Volunteer Videos – Dogs
Almost Home Foundation’s facility is located at 1800 W. Irving Park Rd., Schaumburg, IL. The AHF facility is the home to all new rescue dogs before they are fostered or adopted. Just like any other dog, AHF facility dogs need to be taken out for walks.
There are three shifts daily the volunteer walkers can sign up for. Each shift is two hours long — 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Depending on how many dogs and volunteers there are determines how long each dog will be walked. All dogs are walked seven days a week regardless of the weather or holidays.
Dog walkers must be 18 years or older, sign a waiver of liability and volunteer commitment statement, complete an application, and attend two orientation sessions. Volunteers are also asked to commit to at least one shift per week for a six month period.
Orientation sessions are held the second and third Sunday of every month. They cover how to use various collars and leashes, properly approach the dogs and facility rules. Once all requirements are completed, new volunteers are shown how to sign up for shifts through an online system.
Dog Adoption Show
On Saturdays from 11am-2pm there are adoption shows for dogs at Bloomingdale Petco, Bloomingdale PetSmart and Schaumburg PetSmart on Golf road. Adoption show volunteers have to be there 30 minutes prior to help with the setup of display tables and crates, if needed.
During the show a volunteer may be assigned to a dog and are in charge of looking after the dog. Volunteers walk them around and take them outside to relieve themselves. Volunteers who are assigned a dog must know the dog’s age, name and breed in order to promote them to prospective adopters or answer any of their questions.
When the show is over, the volunteers help with dismantling the set up and help load the dogs back into their fosters or volunteers’ cars. The fosters then take them back to their home and the dogs that don't have a foster are taken back to the kennel until next Saturday.
The commitment is 4.5 hours on Saturdays. Volunteers must be 18 years and older. If younger
than 18 they must be accompanied by an adult throughout the adoption show.
Before Almost Home Foundation dogs are adopted, most go to foster homes. The fosters welcome the dog(s) into their home and treat them as their own. When you foster AHF provides food for the dog and also pays for any medical expenses.
The requirements to become a foster are:
Be at least 21 years of age
Have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household
Have approval from owner of residence (written in lease)
Have a valid ID with current address
Be able to bring dog to weekly adoption show Saturdays from 11am-2pm. A handler will
be provided if the foster cannot stay during the show
Be approved as a suitable foster home by Almost Home Foundation
Live in the Greater Chicago Land area
A potential foster and their household members meet with the adoption coordinator to make sure that the dog would be a good fit in their home. Then there is a home check to make sure it’s a safe environment and that the dog would get along with other animals living in the home. If they are cleared, they can take the dog home with them from the kennel.
Foster volunteers are heavily involved when it comes to the adoption selection of the dog whom they have been fostering. They meet with the potential adopter to see if they believe that the dog fits into their lifestyle. If so, the adoption coordinator takes over the rest of the process.
AHF feels putting dogs with a foster is a better environment than living in a kennel. Spending time in a foster home gives AHF insight into a dog’s behavior and temperament. Any noteworthy observations from the foster will be passed down to potential adopters to ensure that the dog is placed in the right home.
One may apply to become a foster on AHF’s website under “Foster A Dog”. Someone will then review the application and contact the applicant to move forward in the process if they meet the requirements.
Kennel Maintenance Volunteers
Almost Home Foundation has a kennel that houses new dogs coming in from transports and dogs that are up for adoption and don’t have a foster home.
There are volunteers who dedicate their time to keeping up with the maintenance of the kennel. Volunteers look after the kennel itself and the dogs.
Some of their responsibilities involving the dogs themselves are to: distribute food and water, clean the dog's rooms, bathe the dogs, do laundry and wash dishes. Usually the kennel opener/supervisor for each shift will do the tasks mentioned above. It is also important that each time a dog leaves the kennel their rooms are sanitized to prevent any germs from being spread. Helping with the kennel maintenance means cleaning the common areas in the kennel, putting away donations, taking care of the kennel’s landscaping, and solving air, heat or plumbing
problems that can arise.
The shifts for kennel maintenance and support volunteers are 8-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. daily. Volunteers can sign up for each shift through a shared google document. Volunteers can sign up for as many shifts as they want, most come once or twice a week. In order to be a volunteer you must be 18 years and older.
The commitment is 4.5 hours on Saturdays. Volunteers must be 18 years and older. If younger than 18 they must be accompanied by an adult throughout the adoption show.