Troops & Tails

Are you a past or present member of the U.S. military with a passion for working with dogs and cats? Our Troops & Tails program wants YOU.

Troops & Tails is a unique volunteer opportunity for active duty service members and military Veterans to enhance the well-being of animals in need while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of working with shelter animals.

Troops & Tails participants primarily facilitate care and enrichment to shelter dogs by providing daily walks, basic behavior training, and organizing playgroups in which dogs are given the opportunity to play and socialize with other dogs at JHS.

Studies, such as a 2014 study by Kaiser Permanente, show that dogs can significantly reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in Veterans. The Troops & Tails program seeks to form a mutually beneficial relationship between shelter animals in need of comfort and compassion, and military Veterans in search of an outlet for their sense of selfless service while at the same time receiving the overwhelming gratitude of a special animal in need.

Apply to become a Troops & Tails volunteer now!

The Jacksonville Humane Society’s Troops & Tails Academy is a FREE job skills training program in the Animal Care and Enrichment industry exclusively for military Veterans and spouses.

This 6-week training program is designed to provide real-world knowledge and experience that can be applied to a number of jobs in a growing career field. Participants are paid an hourly wage during training and receive classroom instruction from experienced animal care professionals as well as hands-on skills training in an animal shelter environment.

JHS also provides participants with job skills coaching for the fields of animal welfare and veterinary medicine, along with potential employment within our organization. Those who finish the academy will receive help with job placement, along with the opportunity to network and interview for open positions at JHS or with our many partners including the City of Jacksonville’s Animal Care & Protective Services, First Coast No More Homeless Pets, K9s for Warriors, Pet Paradise, VCA Animal Hospitals, and others.


Fall Semester: September 30th – November 8th, 2024

Flexible training schedules available Monday through Saturday based on participant and trainer availabilities. Normal training day includes 6 hours of classroom and hands-on training, with a 30-minute lunch break each day.

Apply to the Troops & Tails Academy

Questions? Please email us at [email protected] or call 904-493-4583.

Troops & Tails is generously supported in part by:

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JaguarsFoundationLogos Foundation

Latham Foundation

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Are you a military veteran interested in adopting? JHS is a proud partner of Pets for Patriots and offers a number of adoption benefits to military members past and present. Learn more »
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