Prairie Paws Animal Shelter welcomes and needs volunteers every day from 8am – 4pm 365 days a year. Volunteers may want to come help with no set schedule-just whenever they have some extra time OR on a regular basis. You must call the day before if you would like to volunteer on a day we are not open to the public. If you would like be on the schedule of a certain day and time each week on a regular basis, please let Nora our Volunteer Coordinator know. There are also fun ongoing volunteer needs such as off-site adoption events and fundraisers in various locations that can be signed up for as well.


If you would like to potentially become a volunteer at Prairie Paws Animal Shelter inc. and help homeless animals by walking and training dogs, socializing cats, counseling adopters and performing numerous other tasks at our shelter, please review the following:


Mandatory Volunteer Training for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter: First Saturday of Every Month at 1:00pm & 3rd Monday of the Month at 6pm. 



Volunteer Orientation Training Presentation


Location @ Prairie Paws Animal Shelter Conference Room.

3173 HWY K 68

Ottawa, KS 66067


Training and Tour lasts approximately for an hour and a half.


The Volunteer Application, Liability Waiver, NDA & Model Release link is below, please print, fill out and bring with to orientation:


1) PPAS Volunteer Application

2) PPAS Orientation Handout

For your Safety the following is the recommended age requirements


Ages: 18 & older – Volunteer training is mandatory
Ages: 17 -14 – Volunteer training is mandatory and a parent/guardian must sign volunteer waiver. Volunteer can attend volunteer training without guardian only with a completed application and signed waiver.
Ages: 13 & younger – must always have a parent/guardian with them while volunteering at the shelter, the parent/guardian must attend volunteer training. Applications and waivers must be filled out for all attending.


Questions about volunteering? Email Nora.Gilmore@prairiepaws.org

Volunteer Opportunities:


Cat condos: assist employees with cleaning living environments, care and feeding of cats & kittens.


Dog Kennels: assist employees with cleaning living environments, care and feeding of dogs and puppies.

Housekeeping-wash, fold, and put away towels & bedding; wash & dry pet dishes, sweep & mop floors.

Grounds Maintenance-assist with mowing and trimming.


Dog Walker: Volunteers provide socialization and vital exercise to keep dogs healthy and happy until their transition into new homes. The position requires willingness and ability to handle all breeds and sizes of dogs.


Cat Socializer: Volunteers socialize cats and kittens with affection, interaction, and grooming to keep them content and healthy until their transition into new homes. The socialization enables the cats and kittens to thrive, both behaviorally and physically, in a shelter environment.


Greeter: Volunteers welcome visitors to the shelter on the weekends and answer basic questions to promote adoption and the shelter’s other services


Adoption Counselor*: Volunteers help patrons select a suitable animal. They answer questions, show animals, and make recommendations of appropriate animals. This position requires familiarity with the animals and their temperaments in addition to an understanding of PPAS’s adoption procedures.


Development: Volunteers hand out information, collect donations, make phone calls to donors, and help with mailings. Volunteers who have database skills, web maintenance skills, prospect research and special event coordination experience are also needed.


Special Events: Volunteers set up and break down equipment for special events, staff tables, sell raffle tickets, manage registration or sign-up tables, collect donations, etc.


Off-sites: Volunteers represent PPAS at stores and businesses by handing out information, showcasing available pets, collecting donations, and answering basic questions.


Administrative: Volunteers provide support for a variety of tasks as directed by development department, executive director, volunteer manager, adoption manager, and/or kennel manager.


Fostering: Become an Animal Foster Parent for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter

PPAS depends on many volunteers to help care for the animals that come through our doors each year. One of the most honored volunteer roles is becoming a foster parent for our companion animals. These parents are our satellite heroes. Foster families provide temporary animal housing for a number of reasons: some animals need extra attention because they are very young; others need to learn human interaction skills; and, in some cases, we are simply overflowing at our facility.


Fostering provides safe, loving homes for temporary care of animals who can be successfully adopted, but are not yet ready to move into the adoption process. Many times, young kittens or puppies are just too small for adoption. Other times a scared dog or cat who was stray or abandoned needs to learn to trust humans again before finding their forever homes. Finally, foster homes allow us to care for many more animals than our limited structure would allow each year, giving us the chance to save more animals.


How can you become a Foster Parent?


Consider if you or your family is interested in helping animals by providing temporary loving shelter for them and helping them move on to succeed as companion animals in their forever homes.


Complete our foster application and a brief screening with shelter staff. Animals are placed with successful foster applicants according to their individual requirements and shelter capacity. Some foster situations last only days, others may span several months. It varies for each situation and animal need. All aspects are discussed carefully with you before placement.


The shelter assumes responsibility for the foster animal’s medical care and food. The foster family provides encouragement, guidance, and love.


Email Ashley.Hirt@prairiepaws.org for more information about fostering.