Volunteering at the BHS

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Humane Society! We have made a commitment to improving the lives of pets in Berkshire County and could not succeed without volunteers to help us in this mission. Our volunteers help in many ways, either working directly with animals or in other supportive positions. As a volunteer you will be helping with essential tasks to keep the shelter facility operating smoothly. We only ask that you:

  • Commit to a set schedule of two or more hours per week for Daily Volunteer positions
  • Be aware that some volunteer jobs are on an as-needed-basis
  • Arrive promptly for your scheduled work times
  • Provide the animals in the shelter with the best care possible
  • Treat fellow volunteers and staff members with respect and courtesy

We do ask that volunteers refrain from bringing their own pets while scheduled at the shelter, but in case of an emergency, please check with your supervisor.

Volunteer Age Requirements
Because of safety and liability concerns, volunteers must be at least 17 years of age and very reliable and responsible.

Junior Volunteer Program: for ages 12-16, responsibilities are shared by youth and an adult volunteer (often times parent or family member of youth)

How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Fill out and sign the Volunteer Agreement. (You can download the Volunteer Application here. – requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  2. Call the shelter to schedule an interview with Terry Bissaillon. You can reach Terry at 413-447-7878, extension 37 or e-mail her at tbissaillon@berkshirehumane.org.
  3. Remember you need to commit to two hours per week for certain jobs, the others are on an as-needed basis.

Volunteer Opportunities
The following jobs require a weekly commitment of at least two hours plus some training classes:

Kennel Cleaning – Daily at 8:00 A.M.:
The shelter must be kept clean to ensure the health and comfort of the animals. This includes hosing down, disinfecting, squeegee and wiping down of all kennel surfaces Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Washing of food utensils, toys and bedding is done daily. Washing and drying of blankets and towels is also required. There are specific hours for this job.

Dog Walker:
Volunteer dog walkers must be able to handle large, strong and stressed dogs. Our shelter dogs are walked on a specific schedule and volunteers must commit to specific weekly hours. Additional training is required for this position.

Dog Walking Times (seven days a week):

  • 10:00 A.M.
  • Noon
  • 3:30 P.M.

Feline Care:
Assist the feline staff with cleaning individual cages which could include washing soiled bedding if necessary, replenishing food, changing water and wiping bowl out, scooping litter box (changing if necessary) wiping surfaces of cage with glass cleaner including gates, then set cages back up. Sweep and mop floors, scrub litter boxes and wash dishes and dividers, do laundry if necessary.

Feline Care Times:

BHS – Pittsfield

  • 8:00 A.M.
  • 3:00 P.M.

Purradise – Great Barrington

  • Wednesday – Fridiay, 10:00 A.M.
  • Saturday 8:00 A.M.
  • Sunday, 10 A.M.

Front Desk Volunteer:
Greet the public during hours of operation. Directing incoming calls to the appropriate departments.

Front Desk Volunteer Times:

  • Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
  • Sunday, 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
  • Thursday evenings, 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Facility & Grounds Maintenance:
Daily cleaning of floors, windows, and public areas. Weekly lawn mowing, sidewalk sweeping, snow shoveling (according to season).

The following volunteer positions are on an as-needed basis:

Foster Home:
Provide a temporary home to an animal in need. Download the application to become a foster volunteer today.

Assist with folding and labeling our newsletter, and other mailings to BHS members and friends.

Event Worker:
Answer questions, distribute literature, sell BHS merchandise and raffle tickets to visitors at various fairs and special events in the community. Work on various fund raising events throughout the year, helping to plan events, serving on or chairing committees.

Bake homemade goodies to be sold at various fund raising events as well as being used occasionally at the shelter for tour groups or special meetings.

Canister Caretaker:
Place donation canisters in local businesses, collect donations regularly and keep records of money collected.

Animal Transporter:
Drive shelter animals to local vets for spay/neuter appointments, to groomers or sometimes to rescue organizations. The shelter van may be used for these drop-off/pick-up routines.

Humane Educator:
Conduct humane education programs in local schools. Training, curriculum and materials are provided for this job and it requires a weekday commitment during school hours.

Advertising Distributor:
Hang and subsequently remove posters/flyers in the person’s geographical area.