Volunteer Training

Orientation Class


You will be required to attend an orientation class for either dog volunteers or cat volunteers. Staff and experienced volunteers facilitate these classes, usually held once monthly in the evening. Here you will learn shelter volunteer procedures, safety, various jobs, areas accessible to volunteers, etc.  The second step to become a volunteer is a hands-on training class for the species of your choice. Following the hands-on training class you are considered a trained volunteer.  In order to make the best use of our volunteer trainers' time we will not train for both cats and dogs until you have been a volunteer for at least one month and have shown that you have the time and desire to be a committed volunteer.  So please select one orientation or the other and following hands-on training you will be able to work with either cats or dogs. If you have shown a commitment to helping the animals during the first month and still want to be trained in the other species, you may contact the Volunteer Coordinator and request that training.

Volunteer Orientation is required for any volunteer job. Each class consists of a classroom-style overview plus a tour of the facility (for cats) and lasts no more than one hour. You will have the option to sign up for the hands-on training at the orientation class.

You will receive an email reminder if you register. Register online by submitting an application or sign up at the shelter to attend the class. Please read the Volunteer Handbook (PDF) prior to attending the class.

Upcoming classes are:

DUE TO THE SIZE OF THE DOG CLASSES, THE CLASS on SEPTEMBER 19 WILL BE HELD AT THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY LIBRARY. THE STREET ADDRESS IS 1314 Columbia ave, FRANKLIN. 

DOG VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION - September 19 - 6:30 PM (Tuesday) @ Williamson County Library, 1314 Columbia Ave., Franklin

CAT VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION - September 28 - 6:30 PM (Thursday) @ WCAC

DOG Volunteer Orientation - October 12 - 6:30 PM (Thursday) @ Williamson County Public Library


Hands-On Training


After attending orientation, all volunteers must sign up for hands-on training at the shelter. During this session, you will work with an experienced volunteer for about one hour.  You will learn about sign-in procedures, what to do in an emergency, how to store equipment, how to properly secure kennel enclosures and pens, how to report a concern, and receive hands-on training for the job of your choosing.Following this second step of training, you are a full-fledged volunteer.

Earn Your Apron


Volunteers are rated by the color of aprons they achieve through time and experience. For the protection of the animals in our care, each level has specific access to certain color-coded dogs. See Volunteer Handbook for details.

The 3 levels are:
  1. Red: New volunteer or only able to commit to limited time at WCAC.
  2. Black: 40 hours of volunteering plus informal test  There is a fast-track program for skilled adult volunteers.
  3. Green: Level 2 plus exhibits extensive training skills, exceptional ability and leadership qualities