Saving Lives

Step 6: Train Your Ambassadors

Average Time Needed

Within the first month


You’ll need to train volunteers so that they are confident and well-informed about the process. All volunteers in the program need to be able to facilitate adoptions, so they must know just enough to do adoptions off-site and without assistance. Your coordinator will need to allocate enough time and physical space for training. (And remember, you can start with just a handful – or even one Ambassador!)

Details to Consider

Some organizations have small meetings to train several Ambassadors at once, and some have each volunteer watch one adoption from start to finish before doing one on their own.

Determine what amount of time you want pets to stay with their Ambassadors. Let volunteers know you will check in with them at a specific point (two weeks, three weeks, etc.) to ensure things are still going well if they have not yet found the pet a home.

Try to strike a balance between enough training to make sure Ambassadors have the tools they need and being mindful of the time they can devote to lengthy or extensive training. (At the ASPCA, we use “just in time” training pretty regularly when responding to cruelty, disasters, etc. While you can be a little more relaxed, thinking about it from that perspective might be helpful in crafting a training program that’s not to short, not too long, but just about right!)

Tools to Get You Going