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.
Breeding Center Volunteer FAQs
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.