Special Needs Volunteers

Adults Volunteering with Assistance

Individuals who do not meet the criteria for independent volunteering must always volunteer in the company of another adult capable of assisting them, such as a family member, friend, or professional support staff. Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter (FOBCAS) is not able to provide assistants or mentors on an ongoing basis.

Expectations for Assistants

In addition to helping someone have a fun and fulfilling time as a volunteer, assistants are there as backup just in case anything goes wrong. For this reason we hold assistants to the same high standards as we do regular volunteers when it comes to training. Assistants should pay attention during classes and be able to demonstrate the same core concepts that we expect of all other volunteers.

Assistants are expected to take all required training classes, submit a volunteer application, pay the volunteer fee, and conduct themselves in line with FOBCAS's standard volunteer rules.

Your first step to volunteering is attending a General Orientation, which may be RSVP'd to on our website.

Requirements for Independent Volunteering

  • Generally speaking, adults who require regular assistance with physical or cognitive tasks in their daily lives will not be able to volunteer with us without an assistant.

  • Classes: Individuals must attend and pass all required classes, as noted on the FOBCAS website.

  • Safety: Individuals must be able to remember and follow all instructions and safety rules. Must be capable of recognizing and reacting appropriately to potentially unsafe situations.

  • Communication: Individuals must be able to clearly communicate questions or problems via speech or handwriting.

  • Reading and Writing: Individuals must be able to read. Must be able to handwrite name, dates and times, and brief sentences about experiences with an animal.

  • For cat volunteers: Individuals must be able to bend and lift up to 25 pounds. Must be able to pick up and hold a cat appropriately. Must be able to read cat body language adequately.

  • For dog volunteers: Individuals must have stable footing and good hand-eye coordination. Must be able to put a leash on a dog and walk it safely through busy kennels and on uneven ground.

FOBCAS reserves the right to make reasonable additions or exceptions to a volunteer's requirements depending on each individual's circumstances.

For more information, contact friendsofbcas.org@gmail.com.