Volunteer with the HSI/Canada Animal Rescue Team

Humane Society International

Please note: Our volunteer program in Canada is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fill out a volunteer application now

Important note: At times when the Animal Rescue Team is deployed, an extended delay in processing new volunteer applications is likely. Thank you for your patience.

Volunteers work with the HSI/Canada Animal Rescue Team to help animals who have been the victims of cruelty and neglect. They assist in the ongoing care of dogs and cats who have been rescued from harm–whether an out-of-control hoarder or a puppy mill.

When the HSI/Canada Rescue Team responds to a law enforcement action, volunteers are called in to help out at our emergency shelter. Animal Rescue Volunteers come from all walks of life, generously giving their time to apply their skills and experience in response to animals in need. From animal handling and to cage cleaning, the work of Animal Rescue Volunteers is the true core of HSI/Canada’s mission to save animals’ lives.


The emergency shelter is located in the province of Quebec, about an hour from Montreal and Ottawa.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers provide care to animals in our temporary shelters. Responsibilities including cleaning cages and enclosures, feeding, watering, re-stocking supplies, washing dishes, walking dogs, or socializing animals as directed.

What our volunteers say:

“To be a part of HSI/Canada Animal Rescue Volunteer Program has been a life-changing experience. Large numbers of dogs and cats are rescued from puppy mills or hoarding situations and brought to the emergency shelter. They arrive hungry, dirty, scared and in need of medical attention. Most of the dogs have spent their entire lives in small, filthy cages. It is so satisfying to provide the proper care and the love that they deserve. The volunteers work as part of a team to care for and to socialize these animals so that they can be adopted into good homes. We all feel such satisfaction in watching their progress and to see them leave the shelter for a better life.”–Ann Giles

Benefits of volunteering

Animal Rescue Volunteers often report that assisting with a rescue operation changed their lives. They never forget the animals they helped get on the road to recovery, or the people who are a part of this important mission. Volunteers gain skills, undertake new challenges, and become part of a community.

Becoming a volunteer

Animal Rescue Volunteers are required to be at least 18 years old and come to the emergency shelter for a full-day training session.

They must commit initially for one year and are requested to participate in at least one deployment per year. Finally, they must meet the requirements outlined in the Essential Capabilities document.


Fill out an application via the link below.

Upon receipt of your completed application, staff will contact you to outline next steps and to have you fill out additional paperwork, including a waiver and release of liability and a volunteer agreement.

Candidates are asked to come to the emergency shelter for a day of training and as part of a screening process. If the deployment goes well and both parties mutually agree it’s a good fit, the candidate will be admitted fully into the program as a regular Animal Rescue Volunteer.

Trained, vetted, and approved volunteers let us know their preferences about deployment and availability. When animal rescue response is needed, our office puts out the call to all qualified individuals, with details of the event, approximate length of deployment, and any special skills needed. Volunteers reply to indicate their willingness and are then approved for deployment and asked to sign up for shifts at the shelter.

Fill out a volunteer application now.

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