Volunteer Position - Public Records Researcher

Company Overview

The Animal Welfare Data Center (AWDC) is dedicated to leveraging data analysis and modern technology to research legislative, public policy, environmental, and economic aspects of animal welfare in our society. Our mission is to make these insights accessible to the public, empowering individuals and organizations to make informed decisions and drive positive change toward improved animal welfare in all communities.

Position Overview

Position Title: Volunteer Public Records Researcher

Reports to: CEO

Location: REMOTE

Time Commitment: This is a part-time volunteer position, and the Volunteer Public Records Researcher is expected to dedicate less than 8 hours per week to their duties. Flexible scheduling is available to accommodate the volunteer’s availability.

Position Summary:

The Volunteer Public Records Researcher plays a critical role in gathering, analyzing, and documenting information from various public records sources. Working within legal and ethical frameworks, the researcher conducts thorough investigations to retrieve data relevant to the organization’s objectives. This may involve accessing government databases, requesting data and information from government agencies via email, archives, court records, and other public repositories. The researcher meticulously organizes and evaluates the gathered information, identifying key insights, trends, and patterns that inform decision-making processes. Strong attention to detail, research skills, and adherence to privacy regulations are essential for this role. The Public Records Researcher collaborates closely with team members to ensure the accuracy, integrity, and usefulness of the collected data, contributing to the organization’s mission and objectives through informed analysis and strategic planning.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Researching Public Records: Utilize online databases, government portals, and other resources to request and gather relevant public records related to animals in public animal shelters in California.
  • Organizing and Storing Records: Systematically organize and store acquired records in specified repositories to ensure easy access and retrieval.
  • Collaborating with Data Analysts: Work closely with data analysts to analyze collected records, identify trends, and derive insights that can support systemic changes to the public animal care & control system in California.
  • Documenting Findings: Maintain detailed and accurate records of research findings, including dates, sources, and any relevant notes or observations.
  • Adhering to Privacy and Ethical Standards: Ensure compliance with privacy laws and ethical guidelines governing the handling of public records data.
  • Reporting: Prepare regular reports summarizing research activities, findings, and recommendations for organizational decision-making purposes.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated on relevant laws, regulations, and best practices related to public records research and the public animal care & control system in California.


  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy in data collection and analysis.
  • Familiarity with online research tools and databases is a plus.
  • Proficient organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Understanding of privacy laws and ethical considerations related to public records research (training can be provided if needed).
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of the Animal Welfare Data Center.


  • Opportunity to contribute to meaningful projects and initiatives aimed at improving the public animal care & control system in California.
  • Gain valuable experience in research, data analysis, and nonprofit operations.
  • Work alongside a dedicated team of professionals and volunteers passionate about animal welfare.
  • Flexible scheduling and the ability to work remotely.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities within the Animal Welfare Data Center community

Training and Support:

Volunteers shall receive an online orientation remotely that includes:

  • Introduction to the core AWDC operations team and our standard practices
  • Volunteer agreement including expectations for volunteers within our organization
  • Training on task acquisition, reporting task completion, and tracking volunteer hours
  • Training on data collection and transfer protocol for remote work with data
  • How to request support and training from the AWDC Volunteer team
  • Obtaining and using an AWDC email – email etiquette, limitations, and best practices

Equal Opportunity Statement:

Animal Welfare Data Center is committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees, volunteers, and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We value diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work and strive to create a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and empowered to contribute to our mission. Discrimination or harassment of any kind is not tolerated at Animal Welfare Data Center, and we are dedicated to promoting fairness, equity, and justice in all our practices and interactions.