If you love puppies and dogs and enjoy volunteering…

… then ADW is the place for you!

You will be with our dedicated canines who truly touch and change so many lives. Our Volunteers can be Puppy Sitters, Puppy Raisers, can help with special events and more.


    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Puppy Raisers: Puppy Raisers have the dogs that are between 6 months to 1 year old in their home for bonding, socialization and to have new experiences. Once you have received training on how to handle ADW dogs in public then you can have one of our canines full time, weekends only or as respite.
    • Puppy Sitters: Help us ensure the health, wellness and safety of our Mother dog and her babies. Be a part of their lives during this critical time in their growth, which is from birth to 16 weeks old. A lot happens as the pups grow and you will love watching this unfold — puppy snuggling encouraged when they are a few weeks old. Weekday and weekend shifts are available with each new litter.
    • Dog Snuggles / Grooming / Feeding:  Work with dogs 16 weeks and older at the ADW training center. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Snuggle with the dogs and give them one on one attention. This will include grooming and working with the dogs on mental games/dog puzzles. Names of the available dogs will be listed on the volunteer whiteboard and supplies will be set aside for the volunteer. The end of the shift includes assisting with feeding the dogs that are at the ADW training center.
    • Rail Trail Walks:  Work with dogs 16 weeks and older at the ADW training center. Monday and Friday, 9:00 am to 10:00 am. ADW Trainers will lead volunteers on walks on the rail trail. Volunteers will be trained on proper walking protocols. Once volunteers become proficient with walking the dogs, they will take a dog for a walk on their own. Names of the available dogs will be listed on the volunteer whiteboard. Supplies and a profile that describes the dog’s walking habits will be provided. Volunteers will complete a feedback report after each walk.
    • Relaxation Runs / Play Time (Replaces Hiking with an ADW Canine):  Work with dogs 16 weeks and older. Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Volunteers take a dog to the single use dog run at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter or to the dog parks at Salvador Perez or Fort Marcy if no other dogs are in the run. This training is designed to give the dogs exercise through play, walking and running. Multiple volunteers can take dogs at the same time to allow for more dog play.
    • Doggie DIY Workshops:  10:00 am to NOON every other Monday. Develop new enrichments for the Puppy Enrichment Center and for dogs at the ADW training center. These hands-on workshops are led by an ADW Trainer and we will create age appropriate enrichments for the Puppy Enrichment Center. Prepare supplies for the dogs at the ADW training center (i.e. marrow bones, Kongs with treats, etc.)
    • Vet Transport:  Accompany ADW staff on veterinary appointments to handle the dogs in the lobby.
    • Outside Training Yard Activities (Weather Permitting):  Participate with an ADW Trainer in outdoor exercise activities with the dogs, i.e. up and over equipment, fitness equipment, tunnels, exercise equipment.
    • Fundraising: Liaison with new donors and foundations.
    • Marketing/Public Relations: Run an informational donation table at community events, create a bake sale, host a cocktail party or similar event, have your business sponsor a dog in their graduation year, or bring us a fun idea.
    • Volunteer Expertise: Special training that a volunteer could offer to Assistance Dogs of the West (e.g. CPR trainer, accountant, photographer, writer, etc.)

For full details on each of the above opportunities, please see the online Volunteer Application or downloadable PDF.

Start your application now:

Volunteer Application (ONLINE)

OR, you can download the form and email your finished application to info@assistancedogsofthewest.org or mail it to:

Assistance Dogs of the West
P.O. Box 31027
Santa Fe, NM 87594

Volunteer Application (DOWNLOAD)