Volunteering at Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter


There are so many ways to get involved! Using your experience, skills, passion, and abilities, we can find the perfect way for YOU to help our animals and staff here at Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter!

Our Highest Need Positions:
Dog Kennels: Our dedicated dog volunteers help every day moving dogs, cleaning inside kennels, and exercising our dogs three times a day: 7 AM - 10:30 AM, 3 PM - 4 PM, 7 PM - 8 PM We are looking for volunteers willing and able to help provide clean spaces for our dogs. We choose to do this three times a day for the health of our dogs. Even committing to just one or two shifts a week is a great help!

Cat Condos, Our hard-working cat volunteers need help cleaning the cat condos two times daily; 7 AM - 10:30 AM, 3 PM-4 PM. You will also have the opportunity to socialize cats during this time. Purrs of gratitude and ears to scratch await as a "thank you" for helping keep our cat rooms cleaned to purr-fection. Even committing to just one or two shifts a week is a great help!

Housekeeping: Looking for a good, clean opportunity to help animals? Our housekeeping volunteer help to keep up with the dishes, laundry, and light cleaning all throughout the building.

Contact Info: manager@riversandbluffsanimalshelter.org

How to Become a Volunteer
Step 1:
  • Option 1 - Complete the application form online. The online form includes the Volunteer Liability Release, Volunteer Code of Conduct, and Photo Release.
  • Option 2 - Print out a volunteer application using the links below Fill it out at home, and bring it to the shelter.  
  • Option 3- Stop in at the shelter during open hours for a volunteer application. Fill it out and hand it in.
Step 2:
  • Once your application is received, a Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter volunteer or the manager will contact you within 7-10 days to schedule you for a one-time new volunteer orientation. Each orientation lasts one hour and gives a general introduction to Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, a tour of the facility, and an opportunity to schedule your first training shift based on your area of interest.
  • Read or print the Volunteer Handbook. (Link)
Step 3:
Attend your first training shift with the appropriate Staff Lead.

Volunteers Spotlight
By RABAS Volunteer Linda Smrcina
Why volunteer? I was asked this question and my first thought was Why Not? As I reflected on that question, the realization came to me that I volunteer because it makes my heart happy.
The dogs and cats at the shelter need us and the joy they give back makes returning all worth it. None of the animals choose to be here, but while here we can try our best to make their stay as
comfortable as possible. Sure, sometimes the chore is a little overwhelming, but at the end of the shift, seeing the dogs and cats content makes the time worthwhile and fulfilling. I have been volunteering since the shelter opened and hope to continue for a long time. Again, WHY? The animals are awesome and so are the volunteers I work with!!!! (Photo Left: *Linda Smrcina is sitting with Zeus)

By RABAS Volunteer Shelly Mergen
I will try to keep this short although I could go on forever about my love for dogs. My name is Shelley Mergen and I am a newer volunteer at the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter. For years I have watched a caring group of people grow into a fully functional and thriving animal shelter because they had a vision. Our area was in desperate need of a place for displaced animals to be accepted into and taken care of. As for my part of this, I have always been a dog lover, I used to be that girl growing up where my mom would say, “OH NO SHELLEY, not another stray!” Over my almost 60 years, I have had a couple of my own dogs that were my heart and my soul. My best friends. I have
followed the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter Facebook page for years and finally decided that I should check into being a volunteer. The process was very simple and everyone was welcoming. As a volunteer you have many options, you can walk dogs, wash dishes, snuggle kitties, clean kennels the list is endless. Every little bit helps.
My personal experience has been pretty humbling. I never realized how much I would enjoy volunteering at the shelter. Walking the dogs has been a great exercise for me. Getting to know each new dog and encounter different breeds has just been FUN. I thought it might make me sad working here but just the opposite. These dogs NEED love and understanding and reassurance. Their lives have been turned upside for one reason or the other. Every animal has a story. Every journey getting to the shelter is different.
Another thing I have liked about the Shelter is that there is no judging. The shelter is a safe haven, for owners that for whatever reason have had to surrender or the stray that was found on the street. The shelter and the animals and the people there have really restored my faith in humanity. I can’t say enough good things about being a volunteer, it has given me much more joy than I predicted. This facility and its volunteers are much needed in our area and I am so glad I made the decision to become a volunteer. Some days, I hate to leave!
(Photo left: Shelley Mergen is with Gypsy, a Catahoula Leopard/Hound mix who is a very well-behaved, gentle dog in need of a loving home.)