Want to Volunteer?

Volunteers are a vital and valued part of Paw and Claws

There are many areas we can use help even if you would rather not work directly with the animals. Fundraising events are vital, as well as grounds keeping are other areas where help is appreciated at the shelter. If you have questions about volunteering, please email us at info@pawsandclaws.org .

The first step to become a volunteer is to attend a General Orientation Session.

The General Orientation provides an overview of what Paws and Claws is all about as a humane society, what volunteer opportunities are available, age guidelines, where the animals in our care come from, adoption policies, and training required. Additional training is available for those who wish to have hands-on contact with the cats or dogs.

We ask for a commitment of at least 3 hours per month of hands-on time with the animals. Persons agreeing to these criteria will participate in a 1-hour, hands-on training class if volunteering with the cats, or a 2-hour, hands-on training class if volunteering with the dogs. We realize not everyone is able to commit to these criteria, but there are many other areas within Paws and Claws which could benefit from your help, so please feel free to ask where you might lend a hand.

The minimum age for volunteering is 12 years old. Volunteers 12 through 17 must be accompanied at the General Orientation session by a parent or legal guardian. Volunteers aged 12 through 15 must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian while volunteering. Volunteers aged 16 and 17 may train and volunteer without a parent present, but the parent or legal guardian still must attend the General Orientation session with the volunteer.

  • Click HERE to sign up for a General Orientation

  • Click HERE to sign up for Cat Volunteer Training

  • Click HERE to sign up for Dog Volunteer Training

Classes are added as the trainers become available (and they are not added on any particular schedule), so please check back if a class is full. We do not maintain waiting lists, send notification emails or reply to emails asking when more classes are/will be scheduled.

Weather Policy: If the Rochester Public Schools or other major Rochester events are cancelled due to weather then the volunteer orientation will also be cancelled. In the event that this happens you will need to sign up for a future orientation session. There will not be any “make up” sessions.

Because we do not have staff/volunteers to monitor and set up special projects and tasks, we are not able to accommodate students or other groups looking for service projects.



With donations from generous people like you, thousands of animals have a second chance at life! Make a difference in the life of an animal by donating today. Donations are tax deductible.

Contact Information

3224 19th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 288-7226

Pet Viewing Hours

Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 12:30 to 4:30 pm
Tuesday & Thursday 2pm to 7 pm
Closed Sundays

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