Click here to apply to volunteer

Volunteer at CMHS

With over 3,000 homeless animals coming into the shelter each year, volunteers are a vital resource. CMHS encourages the participation of volunteers who support the CMHS mission: to create a fulfilling and mutually beneficial experience between volunteers and animal residents while also advocating for shelter animal adoption and successful pet ownership.

  • RequirementsOpen or Close
    • At least 16 years old; If under 16, volunteer must be accompanied by supervisor/guardian at all times.  Minimum age is 8 years old.
    • Have an interest in helping animals become successful pets
    • Have a mature and respectful attitude towards staff, the public, and animal residents at all times
    • Have a working email or other means of communication
    • Support CMHS philosophies, policies and mission
  • Getting StartedOpen or Close
    Click here to apply to volunteer at CMHS. Please contact our volunteer coordinator if you have any questions at: [email protected] or (573)443-7387 *We cannot accommodate volunteers with criminal records that include felony drug offenses, any charges involved with theft, abuse, or cruelty to animals. If you need community service hours you must go through our front desk as our volunteer program is completely seperate from court ordered community service.  Unfortunately, we do not allow individuals to complete community service hours for charges of theft, drugs, violence or felonies.  Please stop in during regular business hours (12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday) or call for more information : 573-443-7387.
  • Volunteer OpportunitiesOpen or Close
    If you can’t volunteer with us on a regular basis, but still want to help out we have options for you too!
    • New Run's Kennel Assistant– Assist staff with cleaning and feeding the adoptable dogs. Help prepare the shelter for when we open! Assist staff with kennel upkeep and help potential adopters with common questions.
    • Cat Room Attendant – Help clean the cages and prepare the Cat Room for when we open for adoptions. Help potential adopters with the cats!
    • Front Desk Representative - Work alongside the shelter staff at the front desk. Assist community members with adoptions, schedule low-cost surgeries, file paperwork, fill out lost and found reports, and other needs.
    • Intake Support Specialist- Assist the shelter intake staff accept animals into the shelter, communicate with the public relinquishing the animals, provide vaccinations, prepare living areas for the animals, and enter required paperwork.
    • Special Event Volunteer - Assist CMHS staff at both on-site and off-site events such as fundraisers and other activities in the community.
    • Adoption Event Volunteer - Assist CMHS staff with off-site adoptions events (Interview adopters, assist staff members, and care for the animals at the event).
    • Rescue Transport Volunteer - Transport CMHS animals to other shelters or rescues as needed at the discretion of the Rescue Coordinator. Must have valid driver’s license.
    • Photographer - Take photos of the adoptable dogs and help capture their personality to show potential adopters. Photography experience and own equipment needed.
    • Donation Box Collection - Collect donation boxes around Columbia for the shelter every couple of months to help support our operations.
  • Group and Business Services ProjectsOpen or Close
    Business, school and group opportunities at CMHS vary depending on the time of year and what is needed at the shelter.  Please realize there is a high demand for group volunteering and limited opportunities for such groups to participate in. Fill out the Volunteer Group Application Here.
    • Large groups are great for helping with special events, ground maintenance, and other special projects.  These projects also generally occur in the spring and fall when weather is most cooperative.
    • Large groups take planning.  We need to know at least 2 weeks in advance and we cannot guarantee we will have an on-site project for you, but we will see if our needs match your group’s interests.  Group size range from 5-10.
    • If you have a group that is interested in helping, please also consider fundraising within your own organization.  Holding events like donation drives, car washes, and office competitions are great ways to assist the animals if an on-site event is not viable.
    • If you have any questions or need help with hosting an event, please feel free to contact us.



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