Volunteer Your Time

Whether you can spare a few hours per week or work on a few projects throughout the year, the animals at WSHS can use your help!

The West Suburban Humane Society would not exist without the dedicated efforts of our volunteer staff.  We depend on them to help with the care, feeding, and transportation of animals; temporary care of dogs, puppies, cats, or kittens; clerical work; humane education; fundraising and public events.

We have volunteers who:

  • Work a regular 2-3 hour shift per week or every other week
  • Help with projects, special events and fundraisers
  • Provide temporary care to animals that are too young, too old, too sick, or too shy to be adopted

We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to:

  • be dependable and consistently show up for any scheduled shifts or events
  • make a commitment of at least 1 year
  • always work toward the welfare of the animals, as a shift volunteer, temporary care home, or special project/event volunteer

Steps to becoming a volunteer:

  1. Submit a volunteer application.  Please make sure to include an email address.  Applications can be emailed to volunteer@wshs-dg.org; mailed or dropped off at 1901 W. Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515; or faxed to (630) 960-9604. 
  2. The volunteer coordinator will contact you to confirm the application was received.  When there are shift openings, you will be notified by email of openings and orientation times.
  3. Once you are assigned to a shift, you will need to attend the New Volunteer Orientation, an hour and a half long training to introduce you to the shelter and our volunteer program.  At the end of the orientation, you will sign up for additional training in the area of your choice.
  4. Attend the training, a hands-on experience that will cover the basic responsibilities of your new volunteer position.
  5. The volunteer coordinator will contact you with a start date.
  6. Get started on your shift, where you will shadow an experienced volunteer until you are comfortable on your own.

 WSHS requires all volunteers to be 16 years of age; however, volunteers between the ages of 12 and 16 may work a shift if accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

The process of becoming a new volunteer can take a few weeks to a few months, so please download a Volunteer Application form!  If you have any questions, please contact the volunteer coordinator at 630-960-9600 x 45 or volunteer@wshs-dg.org.

What type of volunteer work would you like to do?

Adoption Center Volunteer

Responsible for the care and feeding of animals, light cleaning, and help adopters choose their pet.

Cleaning Crew

Help to keep the animals healthy by cleaning cages and runs, sweeping, mopping and doing dishes and laundry.  And of course, there is time to socialize with the animals. 

Building Maintenance

Maintenance of kennel buildings and grounds, ranges from lawn work to painting to carpentry.


Assist in the planning and execution of fundraising efforts and events.

Humane Education Program

Demonstrate responsible pet ownership to school children and community groups.

Temporary Care

Care of a cat or dog that is not quite ready for adoption due to age, convalescence, needs obedience training or overcrowding.