Volunteering with STARS

STARS works in collaboration with the Stratford Police Department, Animal Control Division.  This joint force has established a program vital to the operation of the Animal Control Facility and our volunteers make a great impact, in many areas.  Today, volunteers assist in the care of animals housed in the Animal Control Facility and provide support for various fundraising and humane education programs.

General Guidelines

•          Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.  
•          Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of 4 hours/month and our annual Fall Festival in October.  
•          Volunteers must possess a functioning email address and access to the internet, as this is the main method of communication.
•          Complete a minimum of 12 hours of supervised training while being punctual and attending all training classes.
•          People seeking to serve court mandated community service cannot be accommodated.
•          People seeking to earn community service hours towards requirements for other organizations cannot be accommodated.
•          People seeking to fulfill their ABC Dog Training Certification Requirements cannot be accommodated.
•          People with a criminal history record cannot be accommodated.
•          STARS may obtain the criminal history record of prospective volunteers.  

Steps to Becoming a Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with STARS!  We rely on our great volunteers to help with many aspects of animal welfare and humane education.  Without them we could not do all that we do!  We are extremely fortunate to consistently have an overwhelming response from individuals wanting to become a part of STARS. Volunteer Orientation is held on an as needed basis as openings become available. In order to ensure that each new volunteer gets one-on-one attention and the opportunity for hands on application of what they are learning in the required 12 hours of training, there is limited capacity. Please review the descriptions of the STARS Volunteer Opportunities at the bottom of this page, as well as any pre-requisites and commitment levels associated with each opportunity. As part of the application process, you will be required to select the type of volunteer role you wish to commit your monthly hours to.

STARS Volunteer Opportunities

Creative Consultants
We always need creative people who come with prior experience in the areas of grant research/writing, web design, periodic newsletters/flyers, logo and shirt designs, web postings and other marketing projects. You can assist us in promoting the adoptable animals at the Stratford Animal Control Facility, create promotional materials and utilize your talents/passions to help animals.

Commitment Level: No Minimum Commitment, as needed basis as it relates to assigned projects  

Special Events
Do you enjoy interacting with the public? Do you have stellar communication skills? Special Events Volunteers are needed to set up tables on behalf of STARS at shelter and local events and communicate information about our organization, answer questions, and sell merchandise. Major responsibilities include hosting adoption events at the Stratford Animal Control Facility and booths at local festivals/animal awareness events, provide on-going announcements to radio/television and newspapers of events hosted by STARS, make/post flyers at various local businesses, organize fundraising activities (candy & tag sales, Fall Festival) to provide funding for food, medical care, and necessities for the animals impounded at the Stratford Animal Control Facility, attend Town Council meetings/work with town officials to request capital improvements for the Animal Control Facility and facilitate humane education programs for children.

Commitment Level: Long-term, minimum 4 hours per month of Special Events Activity. Attendance at Bi-monthly Volunteer Meetings

Dog Handling
Provide socialization, exercise, and basic training for the shelter dogs.  Major responsibilities include moving dogs in and out of their kennels, walking dogs outdoors for exercise using the required equipment and appropriate handling, cleaning up after dogs while outside of their cages, and teaching basic obedience regularly and in a consistent manner in accordance with shelter training methods and policies. Dog Handlers must attend one hour of continuing education classes every month. Dog handlers must be able to safely handle large, strong dogs; must be comfortable working around and cleaning animal waste; must be able to bend and stoop. Those signing up for dog handling must be comfortable around all types of dogs and must commit to self study of the volunteer manual, policies and procedures at home. A one-time test and evaluation will be given at the completion of the 12 hours of training to ensure that each individual is capable of safely and independently performing the necessary dog handling functions. Test/Evaluations will be pass/fail. Those who fail will not be allowed to handle dogs and the test will not be given again.

​Commitment Level: Long-term, minimum 4 hours per month of Dog Handling Activity. 1 Continuing Education Class per month, Attendance at Bi-monthly Volunteer Meetings

Cat Handling
Provide socialization and exercise for the shelter cats.  Major responsibilities include engaging cats/kittens in play exercise with toys, cuddling, utilizing our cat socialization room to give the cats time outside of their cages, cleaning up after the cats while outside of their cages, assisting in cattery cleaning, and attending continuing education classes. Cat handlers must be comfortable working around and cleaning animal waste; must be able to bend and stoop.

Commitment Level: Long-term (minimum 6-month commitment), assigned 1.5 hour shift/week of Cat Handling Activity. Attendance at Bi-monthly Volunteer Meetings

All available volunteer opportunities are filled at this time. When future opportunities become available, they will be posted here. 

​Our Paws to Read Program is on-going. Please reference the Humane Education Tab for more details.