Volunteer Roles & Opportunities
The work of ElderDog is only made possible by the work of dedicated volunteers who donate their valuable time and skills. ElderDog volunteers range widely in age, background, experience, time commitment, and volunteer activity.
Whether a member of a community youth organization partnering with ElderDog or a community elder helping other elders, ElderDog volunteers believe in the power and possibilities of dog-human companionship.
ElderDog Canada is always looking for volunteers interested in working with elders and their animals as part of any ElderDog programs. Click on the roles below to read more about our volunteer opportunities:
Dog Care Support Volunteer
Volunteers involved in dog care support help us “keep love in the home” by assisting older adults with basic dog care so that they can stay together as long as possible. Most often, this involves dog walking but also could include:
- driving a dog to a vet or groomer appointment
- helping out with basic grooming such as brushing or bathing
- delivering dog food from our dog food bank
- helping with eye or ear cleanin
- any care activity with which an older person needs a bit of extra help
These activities may seem simple to volunteers but they mean the world of difference to someone who needs help. Very often, it means the difference between someone being able to keep or give up their beloved companion.
Time commitment: depends on volunteer availability. We only ask that the commitment is reliable and consistent.
Foster Dog Care Volunteer
Some volunteers provide a short-term, temporary home for a dog whose human companion is temporarily hospitalized. In cases where a dog is left homeless because her or his human companion must relocate to a non-pet friendly residence or long term care facility, volunteers are able to provide a foster home for the dog during a period of transition. This may or may not lead to permanent adoption into the home. Other volunteers are able to provide permanent homes for ElderDog canines who have lost a human companion due to relocation, illness, or death. Still other volunteers are able to assist with the care of dogs who live in an ElderDog residential facility.
Time commitment: Varies with type of involvement.
Professional, Artistic, and Technical Volunteer
Volunteers with particular professional or technical expertise assist ElderDog in a variety of ways including legal and financial assistance, marketing, fundraising and project development, qualitative and quantitative research, website assistance and management, digital photography, artmaking in various media, biographical writing, story collection, librarian, social media and networking, landscape architecture and maintenance, architecture, construction and carpentry.
Time commitment: Varies with availability and needs.
Leadership volunteers contribute directly to the coordination, administration, and growth of ElderDog Canada. Involvement ranges from coordinating events and fundraising activities to committee work to more sustained and substantial roles such as volunteer coordination, Pawd leadership, or involvement on our National Leadership Team. With strong leadership at both local and national levels, ElderDog Canada gets closer to accomplishing its mission.
Time commitment: Varies depending on nature of involvement.
Education & Outreach Volunteer
Education and Outreach volunteers help to spread the word about the role of companion animals in seniors’ lives and about ElderDog Canada to individuals and organizations within their communities. They do this through telephone and e-mail correspondence and by presenting information seminars and orientation sessions. Some Education and Outreach volunteers serve as Education Liaisons with partnering education and research institutions and individuals. Education and Outreach volunteers are directly involved in facilitating processes associated with the day to day operations of ElderDog.
Time commitment: Typically three-four hours per week.
Wool & Woodworking Program Volunteer
Volunteer knitters, felters, and sewers make things such as coats, sweaters, blankets, and beds for dogs, car seat covers, and toques for volunteer dog walkers. Woodworkers make things such as leash racks, chopping blocks, dog carvings and sculptures, benches, and cremation urns or boxes. These creations are then donated and sold in our online shop, used directly as needed in ElderDog activities, or included in special ElderDog fundraising events. All proceeds from Wool and Wood Working projects are used to directly support ElderDog programs and activities (rather than for administrative costs).
Contact us to let us know you are interested! Tell us what you want to contribute and whether you need assistance with patterns and materials. When you complete a project, simply let us know and we will arrange pick-up or delivery. Then we will photograph your creation and make it available for sale, put it to immediate use, or include it in a special fundraising event. We also welcome new project and fundraising ideas.