Mahalo for your interest in volunteering!

There’s a lot to learn about caring for animals and it helps to start with the basics! Understanding the best way to handle, approach and interact with animals will truly lower their stress levels during their time at the shelter. KHS prides itself on being a fear-free certified shelter, which means all of our staff are trained in these best practices, and it’s helpful for you to know them too!

So, let’s start with the basics.

Please ensure that you sign in at the start of every volunteer shift (this helps us log volunteer hours for reporting reasons) and you are wearing your volunteer shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. 

Although, we do our best to make the shelter a safe and enriching place for animals, the smells, sounds and constant movement of people can make it scary and stressful for the animals.

Hushed talking voices, slow and intentional movements, and mindful practices are the best places to start.

Because of the large population of mixed animals we have here at the Kauai Humane Society, it is important that we understand the risk of disease spread within the animal population.

When handling cats, we want to always wear gloves, and change gloves between kennels, as well as sanitize our hands.

When handling dogs, we want to make sure that the dogs never “kiss” while on leash. Keep them a safe distance apart from each other unless instructed otherwise by a staff member.

Online Courses:

If you would like to participate in the Fear Free Certification Course, please sign up here.

You will need a letter proving your affiliation with the shelter which can be obtained from the Volunteer Coordinator or Director of Client Relations.

All KHS staff are required to complete this online course, and we recommend it to our volunteers as well! This course details proper basics of handling and interacting with shelter cats and dogs to reduce their levels of fear and stress in the shelter.

Resources for Working with Dogs:

Resources for Working with Cats:

Resources for Understanding the Risk of Animal Disease Spread: