Thank you for your interest in helping our shelter animals! All of us here at the Humane Society of Harford County are extremely grateful for the tremendous community support we receive. Our volunteers are indispensable! They are dedicated people of all ages, from all walks of life, who thoughtfully donate thousands of hours of their own personal time to help the animals and the people of Harford County.

**If you have been ordered to complete court-ordered community service, please click here to send an email to the appropriate staff. Please note that we only accept court-ordered community service workers ordered through the Harford County courts. Please also note that you will not be working with the animals.

short-term VOLUNTEERS

Short-term volunteers are Girl Scout & Boy Scout troops, students/individuals who need to earn a few community service hours for school, church, or a club, or simply those folks who wish to help the animals but cannot commit to being a long-term volunteer.  The Youth & Group “Pet Projects” booklet is full of great ways to help the animals.  If you are in need of non-court-ordered community service hours, you are responsible for tracking your own hours and delivering your completed project to the Humane Society.  If you have paperwork that must be signed, the Volunteer Coordinator will be happy to do so.

If your group would like to help the Humane Society of Harford County by doing a service project, please click here to send a message to our Volunteer Coordinator.  Because further training is required to work directly with our animals, short-term volunteers do not interact with our shelter animals.

If you are interested in organizing a Humane Education Day at the shelter or off-site, please visit our Educational Resources page.


For kids under 12, or those who want to make a difference for the animals by helping us in ways that don’t require being at the shelter, we’ve devised a special manual. Our Youth & Group Pet Projects booklet is divided into three sections. Each section gives examples of ways to help with each of our four objectives: shelter, care, adoptions, and education.

long-term VOLUNTEERS

Long-term volunteers are those folks that can commit to a minimum of five hours per month and be with us for six months or more.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Are there any age restrictions to volunteer?

A: As one of the few animal welfare organizations that continues to welcome children as volunteers, we greatly recognize their talents, gifts and enthusiasm. However, as an animal shelter, we must also weigh the risks inherent when around animals and in a public facility. As such, the minimum age for volunteers is 12 years old.  For safety and liability reasons, volunteers under 18 years of age must be accompanied to all volunteer activities by a parent or legal guardian, and will not be permitted to interact with the dogs. Parents or legal guardians are asked to fill out a separate volunteer application, and attend orientation and trainings with the child. We ask that no more than three children be accompanied by one adult. Only volunteers age 16 and up may volunteer at offsite events.

Q: What is the process for becoming a new volunteer?

A: Once you submit your application using the link below, the Volunteer Coordinator will review your application for suitability to volunteer at the shelter. Once approved, you will receive an email with a link to sign up for an upcoming 1.5 hour orientation. Following your orientation, you will receive another email with your personal PIN to sign in/out on our volunteer system at the shelter, and further instructions on the next steps. Depending on what volunteer opportunities you select, there may be one or more training sessions required and you may be paired with a mentor volunteer to complete these subsequent trainings. The process can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on everyone’s schedules.

Q: How much time do I need to commit to volunteering?

A: We ask that you commit to a minimum of five (5) hours per month for at least six (6) months.

Q: What are the jobs that volunteers can do?

A: We have a variety of programs and services to suit all types of volunteers!

  • Adoption Events: Bring adoptable animals from the shelter to special adoption events to help them find their forever homes.
  • Animal Care: Assist our Animal Care Team with activities such as cleaning cages and kennels.
  • Administrative: Help our admin and adoptions staff with duties such as data entry, checking voice mails, returning phone calls, and other office projects.
  • Cat Caretaker at Pet Valu in Aberdeen: Help take care of cats and/or transport to our satellite location in Aberdeen (cleaning, feeding, cuddling & enrichment).
  • Cat Cuddler: Visit cats and kittens in the shelter and help them feel more comfortable by petting, playing, cuddling, and providing other forms of enrichment.
  • Daily Chores: Help our shelter staff with daily tasks such as cleaning, mopping, laundry, and organizing donations.
  • Dog Walker: Help make a shelter dog’s day better by taking them for a walk or spending some quality time playing or relaxing with them in an enrichment area or yard.
  • Critter Caretaker: Provide care and enrichment for exotic animals such as rabbits, mice, rats, ferrets, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs, and more!
  • Community Cat Program: Assist our community cat partners, Best Friends in Harford County, by helping their trap-neuter-return efforts, fostering, and educating community members about community cats and TNR.
  • Grounds & Maintenance: Assist with special projects, day-to-day grounds and maintenance related activities, and beautification projects in and out of the shelter.
  • Humane Education: Provide outreach and education in the community or at the shelter for various schools, youth groups, or special events.
  • Matchmaker: Help our Adoptions Team successfully match adoptable animals and prospective adopters.
  • Photography: Help HSHC animals find placement by taking photos for our website, social media appeals, rescue and foster pleas, and/or take photos at HSHC events.
  • Special Events: Assist with planning, preparation, and execution of special events in the community.
  • Transport: Help transport pets to satellite adoption locations, veterinary hospitals, and local rescue groups.

Click here to complete the online Volunteer Application.