Lawrence Humane Society volunteers give their hearts and their time to provide love and support to the animals in our care. Our volunteers are integral to our mission, and are involved in all areas of the shelter. As a member of our volunteer family, you’ll help save and enrich the animal’s lives, improve animal welfare in our community, discover new skills, and enjoy plenty of wagging tails, purring hearts, and wet kisses along the way.

Anyone aged 7 to 15 is considered a junior volunteer, and must have a parent or guardian accompany them during all trainings and shifts. One adult volunteer may supervise up to two junior volunteers at a time. For safety reasons, junior volunteer may be restricted to certain tasks.

We are flexible and are so thankful you’d spend your free time helping the pets of Lawrence Humane! While we don’t have a firm requirement, we do recommend that volunteers complete a minimum of 3 hours of service each month to stay up-to-date and in-the-know with current shelter practices and protocols.

New volunteers must complete a minimum of 4 “essential shelter help” hours before moving to the next level of volunteering.

Please note if you are inactive for more than a year, your account will be deactivated, and you will be asked to complete retraining if you would like to resume volunteering.

We have numerous volunteer opportunities both in-shelter and from home. 

  • Animal Interactions – Help our animals stay healthy and happy with dog walking, cat socializing, animal enrichment and training, personality testing, assisting in the spay/neuter clinic, taking animal photos for the website, transporting animals and more!
  • Customer Service – Assist our staff in adoptions, admissions and the retail store by providing friendly, efficient customer service to all members of the public.
  • Behavior – Assist our behavior team with playgroups or working on specific behaviors on animals.

There’s a lot that goes into a volunteer program, including staff salaries, paying for the volunteer database, volunteer t-shirts, etc. The $15 t-shirt and application fee helps us offset these costs and allows more money to go directly to the care of our animals!

We are open 365 days of the year, including holidays. While we need volunteers every day, we are especially grateful for support in the early mornings for cleaning and on the weekends. Volunteers are generally needed each day from 9am to 6pm. 

Once a volunteer sign-up form has been submitted, you will receive an email from our volunteer coordinator with next steps. 

The email will outline the details of how to sign up for volunteer orientation. Volunteer orientations are held in the multi-purpose room at Lawrence Humane. Once a volunteer has completed orientation and submitted all required documentation, then the volunteer can schedule an orientation and a first volunteer shift. Everyone’s first volunteer shift will include a tour by our volunteer coordinator, where she will show you how to complete basic shelter help and familiarize you with the shelter! 

Volunteer orientation is about 30 minutes long and includes a short presentation that explains our volunteer program and a bit about our history!

Don’t worry! Volunteering is just one of the many ways that you can get involved and help save lives. You could try fostering a pet, which allows you to open up your home to an animal in need. You can donate money or supplies from our wish list, such as food, treats, cat litter, toys, and other goods that help us to provide the best care for pets in the shelter. Sharing our adoptable pets on your social media channels can also help us to find homes for animals while helping to educate people on the importance of adoption. However you chose to help, we appreciate your support!

Have other questions? Email, Ashley, our volunteer coordinator at!

Login to your BetterImpact volunteer portal by clicking here. 

Join our Facebook group!

  • A minimum of four hours of Essential Shelter Help must be completed before volunteers are allowed to work directly with animals
  • There are volunteer shifts every day from 9am to 6pm
  • Volunteer waivers must be signed and turned in on your first shift
  • A $15 volunteer fee will be paid at the beginning of your first shift
  • Please sign up for shifts in advance
  • Clock in and out for all shifts
  • Must wear volunteer t-shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes at all times while volunteering at the shelter

Are you an organization who would like to schedule a tour or group service day?  We love to welcome folks into our building and do our best to accommodate as many volunteer projects as possible. To provide the most meaningful experience, we consider a variety of factors whether to approve a group service request. These include but are not limited to staff availability, strategic goals, and relationship with the organization or individual submitting the request. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks in advance. 

Mass Street Mutts is a bonus program for Lawrence Humane fosters and volunteers…and it’s amazing for the dogs in our care at the shelter! This program allows you to take a shelter pet out for a daycation. All you have to do is pick your preferred date/time to pick up a pup. Then, you’ll be matched with a dog that matches your interests. For example, if you’re comfortable spending time with a high-energy dog and plan to go hiking, we’ll pair you with a dog that’s ready to adventure! Together, you can choose to stroll downtown, go for a hike, or just cuddle on your couch.

Sign up for a Mass Street Mutts adventure through your Better Impact Volunteer portal. If you have any questions, email our volunteer coordinator, Ashley, at