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Make a Difference


West Columbia Gorge Humane Society is an organization which runs mainly through the efforts of volunteers — people who give their time to support and carry out our mission. Individuals and families willing to give a few hours will find that their skills and talents make a huge difference.

Age Requirements:

  • Youth must be a minimum age of 8 to volunteer.
  • Youth under 16, and of school age, must volunteer with a parent or adult. The adult must also be an active volunteer and is expected to work alongside the youth while supervising. This can be a great family activity!
  • Youth 16-17 years of age, may be approved to volunteer on their own during open hours.
  • Volunteers must be 18 to volunteer in the Dog Shelter. Under 18 may volunteer with cats, events and adoption centers.


How to Volunteer

Step 1: Fill Out Our Application Below:
Step 2: Once it is submitted, a volunteer coordinator will review your application and reach out to schedule next steps.
To learn more about West Columbia Gorge Humane Society and the volunteer program, you may read our Volunteer Handbook below:
For information or to answer any questions, contact our Volunteer Manager at:

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to the animals in our care!

Foster Volunteer Program

Help us save lives by providing a temporary, loving and restful retreat for animals in need. We provide all of the supplies, food and medical attention, so there is no cost to you as a foster parent… all you provide is love! When an animal needs some time to recover from a sickness or injury – or just needs to be socialized – we depend on our network of foster homes. Last year, our foster program made it possible to care for almost 439 animals.

Want to become a lifesaving foster parent? Click HERE to fill out an application!

Reasons for Foster Care:

  • Animals recovering from medical procedures, such as spay/neuter, dental, or other surgeries
  • Pregnant cats or dogs awaiting delivery
  • Kittens or puppies who are too young to be in the shelter environment
  • Animals who need special socializing or training
  • Animals who do not do well emotionally or behaviorally in a shelter setting
  • When the shelter is filled to capacity, yet there is an animal needing a safe place to stay until space in the shelter becomes available
  • Hospice or geriatric care
  • Temporary fosters for emergency situations, or just to give a long-term resident a break from the shelter

Who Can Foster?

  • Volunteers 18 years of age or older
  • Families that have at least one parent signed up as the Foster Volunteer. Parent must supervise children under 18 with the animal.
  • Foster Volunteers’ homes must meet certain criteria to be eligible for fostering an animal in their home.
  • Home inspections may be required, depending on the animal and the circumstances, i.e. home inspections are required for fostering kittens.
  • If you rent your residence, you must provide a letter from your landlord at time of application that gives permission to foster and states any limitations regarding type, size or breed of animal.

Frequently Asked Questions:


How long do animals stay in foster care?

Animals can stay in foster care for as little as a day or two, to an extended period, depending on the needs of the animal in your care and the time commitment you are interested in making.

Can I still foster if I have pets of my own?

Yes, depending on the animal you are fostering. Some animals may need to be kept in separate rooms (pregnant animals, kittens/puppies).
Keep in mind that there is always the possibility of a health risk when exposing your pets to other animals in any setting. However, if your pets are in good health and current on vaccinations, the risk in minimal.

What expenses are involved in fostering an animal?

WCGHS covers all medical care for animals in foster homes, including vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries and medications. WCGHS can also provide food and litter, if needed. The Foster Volunteer provides housing, bedding, toys, exercise, socialization and lots of LOVE!

What are your greatest foster needs?

Kittens! During kitten season (Spring through Fall) pregnant cats or young feral kittens that need to be bottle fed, are often brought into the shelter. Fosters are needed to raise and socialize these kittens until they are old enough to be adopted or placed at the shelter.

Temporary medical care after surgical procedures and special needs pets.

I’ve never cared for kittens before, will you train me?

Yes! We can provide training on how to care for raising kittens, puppies and animals with special needs.


Become a Foster Volunteer

If you are interested in fostering, please complete a WCGHS Foster Family Agreement. 

Completed forms can be emailed to or dropped off at our shelter.

Staff or a Foster Coordinator will contact you when a foster need arises. They will educate you on how to care for our animals and help ensure that you are able to offer the best environment.