Volunteering at NHA

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Nashville Humane Association (NHA)! We rely on volunteers to help us provide vital care including:animal care and socialization, foster care, clerical assistance, fundraiising events and community outreach programs. Hundreds of individuals, passionate about helping homeless animals, make it possible for us to care for over 3,700 animals each year and we are grateful for their dedication and assistance. (See examples of our exceptional volunteers in our Volunteer of the Month page.)  


If you’re interested in  volunteer opportunities, please submit an online application:  

You will be contacted in 2 weeks, after your application has reviewed, to schedule an orientation / training session.

PLEASE NOTE: We ask for a minimum commitment of 15 volunteer hours per month as our goal is to train and retain long-term volunteers. We greatly appreciate your desire to contribute to the well-being of our shelter residents and look forward to reviewing your application.


If you are already a volunteer - please  login below to select your volunteer project and set your schedule. 

Volunteer Login

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Volunteer, forgot your Password? Click Here.

How do I Become a Volunteer?

If you would like to learn more about volunteering for NHA please read through the guidelines and application process below and submit an application. Please note - read all volunteer guidelines carefully. Our volunteer program is highly competitive, and application submission does not guarantee placement.

Age Limitations

Individuals must be at least 13 years of age to volunteer for NHA, and no exceptions to this policy will be made. In addition, all 13- to 15-year-old volunteers must have a parent or guardian over the age of 21 with them at all times, including training sessions. Young people serving with responsible adults to learn the basics of animal care and shelter operations often become our most enthusiastic and reliable volunteers! Parents and educators, please click here for ways kids under 13 may help fulfill the mission of NHA. 

Time Commitment

Volunteers are required to commit at least five (5) hours per month during their first six (6) consecutive months of service. Through consistent care by volunteers, we can provide a better quality of life for the animals entrusted to NHA. Volunteers also get acquainted with staff, and with each other, the more often they’re here! 

Application Fee
Aone-time $15 application fee offsets the costs for our Volunteer Program including printed materials, access to our online volunteer portal, a nifty nametag, and volunteer aprons.

Note: Foster Care volunteers are exempt from this application fee. 

Volunteer Application Process

Step 1: Fill Out an Application

Once NHA receives your application, you will receive a list of upcoming information sessions.  Please note, it can take up to two weeks to reply to your application.  If you have special skills or interests such as graphic design, marketing, dog training, etc., please add those to the “Notes” section of the application.

Step 2: Attend a Volunteer Information Session

Once we have reviewed the applications, we will invite selected potential volunteers to a Volunteer Information Session at the shelter.  This orientation will provide insight into our agency’s mission, community programming, volunteer opportunities, commitment expectations, as well as a tour of the facility.  We also request administrative fee remittance at this time.

**All volunteers, including those volunteering with 13- to 15-year-olds, must attend this session prior to pursuit of any additional training.

Step 3: Attend Volunteer Training

After attending the initial orientation session, all volunteers must register for one additional training prior to volunteering.  The Volunteer Coordinator will submit all available training dates for various Animal Care roles and programs upon session completion.  Each on-site training will include hands-on demonstrations for specific roles and volunteer portal access.

After training, you are officially part of our large and vibrant Volunteer Program at NHA, and will hopefully serve with us on behalf of the homeless animals for years to come! 

Group Volunteering

Interested in volunteering with your work colleagues, social organization, or school group?  NHA partners with one-time or recurring groups of up to ten adults for shelter tasks and special projects.  To apply for group volunteering opportunities, click here.  Please allow two weeks for application processing.

We’d love to talk to you about scheduling an enjoyable teambuilding activity, which also benefits our four-legged friends!

Community Service 

The Volunteer Program at NHA is not intended for those required to do court-ordered community service, and the Volunteer Coordinator cannot sign off on these hours.

For more information on court-ordered community service call (615) 352-1010.