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Volunteer Opportunities

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Our generous volunteers are the reason we have been able to place over 5,000 pets into loving forever homes since 1999. Without them, our rescue would be severely limited in its ability to make a lasting, positive impact for the hundreds of dogs that wag their way through our doors every year. Children under 18 years of age are more than welcome to volunteer with us, however, they must be accompanied by a trained parent or guardian. Volunteer opportunities involving any interaction with our dogs require an orientation as well as training. Please read more about our volunteer levels below or on our volunteer application. Have questions? Give us a call at (530) 832-4727 or email us at and we will be happy to help.

Please print the volunteer application below and bring it to the rescue. 


Get Involved

Volunteer Levels

Our volunteers are critically important in helping HSAR provide animal welfare for not only our dogs, but also to the dogs of Lassen and Plumas County. As a volunteer, it is important to understand the work that goes into animal welfare in order to best assist the dogs in getting the enrichment and exercise they need. We have three levels of volunteers:


Foundation: This is the base volunteer position at which all new volunteers must spend five hours before graduating to the next level. The purpose of the Foundation level is to help volunteers understand the many aspects of animal welfare that go into caring for our dogs. It is important to understand the various key roles which are necessary at the shelter but which do not always mean working directly with the dogs. In this role, we may ask of you:


  • Drive dogs to the vet in your personal vehicle

  • Assist with front office tasks

  • Donation sorting

  • Laundry, dog toy prep, and organizing

  • Landscaping (it is a year round thing)

  • Event Assistance


Dog Handling: Once a volunteer has shown their commitment to volunteering at the shelter by putting in a minimum of 5 hours at the Foundation level, they are eligible to receive more in-depth training and to begin working directly with the dogs. After this training, volunteers will be able to take dogs on walks around the campus, provide play exercise in our large yards, and use the training techniques you will be taught to help improve the dogs’ behaviors, which makes them more adoptable.  The better behaved the dog is, the faster it will be adopted, which is the end goal for all of the dogs that come to HSAR.


Specialty:  After 10 hours of volunteering (5 hours at the Foundation level and 5 hours at the Dog Handling level, or 10 hours foundation) volunteers will attain the highest level, Specialty.  After 10 hours, you will also receive your official HSAR volunteer shirt.  As a Specialty volunteer you are eligible for:

  1.  Assisting with vet runs using the van. This typically happens on Thursdays and is used to transport multiple dogs.

  2. Off-site dog field trips. After we have seen your dog handling skills here at the shelter, we are more comfortable letting dogs out for field trips with you where you would like to take them.

  3. Adoption Counseling – this volunteer group conducts the meet and greets of potential adopters with the dog they are interested in. They gauge whether the dog/family combo is a good match and also provide insight into different behaviors that might arise when bringing the dog home.

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