Our project with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter has experienced an overwhelming response from youth volunteers. We couldn’t be more excited at the number of youth ready to volunteer their time to help the animals of Santa Cruz County. However, the program was not designed for such a large number of participants. We have experienced unexpected delays and understand your frustration, but before contacting us please consult the answers to some frequently asked questions below
1. When can I volunteer with the Animal Shelter?
Each month there will be a training cycle that includes one General Orientation and one Species-Specific (Cats or Dogs) training. Each youth volunteer must go through both the Orientation and one Species-Specific training. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to place yourself on the waiting list. Volunteers will be notified as they are removed from the waiting list and offered a place in an Animal Shelter training. Trainings will be offered on a first-come first-served basis.
2. I expressed interest more than one week ago. When will I be assigned to an adult volunteer leader?
Please bear in mind that scheduling is dependent upon the availability of adult volunteer leaders. After you go through the orientation and training, you will be paired with volunteer leaders for sessions at the shelter, as they become available. Due to the popularity of the project, we cannot accommodate specific scheduling requests, rather we try to offer youth-friendly volunteer shifts on weekday evenings and weekends. We will send out shifts as they become available and you can express interest. We want to keep it fair for everyone so we will assign youth an equal number of shifts.
3. I’ve volunteered with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter previously and have completed all necessary trainings, can I start now?
While youth who have volunteered previously at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter are welcome to volunteer with YouthSERVE, they are still required to be accompanied by an adult volunteer leader and will be limited to the activities assigned by their adult volunteer leader.
4. I’ve volunteered with the SPCA. Will my skills transfer?
No. While we appreciate the skills you may have gained while working with the SPCA, all new youth volunteers not previously trained at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter are required to undergo training appropriate to the animals they will be working with.