Volunteer Programs
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Our Volunteer Program is currently on paws (pause). The program will resume in Fall 2021.

Thank you for your interest in giving back to the community by helping homeless pets. Team YAPS is made up of a small staff and many dedicated volunteers. Being a nonprofit, we rely on volunteers like you, to help fulfill our mission of helping homeless pets in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas.

The “Lend-A-Paw” Volunteer Program

Volunteers are important to the day-to-day operations of the YAPS facility. Volunteers start by learning to properly socialize with pets and can choose to perform a variety of tasks including assisting with adoptions, daily cleaning duties, fundraisers, and everything in between.

We offer different volunteer opportunities depending on your interests and skill level. Our program levels are geared towards ages 14 years and up. Children under the age of 14 may participate in Wags & Walk and Pawsitive Reading with a parent present. Students interested in earning community service hours for school credit are encouraged to participate with YAPS through offsite fundraising and supply drives. See Have-A-Heart Volunteer section for ideas.

To begin the process of becoming a volunteer with YAPS you must attend Wags & Walk and 2 training days within a 3 month period to be eligible for a volunteer. The volunteer application and liability waiver must be turned into YAPS office before you can volunteer onsite. All applicants must clear a Megan’s Law check.

Volunteer time is by appointment and must be scheduled through the YAPS office. There is a limit on the number of new applicants we can accept per month and all applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis. If you last volunteered in 2018 or before, you will need to re-apply to the program. All approved volunteers will be notified by email or phone and invited to participate in program. We look forward to having you be part of Team YAPS.

Once you qualify for the program and have cleared a background check there is a $15 fee payable at the YAPS office which covers the costs of a volunteer t-shirt and name badge for Adult and Junior Level volunteers.

Adult Volunteers (16 years and up)

This program is designed for volunteers whose main objective is to help with the administration, facility maintenance, adoption procedures, marketing and animal care components of YAPS. This includes those looking to help in the office, with fundraisers, adoption events, kennel care and socializing animals. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 106, all we ask is that you are able to commit to a minimum of 25 hours per year.

Junior Volunteers (14 – 15 years)

This program is designed for student volunteers whose main objective is to learn about socializing with cats and dogs while learning about animal care. Must be able to commit to a minimum of 15 hours per year. A parent or guardian is required to be with participants at all times.

Have-A-Heart Offsite Volunteer Program (Under 13 years)

At YAPS, we believe you are never too young to make a difference in your community. This program encourages young volunteers to give back to their community with tasks they can complete offsite. Participation in this program does not require a Wags & Walk or training day commitment. A parent or guardian is required to oversee offsite tasks. Please see below for a full listing of opportunities.

Adult Volunteers (16 years and up)

This program is for volunteers whose main objective is to help in the office, with fundraisers, adoption events, working directly with dogs and cats and/or be part of the everyday kennel and cattery care. YAPS is in need of volunteers that can commit to a minimum of 25 hours per year. There is no limit on how many hours you can volunteer.

All Volunteers must complete a Wags & Walk and 2 training days to become a volunteer.

Volunteer Activities:

  • Adoption Placement
  • Adoption Events held offsite
  • Facility Maintenance (to include lawn mowing, raking, weeding, gardening, planting, etc.)
  • Foster care
  • Fundraising/Fundraising Events
    Laundry and/or dishes
  • Marketing
  • Office Assistant
  • PAWSitive Reading Team (leading youth and families through a session of reading with the dogs or cats)
  • Socializing felines and cleaning duties in the Cattery
  • Socializing Dogs (to include training, walking and helping them through their transition at YAPS)
  • Social Media
  • Special Events: Planning and Organizing
  • Special Events: Day of Event
  • Wags & Walk Team
  • Website Development
Junior Level Volunteers (14 - 15 years old)

Every minor under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

To participate in this program student volunteers must meet the following requirements listed below.

  • Open to students ages 14-15 years of age that have attended a Wags &
  • Walk and 2 training days. Must be signed off by a qualified staff member.
  • Participate in animal socialization.
  • Suggested minimum commitment of 20 hours per year.

Options to Complete Hours

  • Participate in monthly Wags & Walk
  • Socializing with felines in the cattery, reading to dogs or other socialization activities with dogs.
  • Helping with laundry, washes dishes and litter boxes
  • Scooping poop, sweeping pathways, pulling weeds, watering plants
    Kennel and Cattery cleaning

All Lend-A-Paw read and fill out all of the Volunteer Application, Waiver of Liability and Policy and Procedures Manual. Volunteer applicants are available once a Wags & Walk and 2 training days are complete.

Have-A-Heart Volunteer Program (10 hours or less and/or under the age of 14)

Have-a-Heart Volunteers Program at YAPS

Every minor under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

A fun and flexible way to help the animals and complete community service hours.  Below are some great ways for individuals or groups who wish to complete a community service project, but lack the time or availability to commit to the YAPS Volunteer Program. This is perfect for students needing to complete community service hours for school credit, clubs, and churches. Volunteers of this nature are encouraged to choose one of the following options within this section as a means of helping the pets at the YAPS facility. We ask that individuals take responsibility for logging their hours and start keeping time from the moment they start brainstorming.

Wags & Walks

Monthly participation in the “Wags & Walk” at YAPS (New volunteers please arrive 20 min early.  Please bring a completed Waiver of Liability). You can take a YAPS resident dog on a walk through the beautiful terrain on Chapman Heights Road in Yucaipa. Please see events page for upcoming dates. No personal pets allowed on the walk. Parent or Guardian must be present and must be the one holding the leash during the walk. Each walk lasts approximately one hour. Anyone of any age is invited to participate in the walk, however, children under 14 years of age are not allowed to hold leashes during the walk. All children and teens under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent and all participants must have a valid waiver on file.

Pet Food/Supply or Coin Drive

Work with YAPS staff to create a program where you or your group monitor donation canisters/boxes collecting spare change, food, or other supplies needed for the facility. All you need to do is decorate large cardboard boxes or trash bins and ask local businesses, schools or churches permission to display your container and collect items. Make a commitment to check on the supply boxes weekly and bring in supplies to YAPS.

Organize a fundraiser -- Lemonade Stand/Bake Sale/Yard Sale

These fundraising activities may seem old fashioned but can be a fun way for young individuals or groups to get involved with our cause and to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals. Simply hold your fundraiser and your convenience and deliver the proceeds to YAPS.

Paws to Recycle

This is a great opportunity for individuals and/or groups to give back to homeless animals while encouraging a green community. Organize a recycling campaign in your neighborhood, school, church or place of work to raise much needed funds for the furry friends of YAPS. Take the items collected to a recycling center and donate the proceeds to YAPS.

Facility Improvement Projects

School, church and civic groups are able to spend a day YAPS to improve the facility and grounds that house our furry friends. Throughout the year improvement projects are in the works to add to the aesthetics and functionality of our facility. Our grounds require constant maintenance and having extra hands to help keep the grounds tidy is always appreciated. Please make arrangements by calling in to the YAPS office at least 3 weeks in advance. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

Items of Need (can be collected for supply drives)
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Hand Soap                                                 
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Laundry soap
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Dry Adult Dog Food
  • Can Adult Dog Food
  • Dry Adult Cat Food
  • Can Adult Cat Food
  • Purina One or Pedigree Dry Puppy Food
  • Purina One or Pedigree Can Puppy Food
  • Purina One Dry Kitten Food
  • Fancy Feast Can Kitten Food
  • Cat litter 
  • 45+ gallon trash bags
  • 13 gallon trash bags
  • Sponges/scouring pads
  • Standard copy paper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Brooms
  • Postage Stamps