The lifesaving work that United Hope for Animals is able to perform is due to both the critical work of volunteers and the kindness of donors. It takes a special person to step outside their normal life’s demands and give time and energy to helping ease the suffering of those special creatures that we call “man’s best friend.”
Unfortunately man is not always a dog’s best friend, and that is why so many of these animals end up homeless, frightened and sick with no one to love and care for them.
Shelter resources are limited and hard-working staff are overburdened trying to keep the basic necessities in place. That is where you come in. A community of hands working together can make light work, and a small investment of time can make a huge difference in the lives of these dogs.
The rewards are limited only by your imagination, determination, talent and perseverance. Even if you just show up with open arms and a smile on your face, you will find that you have come to the right place. Join our team and become a part of a fun, hard-working, friendly group with a dynamic, “can-do” attitude. Our volunteers have formed lasting friendships through their shared passion for helping animals in need.
Become a Shelter Volunteer
If you love dogs and want to have hands-on experience working with them, you will want to join our MeetUp Group to learn more. We schedule twice monthly photoshoots at the Baldwin Park Shelter in an effort to give much needed exposure to dogs that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle. The shelter system does not have the resources to take the types of photos and videos that will catch the eye of potential adopters looking online. That is where we come in.
The combined efforts of our team of volunteers makes new lives possible for at least 150 dogs every month. Approximately 98% of the dogs we network will be adopted. This number is considerably higher than the rest of the dogs at the shelter. Someday perhaps we will have enough volunteers to give the needed exposure to even more shelter dogs.
The types of volunteers we need on our shelter days are:
- Dog Handlers
If you love to hang with dogs then this is the job for you! This is a great way to interact with all kinds of amazing dogs while we take their photos and videos to build their online profiles. You’ll get a little dirty, but you’ll get a lot of doggie love and kisses in exchange.
- Photographers (must be pre-approved)
The photo is the single most important element to placing our dogs. UHA photographers take studio-quality “glamour shots,” which serve as an introduction to potential adopters. We’re looking to capture that unique sparkle in each individual dog’s eye to aid in the “love at first sight” process of a good match. Experience and your own professional equipment are required.
UHA videographers narrate videos that describe and feature what makes each individual dog special. Videographers should be able to think quickly and speak clearly and enthusiastically about each dog’s unique traits. Equipment is provided.
- Pet Profile Writers
Profile writers quickly craft dazzling descriptions from the handler’s observations for each dog’s online profile. Should be comfortable with Word and the English language. A love of dogs is a must! Equipment will be provided.
- Adoption Coordinators (for experienced volunteers)
Experienced volunteers are invited to train as Adoption Coordinators, who help match adopters with a dog that is just the right fit for their home and lifestyle. A love of dogs, people skills and knowledge and experience in the shelter environment are a must for this integral position.
If you like to handle dogs but are not comfortable at the shelter, we hold adoption fairs once a month at the La Cañada Petco. We usually bring between 8-12 small dogs, most of which will get adopted, if not on the day of the fair, then within a couple of weeks afterward. At the adoption fairs there is lots of time to hold and pet doggies, and chat with people. We usually have several chairs for you to be comfortable and a playpen for the doggies. These fairs are listed on our Meetup page.
If you do want to volunteer to help on shelter days but are under 18 years old you will need to become an official BP shelter volunteer and fill out the Baldwin Park Shelter Volunteer Application Form. If you are under 16 you are not eligible to volunteer at this time.
Work from Home
Many important and critical volunteer jobs happen away from the shelter, and can be done on from the comfort of your home.Immediately after our shelter days we have a number of videos that need to be uploaded to the web and categorized on shelter’s YouTube page.
These videos are critical for potential adopters to get a sense of whether a particular dog will fit into their home environment, and go a long way to getting the dogs adopted. We also need to write up descriptions of the dogs, and the photographs need to be compiled and networked.
Once the information is prepared, we need to get the word out on our Facebook page, our MeetUp page, and in a number of other locations. In addition, we need people who can keep track of particular dogs, and others who can choose memorable adoption stories and write them up for posting on the website.
The types of volunteers we need to work from home are:
- Video Uploaders
Video uploaders should be local to the San Gabriel Valley, and be available Saturday afternoons to quickly upload videos to the web after our photoshoots. All you need for this job is a computer and internet access.
- Pet Profile Managers
Pet Profile Managers track the status of the shelter’s dogs and manage their online profiles. Internet access, a computer and basic computer skills are all you need.
- Web Content Creators
Content Creators should be comfortable working on our website and coming up with ideas for news and stories would be ideal for this position. Knowledge of HTML desirable but not required. Good writers very desirable!
Finally, we are preparing an internship position for someone interested in marketing and fundraising for the organization. This position will involve learning the DonorPro system, managing donor lists, and writing and preparing newsletters.
The types of volunteers we need for events are:
- Adoption Event Dog Handler
Adoption Event Dog Handlers are best buddies with a shelter dog for the day while they meet and greet potential adopters at on-site adoption events. This job is ideal for someone who likes to cuddle and love up little dogs while chatting with the public.
Let us know if there is any job in particular you would like to do. Even if you aren’t sure a job exists, tell us about your talents and we might be able to find a fit that is perfect for you.