New Volunteers

Click here to submit a volunteer application online.
Click here for a printable volunteer application.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Dorothy H. O’Connor Pet Adoption Center (DOCPAC)!  Being a DOCPAC volunteer is extremely rewarding, educational, exciting, and fun. You can have a huge impact on the lives of the homeless animals that enter our Shelter every day. From cat cuddling to dog walking, volunteers help make a difference, one paw at a time!

You will need to attend our Volunteer Orientation Class prior to volunteering at the shelter.  This class is a basic training session on safe animal handling procedures and protocols at DOCPAC.  If you are under the age of 16, you must be accompanied by an adult at all times during your volunteer hours. The adult(s) who will be accompanying the child must take our Volunteer Orientation Class.  A strict ratio of one adult to every two minors will be enforced.  Volunteers must be at least 10 years of age.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.

Volunteer Orientation Class is held at DOCPAC one Saturday per month from 9:30am-11:00am.(Contact DOCPAC for orientation dates) Seating is limited, so you must pre-register for the class. You can pre-register by calling 361-575-8573 or visiting the shelter.  Please wear appropriate, comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.

To register for Volunteer Orientation, the following must be complete.

  1. Completed Volunteer Application-
    Click here to submit a volunteer application online.
    Click here for a printable volunteer application.
  2. We charge a one-time administrative fee of $25.00 to help us cover the cost of our volunteer program, which includes one t-shirt and orientation materials. Fees are non-refundable.  If you are supervising a child, the fee is waived and a t-shirt can be purchased separately.
  3. The parent/guardian accompanying the child volunteering must take the Volunteer Orientation class.

Following completion of training, you are welcome to visit the shelter to volunteer during our Volunteer hours Monday thru Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm. Volunteers work under the guidance of the Shelter Manager, or the senior staff member on duty. A member of the shelter staff will always be available to assist you should a question or concern arise. Volunteer Orientation is required.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I bring home diseases or infections to my pets?
We encourage all volunteers to keep their own pets up to date on vaccination. Using common sense “infection control,” such as washing your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, at the Shelter after handling each animal and before you go home, will help protect you and the animals. Wearing old clothes and removing them as soon as you return home gives an added protection.

Will I get bitten or scratched?
There is always the chance, when working with animals, that a scratch or bite may occur. Following our routine procedures for safe handling of animals will help to minimize this possibility. We strongly suggest that you only work with animals you feel completely comfortable with. Do not feel that you have to take every dog outside.

Must I commit to a minimum number of monthly hours to be eligible to volunteer at the Shelter?
No – We encourage you to work us in your schedule.