We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers. Providing love, care and attention to the more than 11,000 animals the shelter takes in each year is no small feat! We need the support of hundreds of volunteers to ensure our cats, dogs and other animals get daily exercise and enrichment and are matched up with loving, forever families. Join our lifesaving volunteer team in America’s largest No Kill city and make a difference for homeless pets!

Whether you’re a group looking for a one-time opportunity, a youth group needing service hours, or an individual who wants to commit to regular volunteering, we have a place for you here at Austin Animal Center.

Requirements to Volunteer

  • Complete a criminal background check as part of initial orientation.
  • Commit to volunteering six hours per month.
  • Have regular access to e-mail.
  • Agree to rules and guidelines outlined in the Volunteer Guide
  • 13 and 14-year-olds may volunteer with an adult who is also a volunteer.
  • 15 and 16-year-olds must have an adult attend orientation with them but can volunteer independently.

Volunteer Jobs

Here are just some of the positions you’ll be able to choose from:

  • Dog Adoption Ambassadors: Help adopters find the right dog for their family. Many visitors walk away without adopting simply because the AAC facility is so large and can be overwhelming. This position’s primary functions are to help people visit with pets including assistance getting dogs out of kennels for visitors, answering questions about each animal and providing education and resources. 
  • Cat Enrichment & Adoption Volunteer: Cat whisperers, we need you! AAC can be a scary place for cats, with lots of noise and activity. Cat enrichment volunteers spend time giving extra love and attention to fearful felines, ensuring they are in clean and comfortable kennels. They also make sure rambunctious kittens get much-needed exercise and toys. Providing friendly customer service while assisting visitors in their search for their new family cat is also an integral part of the Cat Volunteer job. 
  • Dog Enrichment Volunteer: If you’ve visited AAC, you know there are lots of dogs! Our dog enrichment volunteers make sure all our dogs get the exercise and attention they need to stay happy and healthy while they wait for their homes. Many of our medium and large dogs wait months to find their new families, so dog enrichment volunteers play a lifesaving role. Volunteers can work with dogs both on and offsite and many of our volunteers foster their favorite dogs. Have a training or behavior background? You can help teach our dogs basic obedience skills through positive reinforcement training! 
  • Greeters: Possibly the most important volunteer role in the entire shelter, the greeter is the first person our visitors see when they walk through the door. This position answers questions, guides potential adopters to the appropriate areas and serves as a point of contact for visitors. Studies have shown that how people are greeted has a huge impact on whether or not they adopt a pet, so this role is perfect for outgoing, social people. 
  • Cat and Kitten Medical Assistant: Help care for felines with ringworm, upper respiratory illness and other common medical conditions.
  • Outreach Volunteer: Represent AAC at community events, schools, libraries and community centers.

Apply to Become an Individual Volunteer!

For group volunteers or community service requests, please fill out the forms below.

Questions or having issues registering to become an individual volunteer? Please contact us and we’ll help you through the process!

Additional Opportunities

picture of volunteers at the austin animal centers

Group Volunteer Opportunities

AAC has one time volunteer opportunities for community, school, church and other groups. Volunteer groups help with a variety of jobs including small animal care and enrichment, dog walking, cat socialization and cleaning and organizing.

To do a group volunteer project, complete and submit this form at least three weeks in advance of the date you hope to volunteer.

Group Volunteer Online Form

For corporate volunteer groups, there is a suggested donation:

  • Groups of 1 to 15: $500
  • Groups of 16 to 30:  $1,000

These donations are used to support programs that keep Austin America's largest No Kill city.

Court-Ordered Community Service

The Austin Animal Center supports the Community Service Restitution (CSR) program for the City of Austin Municipal Court through our volunteer program. This invaluable partnership helps in areas of the shelter where staff and volunteers need extra assistance. CSR volunteers will rarely work directly with the animals, but will support the shelter and the animals in our care by doing laundry, dishes, enrichment activities, sanitizing cages and other duties as they are needed. Physical requirements of assigned tasks involve bending, lifting, walking, carrying and using a force equal to 50 pounds with or without accommodation.

The CSR program is available for participation Sunday-Saturday between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm, scheduled ahead of time. Participants must be at least 17 years old and will review and sign Austin Animal Center paperwork at their first shift. A photo ID will be required at each shift and training will be provided with each task.

To get scheduled, please apply here.

All applicants are screened to determine eligibility. If you have questions please call us at 512-978-0533 or send an email.

Community Cats

If you wish to only participate in our Community Cats Program as a trapper volunteer, please email communitycats@austintexas.gov.

For Current Volunteers:

VicNet Account Login

Volunteer Guide

<p>A few words about volunteering...

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