Volunteer at PAWS!
PAWS is able to extend our hands to so many pets in need because of the tireless effort and dedication of our volunteers. There is always SO much to be done - whether it is snuggling a shy kitten, walking a dog, fundraising or doing those dirty jobs like laundry and cleaning kennels.
It all has to get done and it has to get done every day without fail. If you would like to schedule an orientation appointment, get more information on our shelter, or get directions please contact:
Volunteer Coordinator, Lisa DiDonato
Phone: (203)750-9572 x103
Please note that due to COVID-19, we are unable to accept new volunteers at this time.
Read more below to learn about all the ways you can help dogs and cats.
Fill out our Volunteer Application using the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to schedule a meeting and orientation.
The next step in becoming a volunteer is to come to the shelter for an orientation. Here you will learn about our volunteer programs and the commitments involved in each area. Orientations include: an overview of the history, mission and organizational structure of PAWS, a tour of the facility and details on program descriptions and purposes.
Upon acceptance, training dates will be assigned with the appropriate program coordinator. Most volunteer positions require a minimum commitment of 2 hours per week.
The volunteers of PAWS are a vital and integral part of our ability to help pets in need. Without your help, we can't help them!
Volunteers will assist in the socialization of animals. This involves exercising and playing with the animals to help make them fine companions. Volunteers will also assist with the feeding and cleaning of the animals. “Cat Volunteers” - These volunteers help with the socialization process of our cats at PAWS as well as assisting with cleaning and feeding. “Dog Walkers” - Our dog walkers are trained to help socialize our dogs while providing them with adequate daily exercise.
Families for Felines
Those who are between the ages of 13 and 17 will have the opportunity to volunteer with a parent or guardian in our cat volunteer program. Some responsibilities include: socializing with the cats, assisting with cleaning of litter pans, doing laundry, and loading / unloading the dishwasher.
The purpose of an adoption counselor is to make sure the potential adopters will be good owners and that animals they select will be compatible with their home situations. What better way to help than adopt cats out to their forever homes! Volunteer to be a Cat Adoption Counselor - PAWS will train you and work out a schedule that fits your needs. We need caring volunteers that really want to make a difference.
Volunteers play an essential role in ensuring that we have the necessary funds to remain in operation. Fundraising events are held off-site on a regular basis. Fundraising efforts are organized by staff and volunteers. This is a great method for Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops!
Volunteers may assist with photocopying materials, data entry, filing, distribution of phone messages; follow up phone calls, as well as front desk receptionist duties.
Foster Cats or kittens
The PAWS foster program allows volunteers to temporarily care for PAWS cats and/or kittens in their homes until they are ready for permanent placement. There are four areas of foster care: 1. infant kittens who may need bottle feeding, 2. Self-sufficient underage kittens, 3. Nursing mother and litter, 3. Cats in need of lengthy treatment and/or recovery.
Junior Volunteer Program
Under 18 but still want to help? There a lot of ways you can! From donation drives to building beds to educating others, you are an important part of our community of volunteers. Download our Jr. Volunteer brochure here to see all the ways you can help! Also check out our Reading to Rescues if you are in 1st through 5th grade.
Reading to Rescues
The Reading to Rescues program can help children improve their reading skills while also helping our dogs and cats at the shelter. Reading to our shelter pets will offer a non-judgmental environment to children who may be often intimidated to read aloud in their classes. We will provide a relaxed atmosphere which will allow children to practice their reading skills while offering a calm and soothing presence to our shelter animals. For more information or to reserve a spot, please contact Lisa DiDonato.
WHO CAN JOIN: Children in grades 1st-5th with parental permission.
WHEN: 45 minute sessions will be held once per month from 4:00 - 4:45 pm during the week. Scheduled day may change per month.
WHERE: Reading will take place at PAWS in one of our dog or cat rooms with a PAWS staff member present at all times.
Misc Services to help Paws animals:
We are in need of the following services from our community:
PHOTO COPYING and PHOTO PRINTING: Do you work in an office that might allow you to use their copier? We put together adoption folders for people who adopt pets from PAWS as well as photos for our "Sponsor A Pet" program, make bulletin boards &and photo albums to bring to stores & event so people can see all our great pets.
CANISTER PLACEMENT: Some local businesses have been kind enough to allow us to place a canister at their register counter. These small, well-made canisters are for collecting donations from customers. The canister is just placed on the counter and people can make donations if they wish. We are not asking anyone to push our cause or solicit donations. If you work at (or perhaps own) a store that has would be willing to "host" a canister, please let us know. A PAWS volunteer will bring the canister to you & will be responsible for checking it on a regular basis. We have found that high traffic stores that do a lot of cash business are the most successful. Stores like the deli, ice cream stores, bagel/coffee shops and of course, places that sell pet supplies have the most luck. A well-placed canister can make almost $1000 per year!
GROOMING: Some of our pets coming in to us heavily matted or have overgrown coats. Are you a groomer? Can you donate your time and grooming facility to help us make our pets look their best? Pets that are clean and well groomed make a much better impression. The PAWS volunteers can bathe the pets without any problem, but we are not real handy when it comes to professional "cuts" and the pets can end up looking like they're having a REAL bad hair day!
SELLING PAWS MERCHANDISE: Do you work at (or perhaps own) a store that would be willing to sell PAWS merchandise? We have a small selection of items that include t-shirts, sweatshirts and magnets. We are always looking for additional outlets in which to sell these items.
PRINTING SERVICES: We print and mail out our newsletter twice a year. It would save us several thousand dollars a year if a local printer would be willing to handle the printing for free.