Volunteering at NHA

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Nashville Humane Association (NHA)! Hundreds of individuals, passionate about helping homeless animals, make it possible for us to care for and adopt out more than 3,300 animals each year, and we are grateful for their dedication and assistance.

Volunteers are essential members of our family here at Nashville Humane and if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, or learning more about our volunteer program, we encourage you to Apply Here!

Quick Reference
  • Already a Volunteer? Login Here
  • Interested in becoming a volunteer at NHA?
    Apply here!
  • Interested in completing community service hours at NHA? Apply here!
  • Interested in volunteering as a group or office? Apply here!

Guidelines and Requirements

We offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to include volunteers in every step of the rescue, sheltering, and adoption process. At NHA, you can volunteer to do almost anything, whether it be hands-on animal care or administrative work! Our Volunteer Program is broken into the following 5 Volunteer Teams to allow volunteers to focus on the area or areas that they are most passionate about: Dog Care Team, Cat Care Team, Community Outreach Team, Pet Services Team, and Shelter Operations Team. Each Team has various positions within it, so you can find the position most suitable for you. So whether you enjoy walking dogs, cuddling kittens, attending events, assisting with adoptions, or even helping out with laundry, we have a place for you!

  • Minimum age is 16 years old for any independent volunteering or volunteering in a small group.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 13 and 15 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. The parent or guardian and the volunteer must both submit an application to become volunteers, complete the necessary training together, and volunteer together.
  • Young people (under the age of 13) are not permitted to serve as volunteers on shelter property but can serve through a variety of school and at-home activities that support the animals in our care. For more information, please click here for ways kids under 13 may help fulfill the mission of NHA.

*Please Note: For the safety of our volunteers, staff, and animals, no exceptions can be made to the age limitation policies.

All regular NHA volunteers are required to commit to serving at least 6 months and for at least 6 hours per month. Consistent, long-term volunteer service offers the most benefit to the shelter animals as well as to fellow volunteers, staff, and potential adopters. Due to the amount of volunteer training required to adhere to all safety and sanitation protocols, our regular volunteer program is not designed for single visits or short-term opportunities. If you are interested in short-term volunteering, please read about our Community Service or our Group/Corporate Volunteering opportunities below.

Our Volunteer Training Process consists of three basic components: online Orientation, online Animal Behavior Training Modules, and in-person Shadow Days. These are completed after your volunteer application has been reviewed and accepted by NHA. Training for some volunteer positions will vary slightly from this process if they do not require hands-on animal care or if they require a special level of skill and knowledge.

Our Volunteer Program requires that all volunteers have access to internet and email. Our volunteer site is online, and volunteers are required to use this site to apply, complete training, and sign up for their volunteer shifts. Additionally, the primary source of communication with volunteers is through email, so volunteers must have access to a functioning email address.

Group / Corporate Volunteering

Interested in volunteering with your social organization or work colleagues? We offer two opportunities for this – Group Volunteering and Corporate Volunteering. Both are offered only on weekdays during our business hours (10am-5pm) and require that you apply at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the date you wish to volunteer, so we can plan accordingly. Below are further details on each opportunity.

To participate in a Group Volunteer Day at NHA, we require a minimum donation of $100 to NHA to cover the cost of supplies and staff time. Our Group Volunteer Day activities last about 2 or so hours depending on what we need at the shelter that day, and we allow up to 12 people to participate.

To participate in a Corporate Volunteer Day at NHA, we require a minimum donation of $250 to NHA to cover the cost of supplies and staff time. Our Corporate Volunteer Day activities last about 2 or so hours depending on what we need at the shelter that day, and we allow up to 20 people to participate.

Do you and your friends, team, or office want to participate in a Group or Corporate Volunteer Day? Apply here!

Community Service Volunteering

NHA does accept short-term volunteers who are needing to complete service hours for school, court-mandated, or other organizational purposes. These volunteers are limited to serving in general shelter maintenance roles and are not permitted to work directly with the animals while completing their service hours. However, community service volunteers who wish to continue volunteering after they have completed their service requirement are able to train to become a regular volunteer at that time! NHA is only able to accept community service volunteers planning to complete 40 or more service hours.

Want to complete your community service hours at NHA? Apply here!