German Shepherd Rescue is run by volunteers only. We have no paid staff, and we need all the help we can get. If you are interested in volunteering drop by the rescue anytime during adoption hours on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5PM. We have a written application for all new volunteers to fill out. We will meet you, give you a quick tour, and schedule a brief orientation for a future date within a week or two. There is a lot to learn and many safety guidelines to go over. That’s why we schedule the orientation before you are allowed to start work. It’s not as simple as just dropping by to walk a dog.
All new volunteers are not allowed to walk dogs until we and the dogs get to know and trust you, usually 2-3 months. We feel being able to walk the dogs is an earned privilege for volunteers. There are a lot of accidents and incidents that can occur during a dog walk and we need to make sure you understand how the rescue operates before dogs come and go under a new volunteer’s care.
Due to insurance restrictions, you must be at least 21 years of age to volunteer at the rescue facility. No exceptions even if you bring a parent or guardian with you.
Here are some of the things that the volunteers do:
Believe it or not there is a lot of paperwork involved with running a rescue. Applications, medical records, adoption contracts, etc. need to be filed. We also need help with mailing newsletters and entering information in our database. If you are quick on a computer and good with Excel and Word please let us know.
We always have dog bowls to wash, messes to clean up, and dog beds and towels to launder. Don’t worry, we have a washer and dryer. Just keeping the office and adoption area clean is a full time job in itself.
The dogs like nothing better than to get out of their kennels for a nice walk. Whether its around the block or all the way to the park and back it’s just nice for them to get out. It’s also a good way to get to know each individual dog. We need dog walkers at our rescue facility in Burbank. All new volunteers need to be volunteering for at least 2-3 months before you are allowed to walk a dog.
The dogs are fed twice a day. Each dog gets a bowl full of kibble mixed with some rice, canned dog food, a cookie and vitamin. We also ensure that they have fresh water to drink. Any medication a dog might be taking needs to be administered as well.
Every day each kennel is thoroughly cleaned. This is a messy and wet job, but a very necessary one. If you have spare time on weekday mornings and are interested in cleaning please let us know.
Washing and grooming
The dogs look and feel much better when they are clean and groomed. Many of them come into the rescue in desperate need of a bath and the dogs usually need baths every few weeks. Regular brushing also helps the dogs to look their best when people come to meet them, and like with your own dog it’s an excellent time to check them over for any health issues.
Helping with adoptions
The volunteers help potential adopters to determine which dog will best suit their situation. Knowing each dog’s personality and talking to the adopters helps to find a good match.
Certain approved volunteers that are on a “puller list” with city and county shelters pick dogs up and bring them to the rescue. This is usually done during the week. We often need to pick up a dog at a shelter before they close for the day. Just think – you will be saving a dog’s life! We rescue from shelters all over Southern California, so no matter where you live, you could help transport a dog.
We really need volunteers who can transport dogs and supplies between the Burbank Rescue and the Tehachapi Sanctuary. If you frequently travel between those locations and could help out please give us a call at the rescue!
Every day we get messages from people who want some information about the rescue. We need volunteers to help return some of these calls. We also need volunteers who can make phone calls to follow up on adoptions to be sure that everything is going well. This is something that is easy to do, and can be done from your home.
Perform Home Checks
Before placing a dog with a potential adopter we like to do a home visit. This means traveling to the adopter’s home and walking through their house and yard to insure that it is a proper environment for the dog. You would be checking to be sure that there is adequate fencing around the property, and that the home is free from poisons and other hazards for a pet. We do home checks all across Southern California.