Local Volunteers

Looking for a unique and rewarding way to make an impact? Join Canine Companions’ compassionate community of local volunteers. Here, you’ll be an integral part of our mission to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, helping us provide expertly trained service dogs to adults, children, and veterans at no cost.

With exciting volunteer opportunities available at local chapters near you, now’s your chance to contribute directly to the transformative power of human-canine partnerships.

Explore Our Reach

Canine Companions’ six training centers and over 50 active volunteer chapters span the nation. Use the interactive map below for more information on opportunities near you.

Ways to Get Involved 

Our local volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization and provide vital support to our staff, clients, and service dogs. Whether you’re drawn to volunteering with dogs, at events, or in an office environment, there’s a place for you here.

Administrative and office support

Volunteer to help the team that makes our mission possible behind the scenes and lend your skills to a variety of in-office roles at a training center or field office, including:

  • Data entry
  • Front desk reception
  • General office support

Click here to apply now >

Volunteer Chapter Leadership

Our 55+ volunteer chapters are led by volunteer leadership teams that keep our current chapter members engaged and coordinate outreach events to invite more people to join Canine Companions.

  • General chapter operations
  • Chapter member engagement

Click here to apply now >

Dog care and training

Our future service dogs rely on a team of caring individuals to help them thrive. Play a vital role in their well-being and development at a training center or field office as a:

  • Dog bather
  • Dog walker
  • Foster sitter

Click here to apply now >

Puppy raising

Service dogs aren’t born; they’re raised. You can help Canine Companions raise the service dogs of tomorrow when you volunteer to become a puppy raiser.

Click here to learn more about puppy raising >

Breeder caretaking

Help provide a safe, loving home for the dogs that breed the next generation of service dogs. As a breeder caretaker, you’ll work closely with Canine Companions’ veterinary, breeding, and canine care staff.  

Click here to learn more about breeder careting >

Event and facility roles

Local volunteers ensure seamless experiences for our clients, team members, and supporters, whether at our centers or in the community. Help us lead with independence in the following roles:

  • Campus docents
  • Event support (Dogfest and fundraising galas)
  • Facility and ground maintenance
  • Graduation day support
  • Team training lunches

Click here to apply now >

Local Volunteer FAQs

To apply to volunteer at Canine Companions, please complete the volunteer application form – it only takes a few minutes to complete online.

Once we receive your information, one of our volunteer coordinators will contact you to discuss the next steps and schedule your orientation session, along with any necessary training.

We are happy to verify community service hours for any volunteer who needs it. Please let us know your specific requirements when speaking with our volunteer coordinators, and we’ll work with you to ensure proper documentation.

Yes! Our mission is to provide expertly trained service dogs to individuals with disabilities, so volunteers have ample opportunities to work with our dogs during training sessions, socialization exercises, or other activities.

Still, for those who prefer to be less hands-on with dogs, there are a variety of opportunities for you, too. Learn about all the different ways you can volunteer with Canine Companions.

We want all our volunteers to feel comfortable and confident. Your Canine Companions’ volunteer coordinator will discuss recommended clothing and attire, so you’ll be ready to get the most from your experience.

At Canine Companions, we make every effort to ensure a positive experience for every volunteer, including those with allergies. During the application process, please inform us about your allergies, and we’ll work to identify suitable tasks and environments where you can contribute comfortably.

We offer flexible scheduling options, ranging from one-time and occasional volunteering opportunities to more regular, ongoing commitments. Regardless of the time you can spare, we encourage you to apply as there are a variety of ways you can support our mission.

Volunteer assignments can encompass both indoor and outdoor settings, depending on the specific tasks and activities. Canine Companions operates across various locations, including training facilities, puppy-raising homes, and community events. Rest assured, we’ll provide you with all the pertinent details regarding the location and nature of your volunteering duties.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events and opportunities that enable individuals to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please reach out to your volunteer coordinator. 

Depending on the task and situation, volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer unaccompanied by an adult. Volunteer groups such as schools and service groups can volunteer with the oversight of an adult on projects such as at DogFest events (link to DogFest) or facility roles (link to event and facility roles).

All volunteers will participate in a volunteer orientation before starting any volunteer role. We provide several orientation options per month including evening and Saturday options. The volunteer coordinator provides more information during the application process. In addition, Canine Companions provides ongoing volunteer training opportunities for all volunteers based on their volunteer role.

Our volunteer appreciation program includes thank-you notes, birthday cards, volunteer spotlights, and virtual and/or in-person appreciation events. In addition, Canine Companions National Board of Directors recognizes 1 outstanding volunteer with a Jack Warnock Volunteer Award and 5 volunteers with a National Board of Director Regional Volunteer Award, annually. Read more here. 

Canine Companions is also a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award is based on volunteer service hours with Canine Companions, and all qualified Canine Companions volunteers can express interest in receiving either bronze, silver, or gold-level awards during the application period.

Please fill out our volunteer application and choose ‘corporate group’ from the picklist of what you are interested in. One of our volunteer coordinators will reach out to you to discuss more.

Feel free to reach out to your local chapter’s volunteer coordinator. You can find your local chapter using our interactive map to send them a message today. They’ll be happy to provide any information you need.