Breeding Center Volunteers

Breeding Center Volunteers are cross trained to help in both our Nursery and our Breeding Kennel.

The Nursery is where NEADS houses its purpose bred puppies and broods (mothers). Our broods stay in the nursery until the pups are about 6 to 7  weeks old, and the pups are housed until they are 8 weeks old. The nursery provides the pups with early socializations to help expose them to new sounds, surfaces, objects and people. We start socializations when a puppy turns 3 days old.

Nursery Volunteers work with nursery pups that are between 1 to 8 weeks old. They help with socializations, managing puppy play time, and giving one on one time to our broods. Volunteers also help with daily facility operations, which include doing laundry, cleaning puppy rooms, sweeping, etc.

The Breeding Kennel is where NEADS houses the broods (females) and studs (males) involved in our breeding program. Dogs in the Breeding Kennel range from 1 to 3 years of age and are housed in our kennel anywhere from a few days to 3 weeks, depending on the reason for their visit.

Breeding Kennel volunteers will give dogs 1:1 time, playtime, campus walks and snack enrichment. Volunteers also help with daily facility operations, which include doing laundry, cleaning runs, doing dishes, etc.

Breeding Center Volunteer Time Commitment

The time commitment for this volunteer position is a 2 ½ hour shift once a week for a 2-to-3-month period. We offer a morning (7:30am-10am) and afternoon (1:30pm-4pm) shift each day of the week.

nursery pup

Breeding Center Volunteer FAQs

Q: Is there a dress code for volunteering?

A: Yes. Dress for weather and closed toed shoes only. Keep in mind you would be working with dogs and clothes you wear to this shift may get dirty. If you are working in the Nursery for your shift, you will be expected to change into clean scrubs and crocs (provided by NEADS).

Q: Why do I have to be 16 or older in order to volunteer?

All Breeding Center volunteers must be 16 years of age or older for insurance/liability purposes. NEADS cannot make exceptions, even if a parent/legal guardian chaperones. For minors under the age of 16, other ways to get involved with NEADS include

Q: Do I need to have dog experience in order to volunteer in the ELC or Canine Center?

No dog experience is required. Supervisors will train volunteers on NEADS handling policies and procedures, and build the volunteer’s confidence when interacting with dogs. All volunteers will also attend an orientation with staff prior to working in the Breeding Center. 

Q: Do I get to choose whether I volunteer in the Nursery or Breeding Center?

A: No, volunteers will be cross trained in both departments and will be assigned to help in the Nursery or Breeding Kennel depending on the occupancy in each area. Assignments will given to volunteers in advance each week.

Q: What are the minimum requirements for volunteering in the Breeding Center?

A: In addition to the commitments in the role description section of this document, all volunteers must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have a great work ethic and an enthusiastic attitude; be willing to assist staff in any area or for any project that may come up, which may include cleaning tasks projects, or being shifted to the other facility (Breeding Kennel or Nursery)
  • Work independently and be able to follow instructions, including reading posted signage
  • Be able to lift up to 30 lbs easily; bend, kneel, stoop, stand for 2-3 hours at a time, as this is an active volunteer role physically engaging with dogs
  • Perform cleaning tasks with approved chemical cleaners, some of which have strong odors.

Additionally, ideal volunteer applicants live within a 45 minute one-way commute of NEADS. Previous experience indicates that volunteers living outside this radius are unable to sustain the commute long term (due to expense, traffic patterns, or long periods of adverse weather), and thus become unable to complete their 3 month commitment to NEADS.

 

Q: How old are the dogs that I’ll be working with? And which dog breeds does NEADS work with?

A: Puppies in the Nursery range in age from newborn-8 weeks, and dogs in the Breeding Kennel typically range in age from 1-3 years.

NEADS works with Labrador Retrievers and Labrador x Golden Retriever mixes.

Q: I want to work at NEADS; will volunteering help me get a foot in the door?

A: NEADS will interview all strong applicants for open positions, but being a NEADS volunteer does not guarantee an interview, preference in the hiring process, or a job offer.

Q: What is the process to become a volunteer for the ELC or Canine Center?

1. Complete the online application for Breeding Center volunteers.

2. Attend an orientation.

Orientations are by invitation only. Regretfully, staff must decline applications if there are not any volunteer openings during the applicant’s listed hours of availability, and/or if the applicant’s listed hours do not permit them to volunteer for a minimum 2-hour shift during Breeding center volunteer hours of operation (7:30am- 10am and 1:30pm-4pm). If an applicant is declined, they are encouraged to apply again should their schedule change or become more open.

3. The Breeding Center Supervisors will communicate with orientation-attendees to determine shift time, location, and start date. Training will begin during the first shift.

Q: How long is the process between submitting an application and actually volunteering?

A: Sometimes as long as 7-8 weeks, though staff are working hard to shorten this period. Staff review applications on an as-needed basis. Therefore, there can be a wait time in between applying and attending an orientation.