Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities
Coquitlam Animal Shelter
Phone: 604-927-7387 (604-927-PETS)
500 Mariner Way, Coquitlam, B.C. V3K 7B6
(Turn West off Mariner Way on Service Centre Driveway, just North of Austin Avenue)
Coquitlam Bylaw & Animal Services
The Coquitlam Animal Shelter welcomes applicants to our very successful volunteer program. We have modernized our application and volunteer training process and developed a set of guidelines to ensure the safety and well being of both volunteers and animals. All volunteers should have a clear understanding of these guidelines prior to volunteering.
Who can volunteer at the shelter?
- Adults over the age of 18 are welcome to volunteer at the Shelter in all capacities.
- Youth volunteers (16-17) may volunteer with cats, rabbits and other animals, but cannot walk dogs alone, only if they are accompanying an Adult Volunteer. Only Adult Volunteers may hold the leash during a dog walk.
- Children volunteers (15 and younger) are welcome to visit the Shelter at any time if they are accompanying an Adult Volunteer, but cannot do any volunteer activities alone and cannot walk dogs; they may only accompany an adult volunteer.
- Special-Needs Volunteers are welcome to volunteer when accompanied by a supervisor who has also successfully become a volunteer.
- A release form and permission may be required for Youth Volunteers, which must be jointly signed with a legal guardian before they can volunteer.
- Volunteers with Special Needs should have a legal guardian sign the release form when appropriate.
All volunteer activities at the Coquitlam Animal Shelter are "self-directed." In other words, the volunteers set their own hours and direct their own activities. We are unable to assist volunteers on a daily basis or provide shift assignments, regular supervision, mentorships or training opportunities. All volunteers must be comfortable to conduct volunteer activities independently.
As a volunteer dog walker, you will have the opportunity to interact with the dogs on a one-on-one basis. If you're not up for a walk, an equally interactive and enjoyable alternative is taking the dog into the exercise yard and playing a game of ball. You must be 18 years of age or older to walk any of the shelter dogs.
You are not required to become a volunteer to foster. Please come to the shelter and speak to a Shelter Attendant if you are interested in foster opportunities. Fostering a cat or a dog can be a challenging yet rewarding activity. Animals available for fostering are typically animals that are difficult to adopt. Often, the shelter will provide medications and special needs equipment for interested long-term foster parents. Short term fostering is also available for very young kittens.
Cat and Dog Grooming
Animals have their own unique personalities and while some of the animals may enjoy a grooming, others may not be that enthusiastic. However, with a little bit of patience and determination you many find the experience to be highly satisfying!
Occasionally, other volunteer activities are available, such as community education or fundraising. However, new volunteers are reminded that such opportunities are rare and usually only available to more seasoned volunteers. Primary activities for new volunteers are dog walking and cat & rabbit socialization.
How can I volunteer at the shelter?
Create Online Profile: Sign-up ONLINE by clicking the "Join Now" button. Once you have completed your online profile, sign up through the Volunteer page for the next posted Volunteer Orientation.
STEP 1 Volunteer Orientation Session: Volunteer Orientation, a mandatory training session is usually held every six weeks on a Tuesday or Wednesday between 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers. You must pre-register. If there are no advertised training sessions, please check back later. There are no training sessions in the months of July, August and December.
STEP 2 Shelter Tour Session: Once you have completed the STEP 1 Volunteer Orientation Session, you are required to attend a 30 minute Shelter Tour held at the Animal Shelter, usually held on the Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening following the Training Session. You must sign up online to attend one of these sessions.
At the Volunteer Orientation, you will be provided with a package which will include:
- Reference Form
- Criminal Records Check Form
- Volunteer Waiver Form
You must complete these and submit them before you volunteer. You will not be charged for the Criminal Records Check if it is done at the Coquitlam RCMP on the form provided.
Once all the steps have been completed, you will be informed to pick up your name tag and you may volunteer anytime during shelter hours.
We value our volunteers and recognize their contribution, but we retain the right to refuse any volunteer’s participation in the program.