Volunteer Application

Minors 9-15 MUST ALWAYS be accompanied by a guardian
Guardian must also fill out an application.

Shirt Size? Adult Sizing - Volunteer T-shirts are available for $15. It is highly suggested volunteers wear T-shirts during work times.
PAWS Volunteer Opportunities - Check All That Apply - See below for more details.

Adoption Events

Escort dogs and cats to/from off-site events in your vehicle. Show off animals, interact with public and answer questions to get animals adopted. Help get dogs from kennels during on-site events. Some training involved. Proof of auto insurance needed.

Cat House Helper

Change litter. Do laundry. Clean food and water bowls. Love on and socialize the kitty cats. You can start immediately. See staff in cat house for training.

Doggie Dates

Take a dog out to enjoy a ride, walk, special treats and social interaction. Helps them be happier and show better for adoption. Requires an additional form. Please request from staff member. Proof of auto insurance needed. If without guardian, must be 18+.

Doggie Sleepovers

Take a dog home overnight for some pampering. Requires an additional form. Please request from staff member. Must be Okaloosa County resident. Proof of auto insurance needed.


Provide a temporary home for young, sick or injured animals. Promote animals at adoption events, on the “Paws Adoptable Fosters” Facebook page and other media sites to help them get adopted. *Separate Foster Application Required* 

Junkyard Dog Gift ’n’ Thrift Shop

Provide customer service. Organize and arrange merchandise. Clean, paint, restore and research items. Test music, gaming and computer systems. Move items from estate sales. Pick up donations. Deliver merchandise. Location: 179 Eglin Parkway NE, Fort Walton Beach

Large Dog Exerciser

Work with a partner to exercise and love on dogs in the play yards. Clean up after dogs and keep play yards tidy. Shifts typically are 3 hours. MUST BE 16+  Training class or time with mentor required.  

Large Dog Walker

Walk a dog around the shelter’s neighborhood. Make sure the dog is fitted with the correct harness. Remove/return dog to the kennel safely and clean up after dog during the walk. MUST BE 16+  Some training required.

PAWS Membership

We’d love for you to become a member of PAWS, which gives you voting rights at the annual board meeting in August. Cost is $25. Deadline is July 1 for that year’s board meeting. This is optional.

PetSmart Kitten Caretaker 

Transport kittens to and from PetSmart. Clean litter boxes. Change blankets. Water and feed. Location: 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Destin. Can go anytime between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 

Some training involved. Proof of auto insurance needed.

Small Dog Walker

Please see a Dog Adoption Counselor to walk any of the small dogs around the shelter property. You can start immediately.

Shelter Helper

Help staff with laundry, dishes, organizing and other tasks. You can start immediately.

Between Shelters Transport

Transport cats and dogs from the Laurel Hill shelter to the Fort Walton Beach shelter to help the animals move forward for possible adoptions. Proof of auto insurance needed.


**PAWS reserves the right to reevaluate any volunteer’s status any time.

Volunteer Agreement

By signing below, I hereby accept a PAWS volunteer position upon the following terms, conditions and understandings:

Terms and Conditions

  1. My services to PAWS are provided strictly in a voluntary capacity, and without any express or implied promise of salary, compensation or other payment of any kind whatsoever.

  2. My services are furnished without any employment-type benefits, including employment insurance programs, worker’s compensation, accrual in any form, vacations or sick time.

  3. I will familiarize myself and comply with PAWS policies and procedures applicable to volunteers. In particular, I fully understand that PAWS expects high standards of moral and ethical treatment of the animals under its care. I will adhere strictly to these standards in my capacity as a volunteer.


I understand that the handling of animals and other volunteer activities on behalf of PAWS may place me in a hazardous situation and could result in injury to me or my personal property. Given this risk, I agree to abide by all PAWS safety policies and procedures while performing volunteer duties and to notify a staff member immediately if I encounter a hazard, a dangerous animal, or dangerous conditions. I expressly release, discharge, indemnify and hold PAWS harmless for any and all injuries caused by my volunteer activities and/or damages to my personal property while performing as a volunteer, in a volunteer capacity, any and all duties for PAWS.


On behalf of myself, my heirs, personal representatives and executors, I hereby release, discharge, indemnify, and hold harmless PAWS, its agents, servants and employees from any and all claims, cause of action or demands, of any nature or cause connected with my volunteer agreement. This might include court costs and attorney’s fees incurred by PAWS in connection with my volunteer service based on damages that may be incurred or to animal bites, accidents, injuries and personal damage.


I further understand that public relations are an important part of volunteering at PAWS. I agree, therefore, on behalf of myself, my heirs, personal representative, and executor to allow PAWS to use any photograph or video recording of me for use in public relations efforts. Any photographic images or videos I produce in a voluntary capacity for PAWS will become the property of PAWS, which PAWS can use in any and all ways it sees fit. PAWS will use reasonable effort to give me advance notice of any such use, but such notification is not a condition to release photographs or videos for public relations purpose.


Panhandle Animal Welfare Society

Employee and Volunteer Policy on Social Media

The purpose of this policy is to help members, understand their roles and responsibilities to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and the implementation of communication technology including but not limited to: websites, social networking sites, personal networking sites, blogs and micro blogs, message boards and chat rooms, podcasts and webinars, video sharing sites, texting and instant messaging, etc.

Scope of Policy:


PAWS recognizes that employees and volunteers may engage in communication while on and off duty as appropriate for performance of their duties and/or for the advance of our animal rescue mission. This policy applies to social media content –  written, verbal and

images – on the PAWS social media (Facebook and other media) as well as information you post on your personal site(s), or on someone else's site on the Internet.


Employees and volunteers who engage in blogging or posting should be mindful that their comments, even if done off premises and while off-duty, could have an adverse effect on PAWS' legitimate business interests, animal rescue mission and animal privacy interests. In addition, some readers may view you as a de facto spokesperson for PAWS.


PAWS depends on strong community support and good will. Our reputation is a valuable and important corporate asset. Please consider whether you are potentially damaging our reputation before you post on any site, especially if/when you identify yourselves as an employee or volunteer of PAWS. If you are uncertain, consult the Executive Director before posting online.


To reduce the likelihood that your blogging or posting will have an adverse effect on PAWS and the animals under our care, we require that you observe the following terms of use:


1. Your blogging/posting is subject to all the policies in our Employee Handbook, including "Confidential Matters," "Conflicts of Interests" and "Disciplinary Action, Dismissal and Rules of Conduct" and Volunteer Handbook.


2.  Do not create or share Internet media communication that negatively impacts the PAWS brand or reputation.


3.  Do not discredit, disparage, challenge or defame the mission, services, public policy positions, operational or animal status decisions of PAWS or any animal rescue organizations that have any relation to or interaction with PAWS. Do not reveal any confidential or proprietary information about PAWS.



4.  Do not criticize individual staff or volunteer performance (by name, title or role). Do not disclose the name or any personal identifying information of any staff or volunteer or any animal rescue organizations that have any relation to or interaction with PAWS without his/her permission.


5.  Do not discuss the behavior, history or medical records of animals in our care and custody that are involved in criminal proceedings (per the Employee Handbook.)


6.  Do not discuss the behavior, medical condition, behavioral status, adoption or euthanasia status of animals in our care which could negatively impact the adoptability of that animal or of other animals in our care. Do not "lobby" for specific animals in our care in this public forum without Executive Director approval.


7.  Do not post information that adversely reinforces negative breed-specific stereotypes.


8.  Do obtain permission from the Executive Director prior to posting the PAWS logo, trademark, proprietary graphics, and photographs of the shelter, events, employees, volunteers, staff or animals.


9.  Do create content or forward positive compelling content about animal rescue that builds support for the adoption of animals in our care with permission of the Executive Director. Obtain permission before naming or referencing any animal in our care or before soliciting material or financial support for PAWS.


10.  When commenting on policy issues for which there is no official PAWS position statement, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the organization. Write in the first person and do not use your work e-mail account.


11. Support PAWS position statements on issue and public policy/legislation, but do not represent the organization as a spokesperson in the traditional media or online media without permission of the Executive Director.


12.  Do not use social media for internal workplace communications, including but not limited to any disagreements or differences in the workplace.


13.  Do not create or share Internet media communication that violates any local, state, federal or international laws and regulation. This includes uploading, posting or e-mails that: impersonate/misrepresent, infringe on copyright laws, and contain obscene or defamatory content, forward unsolicited/unauthorized (spam, junk mail, chain letters), and knowingly create or transmit software viruses, works or other disabling codes.


14.  This policy pertains to external communication and does not negate nor limit employee protection under PAW’s internal “Open Door” policy.




PAWS will regularly monitor the content of all its social media sites.  PAWS at its sole direction may restrict, block, suspend, terminate or discontinue any employee’s or volunteer’s access to PAWS-sponsored internet media sites at any time, without notices and delete postings.


Policy Administration and Interpretation:


The Executive Director will be responsible for administering and interpreting the guidelines and provisions of this policy.  Any questions regarding the appropriate use of PAWS sponsored social media sites or your personal social media (Facebook, etc.) should be directed to the Executive Director.


By accessing, viewing and/or posting any content related directly or indirectly to PAWS on any internet media site, you accept, without limitation or qualification, the above terms of use. If you do not agree to the terms of this policy, you may not view or post any contact to any Internet media site on behalf of PAWS, as an employee or volunteer of the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society.


This is a mandatory policy for staff and volunteers. Sign-off and compliance is a condition of employment by PAWS and violation will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.  Volunteer compliance is expected as part of the PAWS Volunteer Agreement.


As a parent or legal guardian of the above-named volunteer, I hereby give consent for my minor to become a volunteer for PAWS as described in the above Volunteer Agreement and, by the signature below, join in and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Release.


Shelter Hours: 

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Saturday 


Adoption Hours: 

Meet and Adopt animals:

10 a.m. -  4 p.m., Monday - Saturday


Vet Clinic Hours: 

Surgery by appointment. Call (850) 243-1525 or email pawsspayneuterclinic@gmail.com 

Walk-in for other issues, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Monday - Friday


ALL SERVICES/OFFICES currently closed on Sunday  

  • Facebook - Black Circle

For Humane Society/Animal Control (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.): Call (850) 243-1525  

For After-Hours Animal Emergencies (sick or injured, active abuse, foster medical concerns): Call (850) 685-6003 

Lost/Found Pets: Call (850) 243-1525 or email acoatpaws@gmail.com  

Our Address: 752 Lovejoy Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL  32548

Contributions to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society are tax-deductible as allowable by law.  

PAWS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID #59-0815515 

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Registration #CH5664 


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