Volunteer with Best Friends

Sometimes, the best gift you can give to pets in need is your time. So we’re thrilled that you’re interested in volunteering with Best Friends–New York. We rely on dedicated volunteers to help Save Them All.

New to Best Friends?

Follow these steps to create your volunteer profile, view a list of volunteer opportunities, and schedule an orientation date (if applicable):

  1. Visit volunteers.bestfriends.org.
  2. Select "Start Volunteering" and be sure to check off the path for New York. If you’re under 18, select the "New York Under 18" pathway.
  3. Follow the steps to fully activate your volunteer account (filling out a volunteer profile and signing the electronic volunteer agreements).
  4. You will receive an automated email after profile completion with details about volunteer opportunities along with sign-up instructions. Please familiarize yourself with the Best Friends Volunteer Handbook and Orientation.
  5. There are many ways you can volunteer:

There are Many Ways That You Can Volunteer:

Foster: If you love pets but can’t adopt, you can help save lives by participating in our foster program. To learn more and apply to foster a pet, click here.

Kitten nursery: The newborn kittens in our nursery rely on volunteers to provide them with around-the-clock care. Typical tasks include assisting with bottle-feeding every two hours, food preparation, socialization and more.

Transport: Liven up car rides by giving homeless pets a lift from the shelter to their new foster homes, to and from veterinary appointments, and to adoption events.

Lifesaving Center: The Best Friends Lifesaving Center in New York features cats and dogs available for adoption from our partner shelters and rescue organizations. You can help with a variety of tasks — from caring for the animals to greeting guests to cleaning.

Strut Your Mutt: Strut Your Mutt is one of our largest fundraisers for local rescue groups, shelters, spay/neuter clinics and more. We need volunteers to help not only on the day of the event, but also to set up the day before and tear down after the event ends.

Adoption promo weekends: During adoption promotions, whether they take place at the Lifesaving Center, or at a pop-up location, we're always in need of volunteers! No matter what you like to do — spend time with dogs and cats, assist with clerical tasks or welcome attendees — we’d love to put your skills to work.

Community ambassador: Community ambassadors help spread the word about Best Friends by handing out brochures and postcards and speaking with the public at New York, New Jersey and Connecticut businesses, colleges, events, restaurants and retail stores. Volunteers also find other opportunities for letting people in the community know about Best Friends and how they can help Save Them All. 

Previous Volunteer with Best Friends?

If you've volunteered with Best Friends before (at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or in one of our program cities), you probably have a volunteer profile already. All you need to do to get started is email volunteerNYC@bestfriends.org and we'll set up your account so that you can view and sign up for New York volunteer opportunities.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, and volunteers between the ages of 12 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Please note that depending on the volunteer opportunity, minimum age may vary.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact volunteerNYC@bestfriends.org. Thank you again for caring about homeless pets. Together, we can Save Them All.