Hero Dogs relies on volunteers to fill a variety of roles. We seek those who share our passion for serving those who have served. A volunteer application must be submitted before you can volunteer. Volunteer applications are to be submitted by and for adults only (see our policy on youth volunteers below). Please note that you are welcome to fill multiple roles; for example, a puppy sitter can also be a puppy nanny.
All volunteers must have a valid driver’s license, their own transportation, and live within 50 miles of zip code 20833.
Puppy Raisers are responsible for raising, training, socializing, and loving the puppies in our program from the ages of approximately 8 weeks to 16-18 months of age.
Puppy Sitters are volunteers who are willing to sit for the puppies in training when the dog’s primary handler is unavailable (for example, when a puppy raiser has travel or another commitment to which they cannot bring their puppy in training). Puppy Sitters have the dog anywhere from one day to a few weeks.
Puppy Starters are volunteers who are responsible for raising, socializing, and loving the puppies in our program from the ages of ~8 weeks to ~16 weeks. Puppy Starters will also take the puppies to veterinary appointments for their vaccinations.
Puppy Fosters are volunteers who are responsible for raising, socializing, and loving the puppies in our program for ~3-6 months of the dog’s training. The dogs may be at any stage of our program, between the ages of 8 weeks and 15 months. Puppy Fosters are able to choose how long they are able to have the dog, but are required to have them for at least three months.
Adult Dog Finishers
Adult Dog Finishers are volunteers who are responsible for raising, socializing, and loving the adult dogs in our program who are older than ~1 year. The duration that Adult Dog Finishers will have the dog varies based on the volunteer’s availability and the age of the dog.
Breeder Fosters are volunteers who provide a loving home and care for one of our breeding dogs throughout their time as a brood or stud. These dogs will range in age between ~2 to ~5 years old. Volunteers should be able to facilitate transport of the dog to any necessary veterinary appointments.
Puppy Nannies are volunteers who work in shifts to care for puppies between the age of 0 and 8 weeks. This takes place at our facility, and nannies can sign up for shifts as best fits their schedule. Shifts are usually 3-4 hours long.
Next Steps to Become a Volunteer
- Fill out a Volunteer Application.
- Attend an Information Session (see the event list for the next scheduled session).
- Fill out a Program Volunteer Application (a link will be sent to you after you fill out the Volunteer Application).
- Attend a Program Orientation (either a Puppy Program Orientation and/or a Breeding Program Orientation, depending on your interests). See the event list for the next scheduled orientations).
- For all roles other than nannies, schedule a home visit with Hero Dogs staff.
- Attend training class(es) as necessary – this will be either one or two classes, depending on the roles in which you are interested.
Notes on Volunteering
After you complete the volunteer application, you will start receiving our newsletter to keep you updated about Hero Dogs news and opportunities. You can also reach us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Volunteers are not paid, but expenses incurred for volunteer service (e.g. mileage) may be tax deductible. Consult your tax adviser for details. Hero Dogs, Inc. is recognized as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Policy on Youth Volunteers
We do not have any volunteer opportunities available for people under the age of 18. Occasionally, there are volunteer activities in which children under 18 can participate under the direct supervision of a parent or responsible adult, such as certain events or fundraising activities. While puppy raising and puppy sitting can certainly be family projects in which children participate, an adult must be the primary raiser for a Hero Dogs puppy.