⭐ Volunteer Recruitment Now Open! ⭐

Cats in Progress, Dog Matchmaker, and Dog Socializer volunteer roles available. Scroll down to read more.

Learn more about Cats in Progress volunteering–NOW RECRUITING!

This is a hands-on opportunity to work with some of the most at-risk kittens in our community and have a direct life-saving impact!

HSSV is one of the only shelters in the state that offers this kind of role, which combines an on-site ringworm treatment program (with a 100% graduation rate) and a behavior modification program for undersocialized hissy and spitty kittens. We know that this role not only serves the most at-risk kittens in our community but also that it is a critical part of expanding our capacity for rescue and adoption during kitten season (April-November).

How can I learn more?

We will be hosting a virtual Meet and Greet Information Session about this role on Thursday, August 18 from 6-7pm.

Fill out our Cats in Progress New Volunteer Questionnaire to sign up for this session and get the link. Filling out the questionnaire does not commit you to becoming a volunteer–you’ll get the option to start the program after the Meet and Greet if the role feels like a good fit for you.

Meet and Greet Sign Up

What are the basic requirements of this role?

  • Open to volunteers 18 years or older
  • Read the Cats in Progress volunteer role description
    • one-year service commitment
    • June-October: 12 hours/month (1 shift of 3 hr per week)
    • November-May: 3 hours/month (1 shift of 3 hr per month, minimum)
    • following treatment plans set by medical and behavior; providing physical and emotional care for kittens not ready for adoption

What kinds of skills do I need to be a great candidate?

  • attention to detail
  • able to climb a two-step ladder and bend at the waist (other activities can be modified if needed)
  • careful record-keeping
  • following all safety protocols
  • willing to work with all types of kitties (from shy and fearful to spirited and sassy)
  • not bothered by strong smells such as disinfectant and sulfur-based medications

If you have questions, please email volunteer@hssv.org and let us know!

Learn more about Dog Volunteering roles– Now recruiting!

We are excited to announce that we’re looking for more dog volunteers!  

Our dog volunteers perform two roles: Socializers and Matchmakers. Our Dog Socializers work directly with our Animal Care and Enrichment team keep our pups socialized and exercised. Our Dog Matchmakers work directly with our Adoptions team to match potential adopters with puppies and dogs.  

How can I learn more? 

We will be hosting an in-person Meet and Greet Information Session about both dog volunteer roles on Saturday, August 20th from 11am-12:30pm at our main HSSV campus in Milpitas, CA.  

Please click below to RSVP for this Meet and Greet Session. Signing up does not commit you to becoming a volunteer – you’ll get the option to apply for one of the Dog Volunteer roles at the end of the Meet and Greet.  

Meet and Greet Sign Up

What are the basic requirements of these roles? 

Dog Socializers 

  • Open to volunteers 18 or older 
  • Read the Dog Socializer volunteer role description  
    • Minimum one-year service commitment  
    • One 3-hour shift either every week or every other week 
    • Complete Dog Volunteer training program
    • Are comfortable handling dogs over 50 lbs who pull on leash 
    • Follows best practices when working with shy dogs, like kneeling or squatting for an extended amount of time  

Dog Matchmakers 

  • Open to volunteers 18 or older 
  • Read the Dog Matchmaker volunteer role description  
    • Minimum one-year service commitment  
    • One 3-hour shift either every week or every other week  
    • Complete Dog Matchmaker training program
    • Are comfortable working with the public and providing exceptional service  
    • Are comfortable handling dogs and puppies of all sizes, breeds, and personalities  

If you have questions, please email volunteer@hssv.org and let us know!

Information About Volunteer Recruitment

Here’s an overview of our volunteer recruitment process and where and when you can find out more about how to become part of our volunteer community.

What are the basic requirements to volunteer?

  • Volunteers in regular on-site roles must be over the age of 18. If you are under 18 and interested in volunteering, please reach out to education@hssv.org for more information about youth volunteer opportunities.
  • Most of our volunteer roles ask for a weekly or bi-weekly commitment for a six-month period. Animal handling roles ask for a one-year commitment.
  • HSSV requires all employees and volunteers to be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines which includes booster doses upon eligibility, subject to consideration for medical and religious accommodations.

When can I start volunteering?

  • We recruit for on-site volunteers on a quarterly basis (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall). If you’re interested in learning more about our Foster Volunteer program, please visit HERE.

When is my next chance to volunteer?

  • We generally recruit quarterly. Our next volunteer recruitment cycle will be in early fall (August/September) of 2022.

How do I find out what roles are available in a recruitment cycle?

  • The available roles in each recruitment cycle will be posted HERE and will including role descriptions, time commitments, volunteer shift schedule, and application details.
  • Some roles, like dog and cat socializers and matchmakers, have limited openings and application spots fill up very quickly, so it’s a good idea to check out the website regularly for updates and apply as soon as a role is posted.

What if I can’t make a six- or twelve-month commitment? Is there any other way I can get involved?

  • We do have occasional opportunities for special events volunteer roles, like helping at our gala fundraising event The Fur Ball, or at sporting and community events.
  • These special event roles do not require an ongoing commitment to HSSV. For more information about upcoming Special Event opportunities, please keep an eye on this page.

How else can I support HSSV?

We can always use help for our incoming animals by donating items from our wishlist or supporting our Pet Pantry. We also accept these in-kind donations. You can also stay up to date on latest news, stories, and events at HSSV by signing up for our monthly email newsletter.

I still have some questions, can you help?

Yes! If you have questions we haven’t covered here, please reach out to the Volunteer Team by emailing volunteer@hssv.org.

The Value of Volunteerism

Fiscal Year 2020

Number of active volunteers
Total hours given
Number of animals fostered by loving foster families

Volunteers Save Lives

Volunteers make an incredible difference in the lives of the homeless animals that come in through our doors everyday. Foster volunteers like Diane Foxen help us care for the sickest and most vulnerable of those animals: kittens with ringworm. Diane has continued to foster with us during shelter-in-place – even as she works on the front lines as a neonatal nurse. We’re so grateful to Diane for her work, and she’s grateful for the joy her kittens bring her. “These little kittens have been my heroes,” she says.

Volunteer Stories

Esther Moncharsh

Esther gives more of her time to Humane Society Silicon Valley than almost anyone else. She touches almost every piece of the organization in a variety of volunteer roles — nearly a dozen different roles in all. One of her favorite places to volunteer is in the behavior department. She helps evaluate and work with the more challenging cats, works in the kitten nursery to help get under-socialized kittens ready for adoption, and even fosters underage kittens.

Greg Price

Greg has been a volunteer with us for over 6 years and comes in at least 4 days a week. He’s a board certified behavior analyst and uses his extensive skills volunteering in the behavior department working with dogs with behavior issues. His favorite part of volunteering with HSSV is participating in dog playgroups because he can see the impact they have, including teaching dogs how to get along with each other, trust humans, and experience joy.

Karley Delorme

Karley is one of our most dedicated volunteers. She holds nearly a dozen roles, and spends her time here volunteering with dogs, participating in rescue runs, working in our spay/neuter clinic, helping with events, and assisting our fundraising team. Her favorite parts of being a volunteer include helping match dogs with adopters, welcoming in new dogs that are transferred here, and learning new skills in the medical department.



Get Volunteer Program Updates

Sign up so we can let you know when we are recruiting for new volunteer roles!