Volunteering & Fostering
Because CMHS is the only open-door shelter in Mid-Missouri, we depend on the time and commitment of our volunteers to help care for the 4,000-5,000 homeless or unwanted animals that come through our doors each year. CMHS encourages the participation of volunteers who support the CMHS volunteer 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.
You are one of our most valuable resources, and with your commitment and assistance we will work together to make the organization successful in promoting animal welfare, providing public education on the proper care and treatment of animals and giving shelter animals some much needed love and attention.
- At least 18 old; If under 18, volunteer must be accompanied by supervisor/guardian at all times. Min. age is 8.
- 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
- Able to commit to a minimum of 3-4 hours a month for a consecutive 3 months
- Support CMHS philosophies, policies and the CMHS mission
If you are interested in volunteer with CMHS, please follow these steps:
- Be of age. Independent volunteer positions have a minimum age requirement of 18. If under 18, you will need to have a guardian or parent present during all stages of the volunteer process and at all times while volunteering. Minimum age requirement is 8.
- Complete a volunteer application. Tell us about yourself by filling out an application either online or at the shelter. If applying online, email the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “CMHS volunteer application”. Click here to download the CMHS volunteer application.
- Attend an orientation. If we feel like you would be a good fit for CMHS, you will be given the dates and times to attend an orientation (approximately 1 hour). At this orientation, you will learn about the different programs of the shelter as well as the possible volunteer opportunities available.
- Attend training sessions. If we both agree CMHS would be a great place to donate some of your valuable time, you’ll then sign up for training session(s) that match your interest(s) as a volunteer. You’ll sign up for these training sessions at the orientation and each session will go over different topics including general volunteer policies, safe dog handling and safe cat handling.
- Make a commitment. A commitment of at least 4 hours per month for a minimum of 3 months is required for most positions. We plan to invest in you and would love for you to stick around!
- Volunteer! Make a difference in a homeless or unwanted pet’s life!
Please contact Danielle Burlis if you have any questions at:
email@example.com or (573)443-7387 ext. 211
*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 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday) or call for more information : 573-443-7387 ext. 0
- Dog/Cat Socializer - Come socialize with the dogs and cats and give them the love and attention they both need and deserve while here at the shelter. Help reduce stress and keep them company!
- Dog Walking – Walking manners are an essential part of being a polite pet. Come walk dogs on Bear Creek Trail.
- Special Events – Assist CMHS staff at adoption events, community events and fundraisers. Events are a great way to spread the CMHS mission and can be a fun alternative to on-site volunteering.
- Donation Drives – Collecting funds and goods for the shelter and animals
- Donation Pickups - Collect and pick up donations at various places
- Office Assistance – Help with paperwork and misc. office work.
- Photographer – Do you have photography skills? If so, come help capture images of our animals to put online.
- Foster parent/family – Providing a temporary home for an animal is the best way to help save lives! If interested, please check out the information on the foster tab. Fostering is full time volunteering!
- Miscellaneous – What are your talents? What can you offer CMHS? Please tell us, we are always looking for individulas with special talents who can help with various projects. Let us know!
Group and Business Service Projects
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.
- 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 5-15.
- 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.
A shelter is no place to recover from a minor illness or a surgery nor is it the ideal place to gain self-confidence and learn how to love and be loved! Our foster care program asks community members to open their doors to our animals for illness or socialization. Love taking care of kittens or puppies, but don’t have the space to adopt them all? Fostering can help with that too! You can take litters of babies into your home and bring them back once they are old enough to be adopted. By providing our temporary residents shelter for just a small amount of time helps save lives! In return we will provide all food, crates, bowls, toys, vet care. . . you name it. All you need to give is love! Filling out an application is required prior to becoming a CMHS foster home. Download Foster Care Application
For more information on our foster care program, please e-mail our dog foster/rescue coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or our assistant foster coordinator at email@example.com or give them a call at 573-443-7387 x 205. They would be happy to talk with you!
If you are an employee for a company that offers hours for donations, find out from your place of work how to accomplish this, or ask us for help!