Volunteers Make it Possible
Giving your time extends critical resources and provides the support necessary to save lives and support relationships between people and pets. We offer a wide variety of volunteer roles.
Getting started as a volunteer begins with submitting a volunteer interest form. Next, our team will reach out to schedule you for a 90-minute information session. This orientation will cover our mission, organization structure, and the various opportunities available. Space is limited and registration is required.
Adult volunteer positions are for those ages 18 and older. We ask for a six month commitment of at least eight hours a month. We are unable to accommodate short-term community service volunteer opportunities or sign off on hours before a six month commitment is complete.
Would you like to be part of a lifesaving team? Could you share your time and talents to connect people and pets? Here are a few opportunities available at ARF:
Cat care volunteers assist with feeding our shelter cats and cleaning their living spaces, to ensure they are happy and healthy during their stay at our adoption center.
Crate / Van Washing
Crate / van washing volunteers clean the crates used to transport animals on rescue runs, as well as wash the rescue vehicle that brings animals to our campus each week.
From walking dogs to cleaning condos, dog care volunteers ensure the comfort and care of our canine shelter guests while they await adoption.
Volunteer foster families provide loving, temporary, in-home care for animals in need. We provide everything you need, including supplies, food, medical care, and beyond.
Shelter essentials volunteers support our dogs and cats by doing laundry, washing toys and supplies, sanitizing litterboxes, sweeping and mopping, and more.
Adoption Meet and Greets
Adoption meet and greet volunteers introduce our shelter guests to potential new families as part of the adoption process.
Boutique volunteers assist adopters with purchasing supplies at Lou Russa’s Boutique prior to taking their home their new pet.
Greeter volunteers welcome the public, provide directions, and answer initial questions guests may have about our programs, services, or adoptable animals.
Event volunteers perform a variety of tasks to help make internal and external events both fun and successful for our supporters.
Reception volunteers answer phones, transfer calls, accept in-kind donations, and provide support for other volunteers.
At the ARF Thrift Store in Concord, volunteers help customers find and purchase merchandise, and assist staff in sorting, tagging and displaying donated items.
These volunteers present information about our programs to a wide range of audiences and host informational tables on behalf of ARF at local events.
FoodShare volunteer distribute pet food to pet guardians and community cat caregivers in Contra Costa County.
Resource Center volunteers help people in their times of crisis with meaningful, animal-related community resources. Topics include keeping or rehoming a pet, low-cost pet resources, and lost or found animals.
Pet With Me
Pet With Me volunteers provide enrichment for our more shy shelter dogs by accompanying them in their condos for petting, brushing, massaging, and talking.
Pet Hug Pack®
We’re always looking for well-behaved dogs and cats (and other animals, too) to serve as therapy animals for people in need of the special type of love only an animal can provide.
Submit a Volunteer Interest Form Today
Fostering is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer as a family or care for a pet without a long-term commitment. Save lives every time you open your home to an animal in need. We provide everything you need. You supply the love.
Volunteers needed! Your help preserves the human-animal bond by keeping animals with their families and connecting people with meaningful, animal-related resources in their communities. Be their lifeline when it’s needed most.
Therapy Animal Team
Is your pet therapy animal material? Consider joining the Pet Hug Pack® and sharing their love with people in need. Since 2002, hundreds of thousands of people have experienced the wet noses and unconditional love of these very special animals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You must be at least 18 years old to join our volunteer program. Submit a volunteer interest inquiry.
If I am not yet 18 years old, but want to help, what can I do?
Host a fundraiser or donation drive. Past fundraisers have included donated birthdays, live streams, lemonade stands, and much more.
Or consider fostering as a family to get involved. Sign up for a foster orientation to hear about the realities and rewards of this unique volunteer role from experienced foster parents. Bring your questions to this free, no-obligation information session. Register today.
I work regular business hours. Can I volunteer after work or on weekends?
Weekend and evening volunteer opportunities are available. Please note your days and hours of availability when submitting your volunteer interest inquiry.
What kind of commitment is required?
We ask for a commitment of six months with at least eight hours each month.
Can I complete my court-ordered community service at ARF?
We require a six month minimum commitment from all volunteers. We cannot accommodate short-term community service volunteer opportunities or sign off on hours before this six month commitment is complete.
I want to volunteer with my pet. What are my options?
You and your pet might be a great addition to our therapy animal program, the Pet Hug Pack®, or consider becoming a foster family.
Are there ways I can volunteer from home?
Yes! Consider becoming a foster home! Every new foster family means another pet rescued from an overburdened, public shelter. Find out more about the foster program.
Other remote volunteer opportunities include event coordination, providing assistance through the Resource Center to pet guardians in need, and more.
After I attend orientation, how long until I can start volunteering?
Some volunteer jobs require additional training sessions or prerequisites while other jobs can be started right away. You will learn more about specific jobs and training requirements during the volunteer information session.
Do you offer one-time volunteer opportunities for groups?
Yes! Your company or service group can encourage teamwork and engagement in your community by volunteering as a group! Although we cannot guarantee a group project which matches your availability, we do have a variety of meaningful, hands-on group opportunities to support a lifesaving mission throughout the year.
Most group projects are intended for 6-12 volunteers (age 18 years or older) and are available on weekdays from 8:30 am to noon or 1-4:30 pm. Volunteer groups also get a behind-the-scenes tour of our headquarters. End with a photo opportunity with one of our Pet Hug Pack® therapy animals or an adoptable dog. Click here to inquire.
Previous group projects have included: maintenance or landscaping in our community garden; washing the rescue, adoption, and pet food delivery vehicles; prepping or follow up for events; organizing and stocking merchandise at the ARF Thrift Store; and organizing and hosting a fundraiser or donation drive to benefit the animals.