a set weekly schedule, volunteering for our events; joining planning committees, event set up, take down, work during event, and spreading the word of events are all needed and appreciated greatly. With 1-3 events a year, volunteering for events is a quick, but impactful way to help thousands of shelter pets a year. If helping SafeHaven throw parties for shelter pets sounds like a good fit for you, please contact us by emailing events@safehavenhumane.com.

Pet Food Pantry

SafeHaven is proud to offer a Pet Food Pantry to our community members on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 9am-11am. Volunteers are invited to help serve community members by assisting with tracking information, distributing food, and organizing donated items during this time. Volunteers need to be able to stand, bend, and lift up to 30 pounds during the event.

Volunteering Outside the Shelter

Foster Parents

We are always in need of foster care providers! We rely on our amazing network of foster care providers to help us rescue and care for animals! We place more than 2,300 dogs and cats in forever homes each year, and hundreds of these animals get their start in our foster care program.

  • Through foster care, we are able to house more adoptable animals and save more lives. Fostering an animal is a wonderful way to experience the joy of owning a pet for those who are unable to make a permanent commitment to an animal. Learn more about becoming a foster care provider here.

Pet Therapy

The company of a pet can be very therapeutic for both humans and animals. With the Pet Therapy program, SafeHaven is able to take animals to places such as senior living facilities, group homes, and more for socialization and therapy to the residents. Volunteers are welcome to join in on the adventure to help oversee the animals and interact with the clients.

Gift and Thrifts

SafeHaven has two thrift stores, one in Tangent and one in Lebanon. The Gift and Thrift stores rely heavily on volunteers for cleaning, organizing, customer service and cashier positions.

Shelter Beautification Assistance

We always need help with yard work, including flower planting projects weeding, cutting back bushes, washing dog houses, trash removal and more. To use power tools or to mow, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or older.

Court-Ordered Community Service

If you are needing to complete Court-Ordered Community Service Hours, SafeHaven does offer volunteer opportunities for this. These volunteers are able to do cleaning, yard work, and any other needs throughout the shelter. No animal socialization is available for this position. Volunteers performing Court-Ordered Community Service cannot have a crime against children or animals in order to volunteer with us. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Learn more here.