Animal Services Volunteer Program


Calaveras County Animal Services is extremely fortunate to have hundreds of dedicated volunteers that can be called upon to assist our shelter on a daily basis. Each year, our volunteers contribute thousands of hours to the shelter. Volunteers assist by cleaning cat and dog kennels, socializing animals with exercise and play, landscaping, hosting donation drives, grooming available animals, educating the public about responsible pet ownership, attending community events and participating in special shelter events.

Our volunteers play an integral role in the day-to-day shelter operation, including placing animals and promoting shelter adoption. We couldn’t do everything that we do without their support! We truly appreciate their choice to join our team in helping more animals find their forever homes!

On-site volunteer opportunities are available for individuals over the age of 18.

To learn more about adult volunteer opportunities, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (209) 754-6509. 


Are you are next super hero video

Dog Walkers

Dog with handler jogging photo

Dog walkers exercise and socialize dogs that are available for adoption. Through this interaction, volunteers provide the dogs with mental stimulation creating a healthier, happier, more adoptable dog. Some volunteers work with dogs to develop good manners that will help them be more successful in their new homes. Dog walkers may also bathe adoptable dogs as needed.

Kennel Support

Volunteer cleaning kennel photo

Kennel support volunteers care for dogs, cats, other domestic and farm animals at the shelter. They clean cages, litter boxes, feed dishes, water dishes and outside areas. They also wash and dry bedding, towels and materials and organize kennel and shelter supplies and under the direction of the County Shelter Assistant they may be directed to feed animals.

Cat Socializers

Cat playing photo

Cat socializers work with cats that are currently available for adoption, providing them with mental stimulation and practice being handled in various manners. By doing so, volunteers help to improve the cats’ quality of life and prepare them for adoption into loving homes.

Community Events/Special Shelter Events

Volunteers act as shelter ambassadors and help to spread the mission of Calaveras County Animal Services throughout the community. Volunteers participating in special events, both on-site and off-site, help to promote the adoption of shelter animals. Through education and a positive attitude, these volunteers help build lasting relationships with the community we serve.

Youth or Group Volunteer Activities

Although Calaveras County Animal Services is unable to accommodate on-site youth or group volunteer activities, there are still many ways in which you can help the animals at the shelter! Individuals or organizations (Scout troops, school groups, religious organizations, company volunteer groups, etc.) that are unable to volunteer at the shelter may choose to complete one of our suggested community service projects. These projects enrich the lives of the animals at the shelter in a very unique way.

Community Service Project Examples

Cat Tree or Cat Scratching Post

Scratching is an innate and necessary part of being a cat. Scratching cleans and sharpens claws and is something a cat will do regardless of the sanctity of the surfaces in a home or shelter. Cat tree plans are readily available online.

Cat Scratching post

Forever Take-Home Bags

For either cats or dogs. Suggested items to include: water bowl, food bowl, leash, toys and treats.

Doggie Bag Image

Sweater Beds

Have an old sweater lying around. Follow these instructions for a cheap EASY pet bed.

Sweater Bed for animals image

Catnip Toy

Stuff the toe of an infant sock with catnip. Then stuff with cotton balls and either sew the top closed or tie a knot in it.

Cat Nip toys image

Doggie Bags

Decorate a paper lunch bag and fill with dog biscuits/treats to be given to the families who adopt a shelter dog.

Doggie bag image

Tough Braids

For tougher or bigger dogs, braid three complete towels together and tie the ends or sew them up.

Note: Old Jeans make an even hardier braid.

Tough braids image

Kitchen Towel Braids

Take your old kitchen towels and put them to good use. Cut two slits along the length of a towel, equidistant from each other, and stop cutting about an inch from the top. Then braid the towel as you would hair. Knot the loose ends and you have a tough dog rope toy!

Tough braids image