HOW TO VOLUNTEER
Download an application form and fill it out:
Please mail application to:
PO Box 57
Hamilton, MT 59840
or drop it off at:
262 Fairgrounds Rd.
Hamilton, MT 59840
After receiving your application, the volunteer coordinator will contact you to schedule your volunteer interview & orientation.
**For any and all of these events, please email or call Melissa Beck (363-5449) for more details, information and arrangements! Thank you:)
Volunteers are involved in virtually all aspects of BRHA, from interacting with animals to keeping up the grounds.
When you interact, give affection and care for the animals, you make their stay here more enjoyable. Enrichment refers to mental and physical stimulation that provides relaxation, entertainment and increased well-being of shelter animals. The BRHA already incorporates many enrichment strategies including: calming music in the dog kennels, treat buckets outside each kennel to encourage interactions, chew toys and plenty of walks with staff. Did you know that training dogs to wait at the door is a form of enrichment? Teaching new things is a great way to provide challenges and stimulation to the animals. Volunteers can play a key role in additional enrichment activities: Volunteers can walk through the dog kennels and encourage good behavior by giving treats to dogs that are quiet and have all four paws on the ground. Volunteers can also help stuff, freeze and distribute KONG balls for the dogs. Check in at the front desk and see if there is anything you can do to help provide some enrichment to our animal guests!
Dog Walking / Socializing
Volunteer Dog Socializers interact and play with shelter dogs in a designated outside area. You can play ball, give affection or just hang out with the shelter dog. This is a great introductory position and allows for advancement to more volunteer opportunities like walking dogs in parades and special events. Since this is an outdoor volunteer position, there are minimum requirements and sometimes cold weather and snow limit socializing opportunities. Guaranteed to keep you and the dogs heart healthy and happy! Every dog deserves a nice walk outside everyday. BRHA volunteers take the dogs out for strolls around the property each day. This is also a great time to reinforce good manners and teach the canine some skills. Dog safety and handling training is required.
Cat Socializing is one of the best introductory volunteer positions at the shelter! In fact it is the only volunteer position for young adults that are at least 16 year old. Volunteers play with, socialize and entertain the shelter cats. They get to know the cats’ personalities, traits, likes and dislikes and share with staff to help highlight information to maximize chances of adoption with the right person or family. This is a great volunteer position to do with friends or family members.
One way to reduce animal cruelty, neglect and pet overpopulation is through education. Volunteers, along with the volunteer manager, visit schools in the Bitterroot Valley and give short, entertaining and educational presentations on humane animal care. Our humane education team sometimes brings a well trained, calm dog to make the presentation more interesting and fun. Although designed for grades 2-6, our presentations can be customized for any classroom.
Do you happen to have your own very well trained and calm dog? Would you enjoy sharing your time and pet with people who love animals? Consider being a senior outreach volunteer. We visit retirement, nursing and senior care facilities throughout the valley! This volunteer position focuses on quiet, unrushed visits with seniors who might be missing the love of a dog and may need a pick me up that only a dog can bring. A wonderful way to support the community and share your love of animals with those who may not be able to have pets.
Helping in the kitchen by doing dishes and laundry is a great way to help out our team! The kitchen duty volunteer washes, sanitizes and puts away dishes and does laundry. Kitchen duty is a perfect position for the task oriented individual who wants to help, but may not necessarily want to work directly with animals.
As an adoption outreach volunteer you will spend time educating the public about the shelter (its policies and procedures), answering questions about the available animals, showing off the animals, and helping the staff. Training as a dog socializer prior to participating in adoption events is required (and fun!). This is a very enjoyable and meaningful way to support the shelter and the shelter animals!
BRHA hosts a number of special events and fund-raisers throughout the year. While working at an event you may set up BRHA’s area, decorate a ballroom, staff an information booth, answer questions about the shelter, judge a doggie/owner look-a-like contest, direct traffic through the event, and much more. Special events are always full of fun surprises.
When an animal arrives at BRHA who is not quite ready for adoption, BRHA relies on the love and homes of our foster care volunteers. These volunteers open their homes to kittens needing time to grow, pregnant or nursing cats, dogs who need a little extra attention, or a companion animal recovering from an illness or injury. Many animals are given a second chance thanks to the time and love given by their foster families. Many foster families assist with finding new homes for their fosterling.
The shelter has 2.64 acres of grounds and buildings. There is always something that needs to be done – gardening, minor building repairs, painting, cleaning up, etc. Your “handy” skills are always needed somewhere at BRHA.
The Bitter Root Humane Association is very fortunate to have the services of many vounteers who help us to fulfill our mission of caring for homeless animals. There are many ways the volunteers contribute. Some of the jobs include working directly with the animals to enhance their quality of life. There are also jobs available helping the staff to clean the facility as well as photography, data entry, special events and many more. Volunteers are interviewed and given opportunities to use their special interests and talents to train for their jobs. Every volunteer works together with the staff to bring the highest quality of life to the animals.