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Volunteer with the HSUS District Leader Program

Become a leader for animal protection in your community!

  • Volunteer for The HSUS and animals: Become a district leader. The HSUS

  • Connecticut district leader volunteer Pat Harmon meets with U.S. Congressman Jim Himes (CT-D) to discuss animal protection legislation.

  • New York district leader volunteer Alexandra Cerussi meets with N.Y. State Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.

  • Georgia district leader volunteer Lisa Greenman and Georgia State Director Debra Berger table on behalf of the HSUS.

  • Ohio district leader volunteer April Zobel meets with U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty's (OH-D) staff.

  • Tennessee district leader volunteers and Tennessee State Director Eric Swafford at the cockfighting bill signing with Gov. Bill Haslam.

  • Nevada district leader volunteers and Nevada State Director Jeff Dixon meeting with U.S. Congressman Dean Heller's (NV-R) staff.

Do you want to help The HSUS build an even stronger platform of protection for all animals? Then consider becoming a part of our volunteer leadership by applying to be a district leader.

District leaders are at the forefront of HSUS efforts to celebrate animals and confront cruelty.

As a district leader, you will serve as an HSUS ambassador in your congressional district and advance The HSUS' federal and state animal protection legislative priorities.

The district leader volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Active participation in ongoing federal and state legislative advocacy and corporate reform campaigns
  • Establish and maintain strong and effective professional relationships with legislators; politely, clearly and consistently relay the organization’s animal protection positions to them, encourage their support/co-sponsorship, and thank them for their efforts
  • Build a network of HSUS allies who will take action on behalf of animal protection issues
  • Participate in Humane Lobby Day at your state capitol and when possible, participate in federal Humane Lobby Day in D.C.
  • Optional: Under the guidance and advice of your HSUS state director, develop and implement a local animal protection project in your congressional district in an area of your choice

To learn more, read the expanded position description [PDF] »

The benefits of becoming a district leader volunteer

As part of the HSUS volunteer leadership, you will reflect the spirit of the organization and communicate our mission, approach and positions, fostering a greater animal protection presence in your state and local community. You will join a community of others who are deeply committed to advancing compassionate and powerful efforts on behalf of all animals.

You will become a highly trained volunteer leader in the rapidly growing animal protection movement, receiving advanced training and ongoing support. You will develop your legislative advocacy, leadership, networking, and strategic thinking skills and will have the opportunity to share your expertise and experiences with others in your community.

The efforts of our district leaders, coupled with the support of the largest animal protection organization in the United States, will advance animal protection priorities in the 435 congressional districts across the nation.

District Leader Volunteers at The Humane Society of the United States’ Volunteer Leadership Summit. Photo by Meredith Lee

District Leader Volunteers, State Council Members, and Faith Outreach Volunteers at The Humane Society of the United States’ 2018 TAFA Conference. Photo by Pete Marovich

How to become a district leader volunteer

Start by reviewing the district leader volunteer position description, requirements and restrictions to determine if this opportunity is the right fit for you.


  • A commitment to the mission of The HSUS
  • Strong leadership skills and experience, and be an active member of your community
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with a variety of people effectively and without judgment
  • Strong computer literacy, online research and writing skills, proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word and Excel, and a general knowledge of social media
  • Ability to take initiative and adapt to rapidly changing priorities
  • Ability to work on a team and as an independent self-starter
  • Must be a current HSUS member or have provided greater philanthropic commitment

Commitment policy

District leaders commit to an average of one to three hours per week for a minimum of one year; time commitment varies by week. Ongoing participation is preferred.


  • Must be able to learn and follow all HSUS guidelines and policies and follow directions given by staff
  • Volunteers must have access to a computer with Microsoft Office and internet capabilities, a phone and reliable transportation
  • Must not be participating in the district leader program to fulfill court-ordered community service obligations

The application process

If you've read the position description, requirements and restrictions and feel the position would be a good fit for your skills and commitment level, take the next steps.

  • Please complete and submit your district leader volunteer application. To apply, scroll to the bottom of this page and under “Apply today” choose your state from the drop down menu. Then click the red Apply Now button in the top right corner. Although not a requirement, it’s helpful to know which Congress member represents you and which congressional district you live in, as this volunteer opportunity is organized at the federal level by congressional district. Simply enter your zip code and address in our Find Your Federal Legislators Lookup Form; your congressional district number will be listed in the results under the name of your U.S. Representative.
  • After reviewing your application, a staff member will invite you to complete an online, digital interview. If we mutually determine that the opportunity appears to be a good fit, you will be offered the volunteer position.
  • Before becoming an official volunteer, you will be asked to sign a volunteer agreement and a waiver/release of liability.
  • Please note: On a case by case basis, due to the congressional district currently being filled by a district leader or the specific skillset of an applicant, the district leader team and the state director may determine that the best fit for the applicant is the deputy district leader (DDL) volunteer position. This position is also a volunteer leadership position within our program in which the deputy district leader would receive the same high-level training and support that district leaders receive. However, DDLs are not expected to be as actively engaged as district leaders. To the extent practicable, deputy district leaders learn from, work with, and support the district leader in their congressional district. If the incumbent district leader moves or resigns, the deputy district leader will be invited to step into the role of district leader.

What to do if this volunteer position doesn’t feel like the right fit

We’d love for you to get involved with animal protection issues in your state through our HSUS Ally program. Allies are contacted by The HSUS on an episodic basis to work on time limited campaigns as time and energy allow. If you are interested in becoming an ally (which is much less demanding than the district leader role), please fill out the short HSUS Ally form so we can connect with you about the issues that matter to you the most.

You can also learn more about our other volunteer opportunities available in your state, check out our 55 Ways to Help Animals and find additional opportunities in your community by visiting www.volunteermatch.org.

Apply today

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