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Volunteer & Change an Animal’s Life

When you volunteer with Shelter Friends, you are saving lives, helping shelter animals transition to their forever homes, and impacting the local community. We partner with Josephine County Shelter to ensure the pets in our community find loving and happy homes. Whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or have no experience, we’ll guide you through the process. Because there’s no experience needed other than a love for helping homeless pets.

When you’re ready to volunteer, we train you and provide you with the tools to be successful. If you don’t know how to do something — like the proper way to secure an animal for transport or how to foster — that’s no problem. If you’re ready to learn, we’re ready to teach you.

The first step is to complete our volunteer inquiry form and select the areas which interest you the most. You could help with tasks such as:

  • In-shelter care of animals
  • Dog walking (both big and small)
  • Foster care (caring for animals in your home)
  • Teaching animals basic behavioral skills
  • Assisting at Shelter Friends special events
  • Caring for animals at offsite adoption locations
  • Running with dogs who require extra exercise
  • Transporting animals to spay/neuter appointments and other shelters
  • Helping maintain our building and grounds
  • Assisting with data entry, phone calls and other administrative activities

No task is too small, because your efforts directly impact the animals. Fill out our volunteer form and let’s get started! Once we receive your inquiry our volunteer coordinator will be in touch with you.

Ways to Volunteer

At the Shelter

Want to love on and take care of a fuzzy little kitten? Walk a dog waiting for their forever home? Are you a pro at folding laundry? Or maybe you’re a data entry superstar! These volunteer opportunities — plus many more — await you at the Josephine County Animal Shelter.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the shelter. Your volunteer time helps us care for the homeless, abandoned, owner-surrender and sick animals that arrive at the shelter. Your volunteer time — whether in the office or showering the animals with love and attention — has a huge impact on the shelter, the animals, and the community.

Fostering a Dog or Cat

Our foster volunteers provide temporary care and a home for one or more shelter pets until they are ready for adoption. Often, these pets are too young to be placed in the shelter or have special needs that require a nurturing home environment.

Foster parents provide a clean, safe, and loving environment for these pets and help them prepare to find new homes. After spending time in foster care, these pets are healthier and happier, which means they are well-prepared to be adopted by a loving family.

Opening up your home and heart to a foster pet is a life-changing experience. Each foster situation is different, and we prepare our volunteers by providing you with supplies, vaccines, medicine, and training materials. While some foster pets stay in a home longer, others may require only an overnight stay. If you cannot foster, you might know someone who can. Share our information and you could help an animal find a safe and loving foster home.

Animal Transport

Many hands make light work! When we have animals coming into the shelter or need to move them elsewhere, your help makes all the difference. Caring and compassionate volunteers make the animals feel safe as we prepare them for transport. Here are just a few ways to know if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you.

  • Have time in the morning or late afternoon? You could help transport animals to their medical and spay/neuter appointments at local veterinary offices.
  • Love to drive? Help transfer some of the animals at the shelter to other shelters and humane societies throughout Oregon.

And no special license is required! Just a love of animals and the desire to help them find their forever homes.

Adoption Events

Unable to volunteer at the shelter? Our adoption events are a great way to help the animals find their forever homes.

During an adoption event, you could set up crates, walk the dogs, introduce the animals to potential adopters, and help clean up.

You could volunteer for either dog or cat adoption events and enjoy this extremely fun and rewarding atmosphere.

Adoption Folders

A lot of work goes into the daily operations of the shelter. When animals are adopted from the Josephine County Animal Shelter, we provide an adoption packet full of helpful information. As a volunteer, you will assemble these folders, put in all the required printed materials, and provide them to the shelter as needed.


Do you love brainstorming creative ideas for fundraisers? Then we’d love to have you! If you have experience fundraising for nonprofits, or volunteered with other community fundraisers, then join us. Our fundraisers are crucial to the work we do and we would welcome your help.


We love learning about our volunteers’ many skills! If you are a whiz at accounting or other office tasks, you are a perfect fit for Shelter Friends. We may have openings on the Shelter Friends Board of Directors. Whatever your skill set, we can always find a place for you.

Sign Up to Volunteer or Foster