Volunteer of the Month: Sharon Payne 

Meet Sharon Payne

Sharon Payne began her mission to help FIV cats get adopted several years ago. Currently, 30 FIV+ cats have been adopted at the shelter! Sharon researched the aspects of FIV, reading a multitude of research on cats living with FIV and has visited Best Friends in Utah to learn about how they work with cats that have tested positive for the disease. One late October afternoon we were getting busy in Cat Adoptions. All of our Meet-n-Greet volunteers were helping adopters, and Sherry Weidman (a volunteer day leader in cats) saw a young couple looking at Benny and Plata. Benny and Plata, a pair of FIV kitties, were in a colony room together. Sherry immediately told Sharon, “We have a couple who are seriously looking and Benny and Plata. Do you want to talk to them?” I never saw anyone run to that room so fast! Lightening had struck! Sharon loves to explain just how “not a big deal” FIV kitties can be. She has contributed to our expansion of knowledge to help save more lives. We are so lucky to have her as part the Wayside family. Thank you Sharon!


Now Accepting New Volunteers!

Thank you for thinking of Wayside Waifs as the place to donate your time.  The success of our Volunteer Program is not only measured by the dedication of time given by our remarkable volunteers, but most by the selfless acts they contribute to make life better for homeless companion animals.

You will find getting involved at Wayside Waifs to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.  Two Orientations are offered each month, excluding December.  We are able to accommodate up to 30 new applicants in each session.

Are you looking to complete service hours for your school or organization?  Take a look at our Teen Service Program and Corporate and Group Service Projects.  Our regular volunteer program asks for a minimum commitment of 30 hours, three months of weekly schedules.

For more information about helping in our Humane Education department, please send us an email or contact us at (816) 986-4422.

Qualifications for the program

  • All volunteers should have an interest in helping the animals become successful pets. 
  • Teens as young as 16 are able to volunteer on their own. 
  • A mature, respectful attitude is required at the shelter.
  • All volunteers should be comfortable and competent to make fast decisions in stressful situations.
  •  All volunteers should be able to safely and independently perform all role requirements outlined in training. 
  • Volunteers are required to sign up for three months of weekly shifts at the shelter. 
    **Exceptions are Foster Care and Humane Education which are done offsite with
    separate commitment requirements**.
  • Each volunteer must have an active email address.   
  • Criminal records cannot include felonies, and all other convictions are reviewed on a case by case basis. 
  • For work related to a ticket, court ordered community service, diversion or any other legal related service hours, please contact 816-761-8151 for more information. Please make sure to ask for “legal related service hours.” These hours are processed differently at the shelter, and can not be completed though the general volunteer program.

Getting Started is easy 

Step 1: Apply online or print and return the Volunteer Inquiry.
Step 2: Our orientation invitation will be emailed to everyone who has submitted an inquiry.
            This email goes out the first weekend of every month.
Step 3: Attend Orientation.  Sign up for DOG, CAT and the Foster Program will be available at this orientation. 
Step 4: At DOG1/CAT1 you will sign up for your weekly shelter shift.
Step 5: Start your Volunteer adventure!
Adults interested in volunteering with a young teen (13-15), please fill out a Youth Inquiry
online or print. Youth need to volunteer with an adult, who is also interested in volunteering during all of their volunteer hours.

Volunteer Opportunities 

Volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly schedule for three months, and most volunteer placements will work directly with the animals.  Foster care and Humane Education will not be set on weekly shifts.  These positions have separate requirements. 

These are the positions available immediately to all volunteers:  

Dog Comfort Support

 Party Animals



Cat Comfort Support

 Foster Care

Dog Socializer

Humane Education
Cat Socializer

Administrative Support
 (as needed)

At the end of the three months, volunteers will be asked if they are interested in continuing at Wayside Waifs.  
At this time, they will become eligible for an additional volunteer position - if openings exist.

Off-Site Dog Walker       Receptionist
Follow-up Caller       Whiskers and Wags
      Retail Boutique
Meet and Greet Specialist
      Mobile Adoptions
Behavior Training for Cats & Dogs  

Teen Service Program

Our Teen Service Program has been specifically designed for teens looking to complete service hours.  This program is ideal for completing service hours required by schools, teen groups, and other civic organizations.  Each group must consist of 4-10 people, age 16 or older, who plan to donate their time together.  Teens completing this program will be fully trained volunteers and are encouraged to continue volunteering at Wayside Waifs.

Upon receipt of your Teen Service Program Inquiry, you will be contacted to discuss training, Orientation and service dates.  At Orientation each person will be asked to complete a Volunteer Application.

**The Teen Service Program is not for court ordered community service.**

Corporate Volunteers and Group Service Projects

Corporate and group opportunities at Wayside Waifs include: special events, grounds keeping and building maintenance, and various other special projects throughout the year.  Groups can be as small as three and as large as twenty, depending on the current needs of the shelter.  Groups interested should complete the Project Request Form to learn more about available opportunities.  Our needs are continually changing, and we will typically know at the beginning of each month what group activities are available.  Because special training is required to work with shelter animals, corporate and group activities do not include animal related activities.  Individuals interested in working with the animals should complete an Adult Inquiry and plan to attend Orientation and applicable training classes. 

All members of the group must be at least 16 years old.  Groups with participants under the age of 16 should contact our Humane Education department about opportunities, and are encouraged to participate in the Service Projects listed below. 

Would you like to learn more about Wayside Waifs, and how your company can help homeless animals in the Kansas City area?  A Wayside team member would be delighted to come to your organization to host a Lunch and Learn.  We will introduce you to all of the great things happening at Wayside and how your company and employees can get involved.  While we have many on-site volunteer opportunities, your organization can also benefit the animals by hosting a drive to collect needed shelter items or monetary donations.

If your company is interested in sponsoring a Wayside event, click here for more information.

For more information or to discuss about volunteering, please contact AnnMarie Thomas athomas@waysidewaifs.org or call (816) 986-4431.

Service Projects

There are a variety of ways you can help the animals who are temporarily housed at Wayside Waifs.

Surf the net for animals

Set your search engine to http://www.goodsearch.com/.  Let them know that you are supporting Wayside Waifs.  Every search you make sends money to the animals.  It is a Yahoo! search engine, so get surfing!

Hold a blanket/towel driveFluffy dog

All animals housed at the shelter are provided with something soft to lay and sleep on. New or old, your blankets and towels will help make a shelter animals stay more comfortable.

Collect wish list items

Our wish list identifies items the shelter needs year round. Organize a drive to collect these items and then bring them to the shelter.

Organize a penny drive

Pennies to some are a fortune to us! Encourage everyone you know to donate their pennies (or any other amount) to help the homeless animals!

Wayside Waifs | 3901 Martha Truman Road | Kansas City, MO 64137 | 816.761.8151