Volunteer

Veterinarians using a computer during surgery on a dog

Do you have a passion for animals and want to put your skills to good use? Become a volunteer at the VMC and make a positive difference in the comfort and experience for our clients and their owners. 

VMC volunteers work between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and must have medical insurance coverage. 

Interested in volunteering?
Email: vmctlc@umn.edu

Volunteer opportunities

Direct patient care volunteers

Direct patient care volunteers

Must have prior experience or training in animal care, be current with rabies and tetanus vaccinations, and complete a VMC-sponsored animal handling class prior to working with our veterinary technicians. These volunteers commit to a regular schedule.

Support service volunteers

Support service volunteers

These volunteers are around animals but do not work directly with them. This opportunity can be on a one-time basis or ongoing with no minimum commitment required. Experience or training in customer service, or familiarity with PCs, fax machines, and phone work are preferred skills. 

Client Assistance Volunteer

Client Assistance Volunteer

Responsibilities
In spring and summer a number of baby farm animals are born and need medical assistance. Neo-natal volunteers assist staff and vet students with simple care for patients and their mothers. They will sit with the neonates, monitor their functioning and report observations to staff.

Hours
Volunteers will provide coverage during weekday evenings and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays. Each shift is four hours long and on an on-call basis. Weekday evening shifts are from 7-11pm, 11pm-3am, 3-7am; on weekends and holidays the shifts are 7-11pm, 11pm-3am, 3-7am, 7-11am, 11am-3pm, and 3-7pm.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years of age, up-to-date with tetanus and rabies series shots.
  • Must complete orientation; willing to commit to one shift a week for six months (including a one-month probation period).

VMC Training 
Initial training and ongoing in-service training is provided by staff supervisor, volunteer manager, and other staff. 

Dog Rehabilitation Volunteer

Dog Rehabilitation Volunteer

Responsibilities 
Dog Rehab Volunteers play an important role in assisting the rehabilitation technicians with tasks involving dogs going through therapy. This is a hands-on position, with volunteers handling dogs before and after treatment in various ways, freeing up the rehab techs to provide the direct therapy.

Hours 
Volunteers provide coverage Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 1:00 pm (AM shift) and 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (PM shift); Friday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (AM shift) and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm (PM shift); Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Qualifications 

  • Must be 18 years of age, up-to-date with tetanus and rabies series shots. 
  • Must complete orientation; willing to commit to one shift a week for six months (includes a one-month probation period).

VMC Training
Initial training and ongoing in-service training is provided by staff supervisor, volunteer manager, and other staff.

Oncology Dog Walker Volunteer

Oncology Dog Walker Volunteer

Responsibilities
Volunteers play an important role in providing a comforting atmosphere for the animal patients during their stay at VMC. This volunteer is situated in the wards area and takes responsibility for exercising hospitalized patients and providing them with extra attention.

Responsibilities include:

  • Handling only those patients designated by staff
  • Walking patient dogs, observing and reporting what the animal does while it is outside (behaviors including elimination)
  • Notifying the staff of concerns that may arise
  • Giving extra TLC to patients such as hand feeding, brushing, sitting with them, offering water to a recumbent animal
  • Taking work direction in a respectful, timely manner

Hours
Volunteer shifts are Monday-Friday; AM Shift is from 10-11am; PM shift is from 2-3pm.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years of age, up to date with Tetanus and Rabies Series shots.
  • Must complete orientation; willing to commit one shift a week, for 6 months (include a one month probation period).

VMC Training
Initial training and on-going in-service is provided by staff supervisor, volunteer manager, and other staff.

Ultrasound Volunteer

Ultrasound Volunteer

Responsibilities
Volunteers play an important role in assisting the ultrasound staff in taking care of patients undergoing ultrasound procedures. As the volunteers provide this extra support, the staff is freed up and able to better provide direct care for the animals. Volunteers’ primary contact is with the staff and animals. Volunteers must be able to feel comfortable observing fine needle aspirates or cystocentesis procedures performed on ultrasound patients, while involved in restraint.

Responsibilities include:

  • Bringing stable (and good temperament) patients from the wards or from clients waiting in the Medical Imaging waiting area to ultrasound, at the discretion of the ultrasound technician.
  • Assisting the ultrasound technician in transporting non-ambulatory patients from ER, ICU or the wards to ultrasound by pulling a wagon, pushing a cart or by pushing an IV pole. 
  • Providing "dedicated" restraint to ultrasound patients who are either lying on their backs or on their sides.
  • "Dedicated" restraint means that the restrainer is focused on the animal and offers a calming attitude, quiet voice and gentle touch that helps the animal relax.
  • It will be up to the discretion of the ultrasound technician to determine which animals will be restrained by volunteers and where the volunteer will handle the animal (at the head or at the rear legs or both).
  • If a patient requires special monitoring, such as sedated patients or those needing guided biopsies, the volunteer may be asked to move to another case, to allow the clinician and student to monitor the patient.
  • Cleaning the procedure area (table, restraint tools, floor, etc.) as instructed by the ultrasound technician.
  • Monitoring the supply of clean terry cloth towels in the ultrasound room, by delivering dirty towels to Central Sterilization and returning clean towels to ultrasound.
  • Maintaining a positive, courteous attitude; providing support and feedback to staff.

Hours
Volunteer shifts are Monday-Friday; AM shift is from 9am-12:30pm, PM shift is from 12:30-4:30pm.

Qualifications

  • Must be 18 years of age, up to date with Tetanus and Rabies Series shots.
  • Must complete orientation/training; willing to commit one shift a week, for 6 months (include a one month probation period).
  • Must be able to lift with the same guidelines listed on a veterinary technician job description.

VMC Training
Initial training and on-going in-service is provided by staff supervisor, volunteer manager, and other staff.