P.A.W.S. Youth Volunteer Program

About P.A.W.S.

The San Antonio Humane Society’s (SAHS) P.A.W.S. program (Practicing Animal Welfare through Service) is a service-learning volunteer program designed for junior and senior high school students between the ages of 16 and 17. Working and learning alongside SAHS staff and volunteers, P.A.W.S. participants will develop leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. The program is perfect for students needing to earn community service hours for programs like the National Honor Society and/or The President’s Volunteer Service Award.

P.A.W.S. will take place over the course of the 2023-2024 school year. Students will participate in eight four-hour sessions consisting of a mix of classroom learning and hands-on volunteering. Students will also be assigned webinars at each session to complete for additional hours from home. Topics include but are not limited to enrichment & behavior management, veterinary medicine, media & marketing, community outreach, and animal-related career paths. Students will also work on a project throughout the course of the program to be presented during one of the final group sessions. Students who attend all scheduled sessions and complete all assigned webinars will earn at least 60 volunteer hours. However, all students will have the opportunity to earn additional hours during the course of the program through onsite volunteer service. Upon successful completion of the P.A.W.S. program, students will have the opportunity to become members of the general volunteer program if they wish to continue their volunteer service with the SAHS.

The P.A.W.S. program is limited to 15 participants. All interested individuals will be required to complete an application and submit a resume and two letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must be from an adult that is not related to the applicant i.e. a teacher, coach, professional mentor, or job supervisor. SAHS staff and volunteers will review all applications. If selected to move forward, students will be invited to the SAHS for a formal interview with a committee of SAHS staff and volunteers. The interviewing committee will then make their final decisions and notify all applicants via phone or email.

There is no application fee, however, a $100 fee will be required of all students that are picked to participate in the program. This fee helps to offset the cost of the participant’s insurance and supplies required for the program. Financial assistance may be available for some individuals. Please contact for more information.

  • Must be able to adhere to the minimum physical and cognitive capabilities outlined in the Volunteer Capabilities Overview.
  • Must be a junior or senior in high school and at least 16 years of age when the program starts on October 7, 2023.
  • Must be able to commit to attending pre-scheduled, four-hour program sessions once a month, typically on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Must complete the application in its entirety, including submitting a resume and two letters of recommendation.
  • Applications will be accepted between May 1 and September 1, 2023.
  • Applicants will be notified of their first-round status no later than September 8, 2023.
  • If selected, applicants will be asked to schedule interviews the week of September 11th through the 16th, 2023.
  • Applicants will be notified of their status no later than September 22, 2023.
  • If selected, the program fee will be due no later than September 19, 2023.
  • October 7, 2023
  • November 4, 2023
  • December 2, 2023
  • January 6, 2024
  • February 3, 2024
  • March 2, 2024
  • April 6, 2024
  • May 4, 2024
  • Applications should be completed by the student applying to the program. Parents and/or guardians should not complete the application for the student.
  • Be authentic when answering application questions. Don’t copy and paste answers from the internet.
  • Review your application before submitting it. Check for spelling and grammar errors and ensure that you are submitting a complete application.

We understand that many students may not have a resume and/or may not be sure what should be included. The format isn’t important, but please be sure to include the following information on your resume:

  • Education 
    • Include your school’s name, expected graduation date, any Pre-AP, AP, or dual credit classes you are enrolled in, and any extracurricular activities you participate in.
  • Previous Work Experience 
    • Include your place of employment, how long you worked there or when you started working there if you are still employed, and a brief description of your job duties. 
  • Hard Skills 
    • Hard skills refer to your ability to perform job-specific tasks and are learned through education and experience. 
      • Examples: Bilingual, Microsoft Office, Google Workspace
  • Soft Skills 
    • Soft skills are natural abilities and traits that are developed with time, practice, and intention. 
      • Examples: Organizational skills, Flexibility, Public Speaking, Reliability, Leadership
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