Volunteer Training

Orientation Class

You will be required to attend an orientation class to become a volunteer that works with shelter animals. The minimum age to be a dog volunteer is 16. For cats the minimum age is 14. Staff and experienced volunteers facilitate these classes, usually held once monthly in the evening. Here you will learn shelter volunteer procedures, safety, various jobs, areas accessible to volunteers, etc. The second step to become a volunteer is a hands-on training class for the species of your choice.  New volunteers must commit to volunteering regularly during their first two months.
Register online by submitting a registration form or sign up at the shelter to attend the class. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE AFTER SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION. Please read the Volunteer Handbook (PDF) prior to attending the class.

Updated 6-12-20: You are welcome to apply for the next orientation class, and we will contact you with the date as soon as we are able to resume our training program. 

NOTE:  WCAC no longer allows fulfillment of Tennessee Promise hours, court-ordered service or school service hours by working with animals. Those hours can still be completed at WCAC but it will require laundry, dishes,and other light chores at the shelter. Contact jolita.nemeth@williamsoncounty-tn.gov, or 615-790-5590, ext. 5590. 

Hands-On Training

After attending orientation, all volunteers must sign up for hands-on training at the shelter. During this session, you will work with an experienced volunteer for about one hour.  You will learn about sign-in procedures, what to do in an emergency, how to store equipment, how to properly secure kennel enclosures and pens, how to report a concern, and receive hands-on training for the job of your choosing.Following this second step of training, volunteers will be required to attend mentored training sessions as described above.

Earn Your Apron

Volunteers are categorized by the color of aprons they achieve through time and experience. For the protection of the animals in our care, each level has specific access to certain color-coded dogs. See Volunteer Handbook for details.

The 3 levels are:
  1. Red: New volunteer or only able to commit to limited time at WCAC.
  2. Black: 10 hours of volunteering plus additional training.  
  3. Green: Earned black apron, plus exhibits extensive training skills, exceptional ability and leadership qualities.