Shelter Staff

Animal shelters usually have at least some staff members who work at the shelter full time. These staff members are people who have a very deep love for animals and are committed to their care and welfare. Before you can begin volunteering at the shelter, you will probably need to talk to several of these staff members about ways you can help the shelter.

Volunteer Coordinator

When you call or visit a shelter, the first person you should really talk to is the volunteer coordinator. This person is in charge of hiring, assigning, and supporting volunteers at the shelter. Discuss your desire to lend your photographic skills to the shelter and see if they have a place for you. If they do, you will usually have to meet this person and fill out some forms. They will also probably require you to take a lesson in handing the animals before you can start.

Public Relations Manager

Most larger shelters will have someone in charge of handling public relations. This may be a staff member or volunteer. Once you start volunteering at the shelter, this will most likely be your main contact. You will want to work with this person to see what kind of photography the shelter needs and find ways for you to help promote the animals and the shelter.

Kennel Coordinator and Kennel Technicians

When you first visit the shelter, before you start photographing anything, you should take the time to meet the kennel coordinator and any kennel technicians that are on staff if you haven't already. These are the people responsible for the day-to-day care of the animals. They can help you pick which animals to photograph and can help you if you are having trouble handling a particular animal. They are also a great resource for any questions you may have about working with the animals.

Before You Go

Before you meet with any of the staff members at the shelter, you should do a little preparation for your first meeting.

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