Open Volunteer Positions

Ruff Start Rescue is a private, all-volunteer, foster based rescue dedicated to the rescue of lost, abandoned or unwanted pets.  Our goal is to find loving, permanent homes for these animals, contribute to public education regarding animal care, and to promote responsible pet ownership.  Because we are an all-volunteer rescue, we are always looking for more help!

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Current Openings

Administrative Office Assistant 

We are looking for a volunteer who can come to the office in Princeton, MN 1 time per week (or more) and help with misc. tasks. Examples would be mailings, dropping things off around town, running errands, a weekly cleaning and organizing (bring out garbage, putting supplies away, vacuuming, etc), ordering materials for adoption folders, filing paperwork, etc. Must be good at organizing. This would be on average 4 hours a week at minimum.  Must be reliable, responsible, a self-starter, and be able to work independently.

Fundraising/Event Committee Members 

The Fundraising and Events Committee meets once a month (The 2nd Tuesday of the month in Zimmerman, MN). Committee members work with the event/fundraising coordinator in coordinating all fundraising events and also hosting certain fundraisers. The committee members are the ones in charge and named "leads" of upcoming events. We all work together as a team to raise funds for the rescue and it’s a fun and exciting atmosphere!  Join us! 

Fundraising/Event Helpers 

Helps with setup/tear down of events such as fundraisers, educational events, adoption events, block parties, business expos, twin’s games, galas, etc. You would also help to hand out educational materials and educate people on the rescue and try to recruit new volunteers. If you aren't able to be on the committee and make it to our meetings in Zimmerman, consider signing up to help out at our events located throughout central, MN.

Event & Fundraising Manager 

We are looking for 1-2 Event and Fundraising managers that help oversee daily emails and fundraising requests. This person would be a main team member and have a daily (or every other day) commitment to the rescue and the events and fundraising department. They would setup and hold monthly fundraising meetings, plan and arrange upcoming fundraisers and events, and make sure that the events run smoothly. We are looking for someone that is on emails daily and able to respond in a timely manner. This person also needs to be able to attend at least 1-2 events a month and help plan and promote them. We get many email requests daily for events and need someone to make a decision on if we can take on another event, whose going to take the lead on it, and make sure to follow through with the event and oversee it. Must have 3 or more years with previous fundraising experience for the manager position. However, if you don't have that experience, we are always looking for event "leads" to help us out and take on a big role in this area so be sure to still apply. 

Adoption Day Event Leads

We hold adoption days throughout central MN every weekend. We are looking for team leads for each of our locations. This would consist of being in charge of a particular event/location each month (or every other month or as a back up) and setting up our booth, being available to answer questions from the public and/or foster parents, taking down our booth. You will be given an event supply bag with everything needed for run the event. You will need to learn about Ruff Start Rescue so you are equipped to answer questions. You will help promote "your" event in our closed Facebook groups and encourage foster parents to attend that weekend. Locations consist of: Elk River, Princeton, St.Cloud, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, St.Paul, Roseville, etc. Most events take place at Petsmart, Chuck N Don's, Country Feed store, and other various locations. 

Newsletter Creator/Editor 

The newsletter creator would be responsible to write and create our monthly electronic newsletter and distribute electronically to our subscribers. The newsletter is powered by MailChimp. Must have some experience in graphic design and excellent writing skills. This position requires you to work with our internal group of team members to find out about upcoming events, featured animals, success stories, and more! If you are creative, have great writing skills, and have experience with graphics, please apply! 

Placement Coordinator  

Works with placement coordinator managers in placing all animals from the beginning stages to the end, (Ex placing correct dog in a foster home, approving adoption applicants, final adoption process) . As a placement coordinator you will be responsible for a minimum of 5 foster homes. It will be up to you to keep in contact with the foster parents and report to the placement coordinator managers with weekly updates. Depending on the workload for a specific week, placement coordinator managers may also have you help with reference checks and home visits. However, your primary responsibility is to contact foster parents and make sure the foster and adoption process runs smoothly. Email access on your cell phone is preferred. 

Volunteer Coordinator  

As a Ruff Start Rescue Volunteer Coordinator, you will be responsible for supporting Ruff Start Rescue volunteers on a regular basis in a variety of areas.  Volunteer Coordinators are responsible for recruiting and engaging volunteers and keeping them engaged with orientations, regular communications, and events.  The Volunteer Coordinators are also responsible for processing new volunteer applications.  There are currently two Volunteer Coordinators and Ruff Start Rescue seeks additional members of the team to focus on specific activities and projects.

Foster Coordinator  

We are looking for foster coordinators that are located throughout central MN and willing to drive up to 30 minutes to train in a new foster. The FC is responsible to do a 2 hour orientation with new fosters and get them trained in and setup to foster for RSR. The FC will be the one to ideally do the home visit and do orientation at that time, however the home visit can be done by a volunteer and the orientation can be done remotely. Will be responsible to process applications, do background checks, reference checks, etc on new fosters. The workload is estimated to be around 6 hour’s minimum per week.  

Vetting Coordinator  

(Must be a certified vet tech OR have previous experience working in the veterinary field as a receptionist, etc.) Assists the fosters and placement coordinators with the vetting needs of our foster animals. This individual would help in the day-to-day conversations (phone & email) between foster families and the vetting needs of their animals. You will be responsible for a certain number of animals to oversee. This will include; tracking vetting due on animals such as vaccines, alterations, HWT, Frontline, Heartguard, microchip, etc. You will also be responsible to answer vetting related questions from the placement coordinators and schedule surgeries with our affiliated clinics and send vet records to the correct clinics before the upcoming appointment. You must have a smartphone and have access to email daily. We are looking for experienced certified veterinary technicians to join this rewarding volunteer position. The time requirement for this position is anywhere from 30 minutes a day to 2 hours a day sometimes. It depends on how many fosters you are in charge of. 

Mobile Clinic Surgery Scheduler 

This position falls under our vetting team. The mobile clinic surgery scheduler would work hand in hand with the vetting team along with the foster parents to setup and schedule most surgeries through our partner mobile clinics. This can be a daily task, sometimes every other day. Must be proficient in using spreadsheets and have access to email on a daily basis. Smartphone is required for this position as well as a home computer. Time estimate is around 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. Veterinary terms and experience is a plus as you will also be scheduling vaccines, microchips, etc with the clinics and it would help to have a good understanding of vet care. 

Intake Coordinator

We are looking for 1-2 more intake coordinators to join our team. Intake is responsible to find animals that need rescue in local shelters and high kill shelters throughout the US. We currently have many email requests on a daily basis of animals needing help and we need more intake coordinators to help us sort through those emails and save animals. Intake brings the animals into the rescue by arranging for transport from the shelter to the rescue, arranging vetting while at the current shelter location, and lines up foster homes for these animals to be placed in when they arrive. We are looking for intake coordinators that have specific breed experience (hunting breeds, small breeds, etc.). This volunteer position requires you to be able to deal at a fast paced and sometimes high stress level (while also very rewarding). This position also requires daily email communication and a smartphone to access email while away from the computer. Must be highly organized and able to communicate professionally at all times as you will be working with many different shelters, fosters, impounds, etc. 

Social Networking Representative 

Will work mostly with the fundraising and events committee to help spread the word about upcoming events. Must have computer access daily and be very computer savvy. Must know how to use Facebook and create events, and will be in charge of creating events using and posting events to our website. This position would also entail notifying local radio stations and television stations for our bigger events.  Must have previous social networking experience for a company or organization. 

Microchip Coordinator

The microchip coordinators are responsible for registering all microchips for incoming and adopted animals that come into the rescue. Must have access to a computer at least every other day and have knowledge on using spreadsheets and PDFs. This position falls under our vetting department team and you will need to be able to handle receiving many emails on a daily basis as all vet questions and records will come through your email (many will not apply to you however). This position requires around 5 hours a week depending on how many animals are currently in the rescue at the time, the time can fluctuate. This can be done on your own time, but is something that must be kept up on a daily or bi-daily basis.

Bully Breed Representative 

We need people who have a lot of experience with bully breeds and can help by educating our new fosters about bully breeds.  "Bully Reps" could also help with home visits and meet and greets. 

Volunteer Animal Transporters 

Volunteer animal transporters bring animals to/from vet appointments, home visits, adoption events on the weekends, special events that we have coming up, transports to their new foster home, etc. 

Dog Trainers and Behaviorists 

We are always looking for more dog trainers and behaviorists to partner with that are willing to volunteer their time and advice for our foster homes. 


 We are looking for groomers around central, MN who would volunteer their services with grooming some of our foster dogs when they first come in from the shelter setting. Some of these dogs and cats need some professional expertise and we would love to have help from some professional groomers around the area so we can show everyone what beauties these dogs and cats really are! 

Boarding Facilities in central MN 

Currently seeking boarding facilities to help us out with emergency cases or when we need to overnight a dog for a day or two until we line up a foster home. Sometimes needed for when fosters go on vacation and were unable to find someone to watch the foster dog. 

Educational Committee Members 

Ruff Start Rescue has started up an educational program geared towards educating children about the importance of animal rescue, wellness, and safety. This is a new program that we are forming a committee form. We need help with designing the program with age appropriate outlines, speaking at schools, recruiting volunteers, etc. We are looking for people with strong communication skills, organized, reliable, loves animals and kids, outgoing, and educational experience is a plus! We want to make a difference and we believe this is the start to a new future by educating the next generation. Our meetings out the last Tuesday of the month in the evening, located in Zimmerman, MN. We do require committee members to attend 9/12 meetings a year in order to join. If you, or someone you know, are interested in this position please fill out a volunteer application! We would love to have you join us in making a difference.  

Home Visit Volunteers 

Every potential adopter must pass a Home Visit before an adoption.  This helps us ensure the animal is the right fit for the new family as well as ensuring that our rescue animals are being placed into the best environment possible for their individual needs.  Unfortunately, rescue animals are often passed around from shelter to shelter or sometimes worse and may come to us malnourished, neglected and sometimes abused.  One of the most important things we can do for these animals is to triple check and be certain that we are not sending them into another situation that makes them uncomfortable. Home Visits are a quick and easy task but are one of the most important things we do as a rescue.  You will meet tons of great people and fellow animal lovers and may make many new friends in the process.


If interested in volunteering for one of these positions, please complete a Volunteer application.  On the application, make sure to write which position you're interested in.  Thank you for considering volunteering with Ruff Start Rescue!

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