GTHS Volunteer FAQ

Do You Accept All Volunteers?

Unfortunately, not everyone can volunteer with us. We are looking for people with very specific skills. For instance, to help with data entry, volunteers must have experience with computers and have an extremely high accuracy rate, or to join the Dog Care Team we are looking for individuals who have prior dog handling, walking or training experience.

Some positions have a minimum age requirement. Learn more about our volunteer teams & positions.

As a not-for-profit organization, we do not have the resources to offer extensive training and we rely heavily on the skills and experience our volunteers bring with them to our organization.

If there is not a specific role where your talents can be used, then likely you will not be a good volunteer match for the GTHS, but we encourage you to assist the organization in other ways – such as attending special events and donating to help the animals at the GTHS.

Can Volunteers Do More Than One Thing?

Absolutely. We have volunteers working with our dogs, assisting with special events, supporting our outreach programs, helping at our Treasure Tails store, and more. We encourage volunteers to help out in the programs that they are passionate about and best suit their skill set and availability. The Volunteer Coordinator will work with volunteers to ensure that the volunteer opportunity is a match.

How Do I Become A Volunteer?

We ask volunteer candidates to review the volunteer section on our website and to follow the application instructions. Volunteer candidates are asked to complete an application form and return it to the GTHS, (Foster Volunteer candidates are asked to complete a Foster Application Form instead).

All candidates will be contacted and volunteers matching the requirements for GTHS volunteer programming will participate in a telephone interview. Following the interview, successful candidates will receive onboarding materials, be scheduled to attend an Orientation (or given access to a virtual Orientation) and will receive training.

Treasure Tails and Front Desk Volunteers will be asked to complete a criminal record check prior to Orientation and training, and Humane Education Volunteers will require a vulnerable sector police check. Transfer Volunteers will be asked to provide a copy of their clean driving license prior to Orientation.

What’s An Orientation And How Do I Get One?

Successful volunteer candidates will be scheduled to attend an Orientation at the Animal Centre or will be given access to a virtual Orientation prior to commencing their volunteer duties.

As part of our Orientation, new volunteers will learn about our organization, receive a tour of our Animal Centre and obtain useful information about being a GTHS Volunteer.

Following Orientation, training will be provided at a mutually convenient time.

Why Must Some Volunteers Obtain A Police Check Before Beginning Volunteer Duties?

Volunteers play a strong role within the GTHS, in a variety of capacities. Criminal record checks are required for Front Desk and Treasure Tails Volunteers as they handle financial donations and purchases, whereas Humane Education Volunteers work with children, so require a vulnerable sector police check.

I Want To Try Volunteering Once Or Twice To See If I Like It. Is That OK?

We ask our volunteers to make a commitment of at least six months.

Due to limited resources, we do not have the ability to provide training to volunteers who are unable to commit for at least six months. While we rely heavily on the skills and experiences that volunteers bring to the organization, we also train new volunteers. As a result, the training and experience gained in a GTHS volunteer role is invaluable to the organization. It is very difficult to sustain well-trained and experienced volunteers if they are leaving frequently.

Can I Complete My High School Cooperative Education Placement At The GTHS?

Placements are are currently suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Absolutely. Each semester, the GTHS welcomes high school Co-Op students to complete their credits at our Animal Centre. We value these students’ enthusiasm, energy and commitment to helping improve the lives of the animals in our care. The GTHS is dedicated to providing a comprehensive and safe learning environment for students.

Three Co-Op positions are available for each semester of the school year (commencing September and February). These students will spend one semester at the GTHS, further developing their skills and interests within Marketing, PR & Events, Cat Care, Dog Care and Adoptions.

My Child Is Under 18 And Wants To Volunteer. Is This Possible?

Onsite visits are currently suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your child doesn’t need to be a volunteer to spend time at our Animal Centre. Our Main Cat Room is open Monday through Sunday from midday to 4pm. Feel free to accompany your child any day of the week, to play with and groom our cats! You can borrow grooming tools and toys whilst on-site, simply ask a volunteer or member of staff.

Children under 15 cannot become GTHS Volunteers, but can participate in our Humane Education Program; some of the activities within this program involve activities undertaken by our volunteers. Check out our Humane Education Program for details and courses.

Children with a minimum age of 15 can volunteer, without parental supervision, in our Cat Care Team as a Cat Care Team Member.

We accept children 16 or older for our Fundraising & Events Team, Dog Care Team and other positions within the Cat Care Team. Opportunities are available to candidates who are passionate about the activities they have applied for and who meet the specified qualification criteria.

Applicants must be 18 or older to volunteer at the Treasure Tails retail store, or to volunteer within the Humane Education Program, within our Admin Team or as an Adoption Counselor.

Can I Complete My High School Community Service Hours At The GTHS?

High school community service hours can be completed at the GTHS. These placements are in high demand, so we recommend applying early.

Placements are assigned to students based on volunteer openings within the Cat Care Team or to provide general help around the Animal Centre (cleaning, tidying, weeding, etc.).

Our centre closes at 4pm daily, so community hours tend to be completed over the summer period or by volunteering on consecutive weekends.

Is It OK To Volunteer So I can Adopt An Animal?

Volunteers pay the same adoption fee as other adopters, so there is no financial benefit to volunteering before adopting. By being a volunteer you may, however, have the opportunity to see animals before they become available for adoption.

Volunteers are asked to contact the Adoptions Specialist if they would like to adopt one of our animals.

An important part of volunteering at the GTHS is a personal commitment to the animals. One of the forms this can take is fostering and adopting the animals in our care. While it is important to support volunteers in this, it is important to recognize that volunteering at the GTHS can be emotionally overwhelming and can lead to an unrealistic urge to save every animal through an over commitment or ill-considered foster and/or adoption. We encourage responsible adoptions, as it is equally important that we are accountable for our decisions and the disposition of animals.

Can Foster Volunteers Adopt Their Foster Animals?

The Foster Program has two primary goals — to provide temporary care for animals and to assist GTHS animals in becoming ready for adoption.

Being a Foster Volunteer can be a very emotional experience. On the whole, Foster Volunteers are compassionate people who understand that, by not adopting, they can help many more animals become healthy and adoptable. Losing a Foster Volunteer has an impact on the program and the number of animals we can rehabilitate or care for.

It is natural that a Foster Volunteer may become attached to an animal they are fostering and wish to adopt it. When this happens, we encourage the Foster Volunteer to discuss adoption with the Adoptions Specialist.

When a Foster Volunteer adopts a foster animal in their care, they must ensure the animal is spayed/neutered, microchipped and provided vaccinations in line with scheduled dates provided by the GTHS, and must complete adoption documentation and payment on a timely basis.

Download Volunteer Application Form – Word

Download Volunteer Application Form – PDF