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Hills Food, Shelter & Love


How to Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any active organization, and the Second Chance Animal Center is no different. Without volunteers, many community projects, as well as shelter activities, could not handled by staff already involved with the time commitments of a busy daily routine.

Our volunteers, who donate precious time and much-needed services, come from all walks of life and have a variety of skills and expertise. You don't have to be a trained professional to help - just have some free time and the desire.

We'll match you to a "job" that fits both your time frame and your interests - see our listings below.

Think about becoming a foster family for dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. this program finds temporary homes for those animals that need a little extra attention until they can be adopted into a loving, permanent home. This program has helped to free critical space in the Shelter, reduce the euthanasia rate, and given the animals, that second chance to experience "family life."

Call the Shelter at 802-375-2898 for information on how you can help us to give our furry friends a Second Chance. You may also complete our Volunteer Application online or you may download an application and mail it in.

Volunteer Positions

Animal Care

Those interested in this position are asked to dedicate themselves to at least one reoccurring day of the week. The volunteer can decide if they wish to be assigned to the canine or feline section and will clean according to SCAC guidelines and protocols. Must be 16 years or solder.

Animal Socializer

Socializing is essential to the well-being of shelter animals and helps to increase their chances of adoption more quickly. As an Animal Socializer, you will give individual attention to the animals on the adoption floor while petting them, playing with them, brushing them, and allowing them to cuddle close to you.

Coin-Bank Collector

Once a month collect and bring to Second Chance the donations left in contribution banks seen in many businesses throughout our community. These donations make a big difference to our animals!

Dog Walker

Our canine residents need to be exercised every day, and we depend on volunteers to assist with this task. You will provide companionship and exercise by walking dogs along fields, to Lake Shaftsbury access road, and by bringing dogs to a private, fenced paddock. Must be 16 years or older and required to attend a mandatory dog-walking orientation scheduled at Second Chance.

Education Programs

Our Education Director is busy teaching throughout the entire year. Whether you are interested in helping with classrooms during the school year with our CARE program or whether you have some time during the summer to help with the Animal Adventure Camp, our humane education programs might interest you. Must be 16 years or older.


We enjoy being out in the community, so we often schedule evens around the region to promote our programs, raise funds for our operations, and organize off-site adoption events. There are a multitude of tasks before, during, and after these events, and we often need help from volunteers. Whether you prefer to do some behind-the-scenes work or enjoy talking about Second Chance with the public, we probably have something to fit your skills. Your time commitment is flexible as a call for volunteers will go out as we develop our event plans, so you can work as your schedule allows. Must be 16 years or older.

event participants, or handing out balloons the day of the event. This is a fun way to be involved if you have a flexible schedule and limited time to commit.  Volunteers are called as needed. Must be 16 years or older.

Front Desk

In this role, you will be the first person to greet some of our 7,000 annual shelter visitors! You will welcome them as they arrive, answer questions about Second Chance’s community programs, and answer/forward calls received through our main phone line. Must be 16 years or older.


Our facility is used and occupied 24 hours a day, 365 days a year… that’s a lot of wear and tear! Assist staff with minor shelter repairs and carpentry tasks, such as building shelves, repairing leaky sinks, and other small projects that improve our building. Outside work includes raking, shoveling, sweeping, picking up trash/debris, and generally sprucing up our grounds. Must be 16 years or older and able to work with power tools.  

Shelter Buddies

If you are under the age of 16 and want to volunteer at the shelter, we  have just the program for you! Our Shelter Buddies spend time socializing our cats, giving them a chance to play and enjoy the company of people. We  have special rules for our Shelter Buddies, and you are encouraged to come to the shelter any time our public hours - no need to schedule a regular time commitment. Must be at least 5 years old, and an adult must accompany you during each shelter visit.

Shelter Care

We are always busy cleaning, moving, re-organizing, and touching up our building. If you find satisfaction in small tasks that make a big difference, this might be a fun option for you. Must be 16 years or older.

Volunteer Opportunities

Foster Homes Needed

Each spring with the arrival of kitten season, the number of calls for help grows. Second Chance Animal Center in  Shaftsbury, Vermont tries to take in as many new born kittens and moms-to-be as possible, but space is limited at the shelter. Volunteers are desperately needed to help with the overflow by providing temporary foster homes until the kittens are old enough to be adopted.

All of the veterinary care, food, medicine, litter and supplies are provided by Second Chance, while the foster parent provides a safe environment, care and lots of love so the kittens can thrive. Once the kittens are fully weaned (usually around eight weeks of age), they are given their final vaccinations, spayed or neutered and ready to be adopted into permanent, loving homes – with, of course, a big purr of thanks to their foster parent. 

If you think fostering might be for you, please call the shelter at 802-375-2898. Our Animal Care Coordinator will be happy to tell you more about the foster program and answer any questions you may have. 

Hills Food, Shelter & Love