Employee "Wag & Walk" Program


Shelter pets rescuing County employees from their day-to-day sedentary
office routine by encouraging them to take a walk or play!



Our shelter animals have noticed there are hundreds of employees at County Government cooped up in their offices,  tiny cubicles, or feeling chained to a desk. They know all too well what it’s like to be confined in a tiny room or cage and want to help you break out of your sedentary work life by taking you for a walk or scheduling some time to play and cuddle with you in the Cat House.  

The employee volunteer Wag & Walk Program is a great way for shelter animals to give hope, stress relief, and exercise to our deskbound employees. Our shelter animals are concerned and want to help!

Studies have shown that long sedentary working hours can result in extra stress (and pounds) and lower your quality of health. Animals are being used to reduce stress and lower blood pressure all across the nation, from airports to hospitals to universities.  

In an effort to encourage healthy living, Calaveras County is proud to promote this program whereby employees can take a break from their cubicles and sad lunch periods to play and socialize with shelter animals.


Program Requirements

  • Be an active County employee.
  • Complete and submit to Human Resources an employee volunteer application that is located on the County’s intranet under Internal Forms & Documents / Human Resources / Wag & Walk, or on this website.
  • Attend a 2 hour training that will be conducted on a weekend.
  • Walk and socialize dogs at the shelter.
  • Socialize and play with cats at the shelter.
  • Follow all shelter rules.
  • Immediately report incidents to the shelter assistant or animal services manager.


Employee Wag & Walk Volunteer Application


Frequently Asked Questions

I Just Want to Walk Dogs. Why Does that Require Training?

Surprisingly, walking the dogs actually involves much more than just walking the dogs. We want to make sure the animals consistently receive a high-quality level of care and stay as healthy as possible. To do this, we need to educate our volunteers about safety procedures and protocols that are currently in place to eliminate injuries to both walkers and dogs and to limit the transfer of disease within our shelters. We also want to educate our volunteers on how to correctly interact with our shelter animals in order to reduce stress on the animals.

All volunteers attend the specific training required for their Wag & Walk role. Volunteer training includes the duties required for the role, department policies, safety procedures and protocols and basic animal handling.

I Don't Want to Walk Alone. Can I Bring a Friend or Coworker When I Volunteer?

We cannot allow anyone to interact with the animals if they haven’t been trained. All employees must be cleared in order to volunteer. Anyone without clearance and training will not be allowed to interact with the shelter animals.

The Program is Called "Wag & Walk" But I'm a Cat Person. Can I volunteer to play with cats?

Absolutely! Our shelter cats would love to play or simply sit in your lap for a cuddle and a scratch. Volunteering with our shelter cats will require shelter basics training including cat handling protocols.

Can I volunteer at the Shelter Outside of the Employee "Wag & Walk" Program?

Of course! The animal shelter would love to have you if you have additional free time to give. Please let the shelter staff know you are interested and they will put you in touch with volunteer coordinator. Make sure to mention you are a W&W employee volunteer.

Photo of dog being walked

Photo of cat playing