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Humane Society of Greater Dayton

The Volunteer Spotlight features a volunteer or group of volunteers whose committment to helping animals at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of volunteerism by giving their time, energy and passion to make a difference in the lives of the animals. The volunteer  is nominated by a Humane Society staff member. We also have the Friends of the Humane Society featured volunteers as well who work tirelessly through FOHS to raise funds and impact the lives of animals at our shelter!  

Currently in the spotlight:

Mark WallaceMark-2

When we think of Mark several words come to mind. His dedication, passion and commitment has helped make the Community Cat program what it is today. Our staff member Lauren describes Mark as her “right hand man”. I could not do what I do without him. Every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. he meets me to start trapping. As we go out into the Dayton communities he helps me reach those who need our program. When we arrive at our trapping areas Mark prepares each trap, baiting it with his special food blend to ensure we are successful. He spends the entire day with me checking traps, picking up the traps and setting them back up at the shelter. On Saturdays, Mark meets me again to release all the cats we have trapped and fixed. He then comes back and helps with all the clean-up. Mark’s dedication doesn’t end on Saturday. He is constantly scouting for new sites and contacting people in the community we’ve helped previously to see if we can further assist them. He is also concocting new contraptions to get those difficult to trap cats. Previously he came in on a Friday to help trap a cat and ended up organizing the garage. Over the years Mark has helped trap well over 1,000 cats (quite possibly close to 2,000). Mark is a superstar volunteer that can’t be duplicated or replaced! 


Rick and Gloria SmithGloria Smith

The Friends of the Humane Society is a wonderful group of volunteers who raise funds for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. Rick and Gloria Smith have been dedicated members of the FOHS for quite some time. They are an amazing couple who have faithfully
Rick Smithworked the Animal Snackers Bakery at the Second Street Market, on Saturday mornings for the last 8 years. Their dedication, passion, and love for the Humane Society is inspiring to say the least. We would like to recognize their efforts and thank them for everything they have done to help homeless animals in our community.


Friends Logo

Do you love to bake? Then Friends of the Humane Society may be for you. This unique group of Humane Society of Greater Dayton volunteers bakes over 80 varieties of gourmet dog and cat treats, such as:

  • Poodle Puffs
  • Alley Cat Appetizers
  • Golden's Goodies
  • Hound Dog Honey Bears
  • Weimaraner Waffles

These treats are made by volunteers and sold at the Animal Snackers Bakery at the PNC 2nd Street Market, which is also staffed by volunteers. Proceeds support Humane Society of Greater Dayton programs. Learn more about this innovative group.


 Follow the Friends of the Humane Society today!





Why Does It Take So Long to Become a Volunteer?

Volunteer - Group

One of the goals of the Volunteer program at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is to ensure that each volunteer has a positive and meaningful experience with us. Our way of doing that is to provide all new volunteers with training and mentoring by our experienced staff and volunteers. In order to provide this specialized training, we must limit the number of new volunteers each month, so that we can devote the appropriate amount of attention to get everyone settled into their new volunteer roles.

Why Do I Have to Be a Member of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton to Volunteer?

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We would not be able to run any of our programs without support from the community, through in-kind and monetary donations. An annual $10 volunteer-level membership affirms volunteers' support of our organization and the mission that we are working toward.

What If I Cannot Attend an Open House at the Scheduled Time?

All potential volunteers must attend an open house/volunteer orientation. Open houses are offered frequently, in an effort to meet everyone’s schedule. Please contact Jodi Rettig, volunteer coordinator, at,  if you cannot attend one of the scheduled sessions. You may also reach her by phone, at 937/262-5924.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Volunteer?

Volunteers must be at least 10 years of age. Volunteers under the age of 18 must attend the open house with a parent. Volunteers ages 10 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while volunteering at the facility. Please check out the list of specific physical, mental, emotional and supervision requirements for each volunteer opportunity.  When signing up for an open house, please sign each staff member up separately as seats in the open house are limited.

If I'm a Student, Does a Parent or Guardian Have to Come With Me?

No, not if you are at least 16 years of age. We require that volunteers who are 10 to 15 years of age have a parent or guardian over the age of 21 attend the open house with them, as well as supervise their volunteering at all times by actively volunteering alongside them. Sixteen- and 17-year-old volunteers only need a parental-consent form on file; they may volunteer alone. Please check out the list of specific physical, mental, emotional and supervision requirements for each volunteer opportunity.

What If I Am Under 10 and I Still Want to Get Involved?

If you are under the age of 10 and want to be involved, you may visit our Humane Education page; there you may choose from several ideas and projects to help make a difference at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. 

Is There a Dress Code for Volunteers?

We ask that our volunteers wear closed-toe shoes, as well as clothes that can get furry and dirty. We do not permit volunteers to wear flip-flops, bare-midriff shirts, or apparel with inappropriate sayings or logos. 1If you are dressed inappropriately, you may be asked to leave.

Does the Humane Society of Greater Dayton Have a Summer Volunteer Program for Students?

We do not have any special summer programs for students. Our summer policies are the same: age limit
(10 years) and parental/guardian supervision, if necessary.

Do I Have to Volunteer a Certain Number of Hours?

Volunteers are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours per month and make a commitment of six months. This ensures that:

  • Volunteers have a good understanding of Humane Society of Greater Dayton policies
    and procedures
  • The well-being of the animals in our care is promoted through consistent care

The four hours may be split as necessary throughout the month, to fit your schedule.

When Can I Volunteer?

The Nicholas Road facility is open to its volunteers from 8:30 AM-2:00 PM Sunday, 8:30 AM-4:00 PM Monday, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM Tuesday through Friday, and 8:30 AM-4:00 PM Saturday. These hours are not adoption hours for the public; they are solely for the convenience of volunteers.

Can I Volunteer for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton at Any Other Location Than the Nicholas Road Facility?

2nd Street Market

Yes! Besides coming to our Nicholas Road facility, volunteers can help at offsite adoption events on evenings and weekends, bake treats for the Animal Snackers Bakery at the PNC 2nd Street Market or work at MeowZa! Cat Boutique (located in the Dayton Mall).

What If I Need Service Hours for a School or Community Project?

Students needing service hours will go through the general Volunteer program. When you complete your service, a signed copy of your hours can be requested through the volunteer office. Time spent in the open house, training and practice with a mentor does not count toward service hours completed. As space is limited, we are unable to accommodate all requests. Please allow ample time to complete orientations, training sessions and service by the required date.

What If I Have Court-Ordered Community-Service Hours That I Need to Fulfill?

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a community-service site for the MonDay program. MonDay is a community-based correctional facility that provides a secure treatment environment for probationable felony offenders. MonDay challenges offenders to modify their behaviors to become responsible citizens, by utilizing holistic programming, including community service at specific sites in the community. As the Humane Society participates in this program, we are unable to accommodate other individuals with court-ordered community service.

Does the Humane Society of Greater Dayton Have Opportunities
for Groups?

Our group opportunities are project-based, since we do require that all volunteers who will be working directly with the animals attend our open house and complete training. Because of the size of our facility, only small groups can be accommodated on-site. If you have a group that is interested in a service project at our facility, please contact Breanne Woody, volunteer coordinator, at You may also reach her by phone, at 937/262-5924.

What If I Have a Community Group, Such as Girl Scouts, That Would Like a Tour and/or Presentation?

You can read more about the requirements for group tours on our Group Tours page. Tours must be scheduled with Breanne Woody, volunteer coordinator, at You may also reach her by phone, at 937/262-5924.

What If I Would Like to Shadow an Employee at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton?

Unfortunately, we do not currently have a program in place that enables us to fill the many requests we receive for job shadowing.

Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?

Volunteer - Cat Room

On average, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton (HSGD) cares for 4,500 animals each year. We are the only area shelter that takes in all animals, allowing our impact to extend beyond dogs and cats. We also help rabbits, ferrets and other pets move from homelessness to becoming a loved member of the family.

You can be a part of this team dedicated to ensuring that every animal is loved and finds its forever home. We are always in need of new volunteers to assist us in caring for Dayton’s animals; however, volunteering at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton can be an emotional experience that requires a strong commitment. While we do have a large number of people who go through our orientation and training process, not everyone will be able to continue volunteering with us. Some may not be able to commit the necessary time, while others may decide that they are unable to deal with the emotions that come from spending time with animals who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. For more on what it takes to be a Humane Society of Greater Dayton volunteer, please read through the physical, emotional, mental and supervision requirements for each volunteer opportunity.

Call the Humane Society of Greater Dayton at 937/268-PETS (7387) or e-mail Jodi Rettig, our Volunteer Coordinator at

Steps to volunteer:

  1. Open house (approximately 90 minutes): Sign up to attend an open house. All open houses are held at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton facility located at 1661 Nicholas Road. The open house discussion will include the HSGD mission, the value of our volunteer program, and conclude with a tour of the shelter. You must be at least 10 years old to attend. Volunteers under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the open house. Volunteers under the age of 16 must complete the volunteer training process with an adult, and be accompanied by that adult each time they come to volunteer. When signing up for an open house, please sign each attendee up separately as seats are limited.
  2. Basic Training (approximately 1 hour): To help make your introduction into the world of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton a smooth one, we provide all of our volunteers a foundation of training that encompasses safety, sanitation, and animal basics such as body language. You will also be introduced to the shelter staff members that you will be working closely with to accomplish HSGD goals.
  3. Online Quiz (approximately 30 minutes): All of our volunteers-in-training MUST complete an online quiz to ensure understanding and proficiency in shelter safety. This quiz is mandatory, and must be completed within one week of completing Step 2. A link to this quiz will be provided at the Basic Training.
  4. Becoming an Official Volunteer: (approximately 45 minutes): After successful completion of the quiz, our volunteers are ready to become official! You will meet one-on-one with our Volunteer Coordinator to set-up your volunteer account, receive your t-shirt and name badge, and complete liability forms. You will also discuss with the VC the option to sign-up for an animal training session for those who wish to directly work with our adoptable animals.
  5. Animal Mentor Training (optional) (approximately 90 minutes): All official volunteers are welcome to attend classes with our skilled volunteer mentors. These classes will open up doors for our volunteers to interact with HSGD animals and assist with shelter cleaning, training, enrichment, and much much more!

Be a Hero

VolunteerThe Humane Society of Greater Dayton offers flexible opportunities designed to fit into anyone’s schedule. Often you can determine the hours you work and in what capacity. No matter what your skill set – whether you desire hands-on activities with our pets, prefer to provide clerical support, or want to assist with our events and education programs in the community – there is a place for you. Want to learn more? Scroll down or check out our Volunteer FAQs page.

An annual $10 volunteer-level membership in the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a requirement for all members of our volunteer team. This membership affirms volunteers' investment in our organization and commitment to our cause.