New Volunteers

Welcome! We are so happy you are considering volunteering at the ARL. The animals and the staff will appreciate the time and energy you are willing to give us!

The first step to becoming an ARL volunteer is to attend a new volunteer orientation and complete a "companion training" class.  At new volunteer orientation, you will learn more about the ARL, its programs, and what you can do to help.  Directly following new volunteer orientation, you will have the option of attending either the Dog Companion or Cat Companion training. 

Before you attend orientation, you will need to:

  1. Register for Orientation and pay your one-time $20 volunteer fee. The $20 volunteer fee covers the cost of your ARL volunteer t-shirt and all volunteer-related classes and supplies.  Our next new volunteer orientation is Saturday, January 12 at 8:30 a.m.  Register for new volunteer orientation >
  2. Fill out a Volunteer Application. Everyone who wants to volunteer needs to complete this application. If you are a family or group, this application needs to be filled out for each individual. Fill out volunteer application >

Orientation Instructions:

  1. Arrive early. Make sure you have time to park and sign in before orientation is set to start. If you are late, we will ask you to reschedule your orientation.
  2. If you are under 18. Make sure your parents or legal guardians have signed a liability waiver. Without a signed waiver, you will not be able to volunteer.
  3. Come to the correct location. Orientations are held at ARL Main in Mapes Auditorium, located on the north side of the shelter at 5452 NE 22nd St. in Des Moines. 

A note for those seeking to complete service hours for school, religious programs, etc.: Because of the orientation and training process, we are unable to register volunteers wishing to commit fewer than 12 hours of service. For one-time or group opportunities, please click here.