Volunteers are essential to the success of the RAVS program. We depend on the many knowledgeable, compassionate individuals who generously contribute their time and expertise. We literally could not do it without your support. While animal shelter staff and volunteers, animal control officers and humane educators are especially encouraged to apply, opportunities exist for volunteers from any background. Some of our best volunteers have had no prior animal care experience!

Most non-veterinary volunteers will assist in the intake area. Here you will greet clients, help maintain medical records and spend time talking with clients, community members and children about animal care. However, depending on your interests and experience, you may also be asked to assist in other areas of the clinic.

There are many reasons for volunteers to participate in RAVS' field clinics. For many, the chance to care for animals in need is what draws them to the program. For others, the opportunity to work with dedicated veterinary professionals and students from all over the country and to learn new skills and information is an important factor. Certainly the chance to travel and interact with people and animals in "out of the way" places is also an attraction. If you haven't experienced life on a reservation, seen the wide prairies of the Dakotas, or high desert of northern Arizona, RAVS is a great way to go there with a purpose. Of course, working on a RAVS trip will not be a restful vacation. The hours are long and the accommodations are not always the best. Fourteen-hour workdays are not uncommon. Accommodations generally consist of such luxuries as camping out on the floor of a high school gym, often without the benefit of hot water or showers. There are often long travel times and meals can be sporadic.

All that said, living and working as part of a team of dedicated volunteers to provide care for the neediest of animals and their families can be an amazing opportunity and a life-changing experience. The support and hard work of volunteers of all types is crucial to the success of RAVS field programs. I hope you will consider joining us!

Before applying to participate in a RAVS field clinic, please be sure to review ALL of the materials in the Volunteer Information section of the website. Also review the specific Trip Details for any clinic you are planning to apply for. There is a lot of information here, but it is all important. The Volunteer Checklist provides a very brief overview of the application process and pre-trip volunteer responsibilities. If you have any question regarding expectations or requirements, please contact us in advance for clarification.

Thank you for your interest in RAVS volunteer programs. We look forward to working with you!