VOLUNTEER AND INTERN FAQs
How old do you have to be to be involved with West Place?
To join WPAS, interns must be at least 16 years of age, or, with extensive experience, 14. Students in HS, college and post-graduate studies are considered Interns. Volunteers must be 18 years or older if out of school.
What are the requirements to volunteer or intern?
All volunteers and interns are required to fill out an application, provide a government-issued identification card (or school ID for interns) and sign a volunteer pledge form, liability waiver, and media release.
All volunteers must be able to work independently and without supervision.
All animal care or other hands-on volunteers and interns must be able to bend and lift 20 lbs.
All of WPAS’s policies pertaining to volunteers and interns are explained in detail. All volunteers and interns will be given access to these policies and proceedures upon approval and will be expected to read and be familiar with these policies.
All weekly volunteers and interns will also be required to watch several training videos including human and animal safety. Animal care must watch all required videos.
Animal care shifts are once a week, every week, from 9 am - 12 pm for the AM shift and from 2 pm - 5 pm or 3 pm - 6 pm, depending on time of year for the PM shift. Volunteer shifts that are not animal care may be flexible, but it it preferred that you are available during regular animal care shifts.
A minimum one-year commitment or more is required for consideration (with the exception of our summer intern program). If you cannot commit to at least one year, please do not apply to be a volunteer or year-round intern.
Do I need to come each week?
Absolutely. The decision to volunteer anywhere is optional, but once you make that commitment, it is exactly that - a commitment. It is no different than a job, other than you do not get paid. Volunteers and interns are expected to be here each week and numerous last-minute call-outs will lead to termination. The animals and other volunteers on your shift will count on you and for the benefit of them, we do not keep volunteers who let them down.
Can I volunteer or intern on different days each week?
For consistency and ensuring we have enough coverage for each shift, we require animal care volunteers and interns to commit to the same shift the same day each week. Non-animal care may be flexible but it is preferred that other volunteers are able to commit to the same day each week.
Do I need animal experience to volunteer?
All volunteers wishing to work in animal care are preferred to have some farm animal experience - or at a minimum domestic animal experience - but it is not necessary. If you are flexible and have an open mind we are happy to train you.
Can my friend or family member volunteer with me?
We typically do not allow people to volunteer with friends or family members. It has been our experience that if one person does not come, the other person does not come either, and we are short two people for that shift, and the animals and other tasks are not attended to properly.
Any other information I should know?
Actually, yes. It is important that our volunteers are here for the right reasons. We exist to save animals, not to save humans. What we do takes skill, dedication, awareness and focus. It is not just about brushing horses and holding bunnies in order to make humans happy. It is a great deal of hard, tiring and dirty work. We have many amazing volunteers who have joined us and it has made their lives better, and that makes us happy - but please understand that our job does not include healing humans, or providing human therapy. We need our volunteers to be physically, mentally and emotionally present in order to help our rescues. Our animals are not here to rescue humans. Humans have already put them through enough. Thank you.