Are you interested in volunteering for Columbus Humane?

Not only will you learn about animals and get lots of licks and tail wags, but you will also meet others who share similar interests.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Dog Care
  • Dog Training
  • Cat Care
  • Rabbit Care
  • Greeting
  • Administrative Assistance
  • Special Events
  • And more!

Completion of our Skills Training, Engagement and Practice for Success (STEPS) program is required to become a regular volunteer with the Columbus Humane Society.  Designed for adults and students ages 12 and up, STEPS consists of 21 hours of classroom, clinic and mentored learning about the fundamentals of caring for animals as well as the mission and philosophies of the Columbus Humane Society.  Applications for STEPS are available by clicking on the link below or you can pick one up at the shelter.  These are competitive applications and space is limited, so submitting an application does not automatically mean you are in the class. 
The STEPS program is proudly sponsored by Schoedinger Pet Services.  Thanks to their support, each STEPS class participant receives a training manual, volunteer t-shirt and photo ID badge. We ask all incoming volunteers to make a one-time mission investment of $30. All participants choose a program area to receive their personal investment.


Applications (students age 12-15 must have an adult also fill out an application as well as waiver for their student and attend all sessions and volunteer with them. Students 16-17 must have parent or guardian fill out waiver.)

All STEPS classes have been filled for the year and applications are not being accepted at this time. Please check back in Early December for new class dates and to apply.

2018 STEPS Classes:

1/27 through 2/17 (Saturdays) - FULL
3/6 through 3/27 (Tuesdays) - FULL
4/21 through 5/12 (Saturdays) - FULL
6/5 through 6/26 (Tuesdays) - FULL

8/4 through 8/25 (Saturdays) - FULL

10/27 through 11/16 (Saturdays) - FULL

*Please note that junior volunteers, ages 12-15, will need a parent or guardian to fill out a separate application on their behalf, attend the STEPS training, and accompany their junior volunteer at all times.


*Waivers will be signed on the first day of class.

Volunteer Information Center (login for current volunteers)

Are you interested in helping out at Columbus Humane just once?

If you are part of an organization or business that would like to set up a "one time" volunteer experience, please complete and submit the following form with preferred date and time slot:

Unfortunately, all remaining dates for 2018 are filled. Please check back later.

2018 Dates and Available Times - 10-Noon, 12:30-2:30, 3-5

January 4 - FULL

February 15 - FULL

March 15 - FULL

April 19 - FULL

May 17 - FULL

June 21 - FULL

August 16 - FULL

September 20 - FULL

October 18 - FULL

November 15 - FULL

December 20 - FULL


For more information about volunteering, please contact the Volunteer Office by email or by phone at (614)777-7387 ext. 249.

Volunteer FAQs

What are the steps to becoming a volunteer?

Completion of our STEPS volunteer training program is required to volunteer in any area of the shelter or at shelter events. Each class involves 16 hours of class/curriculum and five hours of mentored hands-on volunteering. It’s important that everyone on our team understands and can communicate with others about our mission and our organization while also ensuring the safety, health and happiness of our animals, staff and fellow volunteers.  You must attend all four classes in the session for which you register to graduate.

Is euthanasia discussed during volunteer training?

Yes, we do discuss euthanasia during the training. Specifically, we discuss the crisis of cat overpopulation and its impact. We recommend that parents discuss this information with children prior to attending orientation. 

Are there any age requirements to volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age to volunteer. Those volunteers who are between the ages of 12-15 must attend STEPS with a parent or adult buddy over the age of 21.  The Adult Volunteer Partner must accompany the junior volunteer at all times while volunteering at the shelter.  Volunteers who are ages 16-17 may volunteer on their own with a submitted "Junior & Teen Waiver & Release."

What if I am under 12 and I still want to get involved?

If you under the age of 12 there are specific projects you can complete outside of the shelter to help the animals.  Please click here for activity ideas.

What if I need service hours for a school or community project?

Students needing service hours can complete the STEPS program,  which often will fulfill their hours. A signed copy of hours completed can be requested through the volunteer office.

What if I have court-ordered community service hours I need to fulfill?

Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with fulfilling court-ordered community service hours.

What if I have a group that would like to participate in a one time only volunteer opportunity?

If you have a group (12 and older) that are interested in coming in for a one time volunteer opportunity please complete and submit this form: One-time group volunteer request form

What if I have a community group such as Girl Scouts who would like a tour and/or presentation?

Girl Scouts wishing to earn the pet care badge should contact Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland directly to register in the bi-monthly Pets 101 program held here at the Columbus Humane.  For shelter tours related to donation drives, see Shelter Tour or Presentation Request Form.

What if I would like to shadow an employee or participate in an internship?

Unfortunately, due to staffing levels and the nature of our day-to-day work we do not have the capacity to fulfill the many shadowing and internship requests that we receive.  

STEPS Volunteer Training Program

We are always looking for help with our animals.  But, we have to get you ready first.  Columbus Humane is home to more than 550 active volunteers serving over 38,000 hours each year. Our amazing volunteers make an impact by socializing cats and rabbits, exercising and training dogs, fostering animals in their homes, assisting with veterinary care, and supporting adoption and fundraising events. Our volunteer training program, STEPS (Skills-Training, Engagement and Practice for Success) is a 16-hour curriculum of both classroom and hands-on learning. Broken down into blocks of 4-hour programming, volunteers learn about animal care, behavior and body language, veterinary health, quality of life, decision-making in our organization, cruelty investigations and much more!

Age Requirements

While the majority of our volunteers are age 16 or older, we do have junior volunteers, ages 12-15.  All junior volunteers are required to work alongside a parent, guardian or another adult volunteer partner at least 21 years of age.  The junior volunteer and their Adult Volunteer Partner will always volunteer as a team.  It is important that all junior volunteers discuss becoming a volunteer with an Adult Volunteer Partner before signing up for training class.  Both partners must submit individual STEPS applications along with the Junior & Teen Waiver & Release.

Humane Society volunteers ages 55 and up are eligible for special benefits through Hands On Central Ohio (   

Click here to learn more about humane education and community service opportunities if you are under the age of 12. 

Current Volunteer Log-in

Volunteer Information Center (login for current volunteers)

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Adoption Hours

Monday - Friday 2pm - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Animal Support Center

Admission services by appointment only
Same-day appointments may be available
(614) 777-7387 ext. 208

Contact Us

Phone (614) 777-7387 Fax (614) 777-8449
3015 Scioto Darby Executive Ct
Hilliard OH, 43026
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Official pet waste removal service

Adoption Hours

Monday - Friday2pm - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday12pm - 5pm

Animal Support Center

Admission services by appointment only
Same-day appointments may be available
(614) 777-7387 ext. 208

Phone (614) 777-7387
  Fax (614) 777-8449
3015 Scioto Darby Executive Ct
Hilliard, OH 43026
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Animal Support Center

Call (614)777-7387 ext. 208 to schedule a help session appointment.
Appointments are available seven days a week and same day appointments may be available.
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