Volunteers play an important role in our mission.
Please note that volunteers will not have any direct contact with the cats — however, your efforts will benefit the cats in an important way. You may be helping with fencing that will protect their sanctuary, renovating structures, or even helping to clean the prep room or tool shed. Every task, no matter how big or small, matters in the lives of each of our residents.
You must be at least 18 yrs old and have valid identification. It is extremely important to our mission that volunteers can commit to a minimum of one day a month of volunteering. We have shifts every weekend, and weekday opportunities are available on a case-by-case basis.
Here are some of the opportunities available:
Awareness & Outreach
Work at outreach/visibility event booths to help share our mission with the public. Events often include Pet Expos, pet stores, parades and summer festivals. Duties may include set up and/or teardown of booth, interaction with the public, handing out educational materials and selling TWS merchandise. Most opportunities occur in the summer months. Lead positions available for each event.
Help construct free-roaming habitats for our residents which include manual labor, ladder work, using tools and more. Often 2-3 people at once are necessary for habitat building. Construction is primarily during summer and fall, but there may be a call-out for help at anytime if a rescue is pending.
Perform basic groundskeeper/maintenance functions as they relate to the general upkeep and cleanliness of the The Sanctuary including mowing, watering new plantings, shoveling, spring clean-up, etc. Volunteers with maintenance skills are also needed for ongoing maintenance and repairs of lawnmowers, UTVs and other tools and equipment. Opportunities year-round.
Domestic Animal Care
All animal care is limited to TWS staff except Domestic Animal Care (DAC) which is staff-approved and requires specialized training. DAC’s provide daily care for TWS’ domestic Bengal and hybrid cats and dogs. This includes cleaning and enrichment. DAC’s must commit to a minimum of two days a month. DAC volunteers are required to get the rabies pre-exposure vaccine. You can apply for this position after 6 months of volunteering for TWS. Opportunities year-round.
Consistent help is needed for answering phones, entering animal care logs, donor thank yous, etc. Volunteers need to be proficient in Word, Excel and have basic office skills. Being able to commit to a consistent schedule of 2 days a month or more is necessary. If weekend hours are wanted, a more consistent schedule is needed for training since office staff is weekday only. Opportunities year-round.
Detail cleaning of all public areas, office as well as the animal food prep and on-site hospital is needed. Additional organization projects may include the animal enrichment shed, tool shed and event storage area. Opportunities year-round.
Assist in many aspects of major annual fundraisers (such as Jungle Boogie, Whiskers & Waves, Director’s Cocktail and donor appreciation vents). Volunteers contact companies for donations and sponsorships, organize events and work behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Opportunities are scheduled per event calendar.
Volunteers are needed to upgrade TWS’ pdf forms into on-line applications, forms. Help is also needed in setting-up a secure, password protecting intranet site that will proved the board, staff and volunteers access to forms, manuals and happenings at The Sanctuary. Opportunities are project based.
Other opportunities may be available for people with special skills such as marketing, public relations, welding, construction, etc. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterinarian opportunities are not available. Please contact Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo.
The first step to volunteering is completing a TWS volunteer application.
Please return the completed Volunteer Application to the PO Box listed on the application or email back to email@example.com. We look forward to receiving your application and meeting you at a future orientation session.
You can download our Volunteer Program brochure here.
Upon receipt of completed Volunteer Application, applicants will be contacted to schedule a phone interview and also notified of upcoming orientations in order to register. Attending a TWS Volunteer Orientation session is mandatory for new applicants. TWS volunteer applicants go through a rigorous application process, which includes application submission, an interview and application review by staff. We reserve the right to reject applicants based on our established criteria.
The Wildcat Sanctuary Volunteer Orientation consists of an educational presentation about TWS, our Mission and history, our facility and residents, explanation of our rules and regulations and our volunteer expectations. Volunteers who also want to volunteer on-site at TWS will go through safety protocol and more detailed on-site volunteer information the first time they come on-site. New Volunteer Orientation sessions are scheduled regularly and first on-site volunteering must be on a Group Volunteer Day. Established volunteers must attend the mandatory Yearly Volunteer Meeting (January.)
Read our volunteer spotlight on Susan Timmerman.