Volunteer with the Animals

Provide care for our animals and assist with keeping our shelter clean and organized! Volunteer positions include administrative assistance, caregiving, socializing, assisting with adoptions, and fostering. By giving even just a few hours of your time, you can help us change the world for animals here in Portland and beyond.



Are you super organized and want to help animals out? If so, this position is for you! Administrative volunteers are a vital part of Animal Aid and help with the day-to-day shelter operations. In this role, you will assist with reception duties, including greeting guests, answering phone calls, filing, data entry, accepting donations, and much more.


    • Shifts are scheduled Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • We strongly prefer you commit to one shift per week. If you cannot, however, we’d be glad to place you on a list for special projects and you can come in when you’re available to help.

Adoption Counselors (High need!)

This is one of the most rewarding jobs of all shelter work. You will have the joy and satisfaction of finding loving forever homes for Animal Aid’s cats and dogs.

Adoption Counselors work with prospective adopters to help match cats and dogs to homes. They may assist during normal weekday hours, staff the shelter on Saturdays, attend outreach events, process adoption applications, and deliver animals to their new homes.


  • 18 years of age or older
  • On-the-job training with an Adoption Counselor
  • Minimum six-month commitment due to the extensive training

Adoption Counseling shifts

  • Saturday: Noon to 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday–Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Variable time commitment to process adoption applications as needed.

Cat Caregivers 

Interact with our four-legged friends by becoming a caregiver! Help clean, feed, care for, and possibly medicate our shelter cats each morning and early evening. Responsible caregivers are critical to shelter operations. Free purrs and snuggles included!




    • 16 years of age or older
    • Attend 1 training session in addition to the volunteer orientation
    • Minimum commitment of one 2-hour shift per week for 3 months 
    • Caregiving duties require a fair amount of physical stamina and flexibility: bending, stooping, possibly being on one’s knees to clean lower-level cages/litter boxes, carrying out soiled litter weighing up to 20 pounds, and sweeping. 

Caregiving shifts

    • Monday–Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • Monday–Sunday: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

CAT Socializers

Are you a bit of a social butterfly when it comes to cats? Join us as a socializer! Help our cats acclimate to shelter life and gain all of the enrichment opportunities they need to best prepare them for their forever homes. Socializers get to know each cat and their personality by spending time grooming and playing with them.  You might even help bring a shyer cat out of their cocoon!


  • 15 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent
  • Attend 1 training session in addition to the volunteer orientation


  • 1-hour shifts scheduled Monday–Friday between 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Emergency Dog Kennel Caregivers

This one is for our dog lovers. Become an Emergency Dog Kennel Caregiver! Located on the lower level of the shelter, the emergency dog kennel is used when we need to urgently take a dog into our care or as a temporary solution while we prepare a foster home. Kennel caregivers clean, socialize, and sometimes feed or medicate the dogs during their short stay.


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Dog handling experience
  • Ability to perform mildly strenuous work without direct supervision


  • 1-hour shifts at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
  • Because the kennel is for emergency use only, shifts are scheduled on an as-needed basis.


Help give animals the individualized care and socialization they need to put their best paw forward and thrive in their forever home. Foster homes are a critical part of our organization and help save lives every day.

Dog Fosters

All dogs are placed into foster homes until they are adopted. This is due to the size of our shelter and our commitment to providing the dogs in our care with the space and enrichment they need to put their best paw forward. Click here to learn more about becoming a dog foster.

Cat Fosters

Some cats in our care are placed into foster homes if they have been at the shelter a long time or are just not doing well in the shelter environment. Sometimes this is due to a cat feeling stressed around other cats or having special needs that would benefit from more monitoring in a comfortable home environment to help them stay healthy. Additionally, some new-to-shelter cats are placed into a temporary foster if our intake rooms are full at the shelter. Click here to learn more about becoming a cat foster.

Ready to help?

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