704-500-8367 connect@highlandcanine.com

How to volunteer with Highland Canine Connect!

reading program at school

Many of you have asked – what is involved if you volunteer for Highland Canine Connect? We wanted to take a moment and provide you with more details on the rewarding benefits of donating your time to our organization.

How much time do I have to donate?

It’s very straightforward – as much or as little as you feel comfortable with!

Our volunteers let us know the amount of time they typically would like to offer each month. We send out emails for our upcoming events on a monthly basis (and sometimes a little further out). Our volunteers then choose which events or outings they think they will be able to go on and let us know, and we arrange the specifics from there. It’s that simple!

service dog at school

Which activities can I volunteer for?

We have a wide variety of community projects we are involved in – and the good news is our volunteering opportunities are constantly changing and growing, giving you a range of options.

Many people often ask us about the ‘Canine’ part of Highland Canine Connect. Here’s how it works. We are able to supply dogs in various stages of service dog training for our volunteers to take into places such as:

  • Reading programs at schools

  • Nursing home visits

  • Education on dogs and other enrichment style programs for schools, camps and scouts

  • Church education and demonstrations

  • Rotary club meetings

  • Grief counseling

  • Trauma counseling

We are always adding new events to our schedule in different settings.

Your participation in these events is invaluable! We honestly couldn’t carry out our work in the community without your time and dedication. These activities are also beneficial to the dogs that our volunteers are handling – they get training and exposure in different environments.

For those of you new to handling dogs, we will help you along the way. We’ll spend a few outings with you, training and teaching you one-on-one how to work with the dog in public settings. Our trainers also educate volunteers on how to identify when people or kids are uncomfortable or nervous around dogs, and a few ways to handle that situation.

fundraising booth highland canine connect

Other ways to volunteer

reading program with dog

If you love dogs, but are uncomfortable handling them, we have other events such as fundraisers and festivals you could be a part of – these still help us out tremendously.

Another aspect of Highland Canine Connect is providing service dogs to those who can’t afford – or don’t have the time – to fundraise. Our board and trainers comb through many applications to decide who would benefit the most from the current potential service dogs we are working with.

This is a long and extensive process, as we want to make sure both the person and potential service dog are a good fit for one another. Our volunteers actually help us in training and socializing these future service dogs, which is a huge asset to us.

What we offer in return for volunteers

We recognize how important our volunteers are to our mission! As a gratitude towards your time, Highland Canine Connect offers group classes several times a year for basic obedience. This is geared toward getting your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen through the American Kennel Club. This certification will then lead to a certified Therapy Dog if you choose to keep up the work.

The cost of the group class is usually $129.00, however for our active volunteers, we waive the cost! We also offer a free evaluation before you sign up for the class to make sure your dog has the right temperament for therapy dog work.

child with service dog

If you love dogs and people – please join us! You are truly providing a great service to the community, no matter how much time you can commit to.

If you have any questions about our volunteer program, please email us at connect@highlandcanine.com. If you know you would love to be a part of our mission, please go to our Volunteer page to sign up!

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