Become a volunteer for LA Animal Services!

Thank you for your interest in joining our Los Angeles Animal Services Volunteer Team!
We are looking for volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of abandoned and orphaned animals in our care. We need friendly, outgoing and personable volunteers to assist the public and work with the staff in our animal shelters and at on-site and off-site adoption events.

Our dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals are in need of care, attention, walking, playing, socialization and engaging with people in order to help them find homes to go to. You may choose to work with any or all of our animal populations. Volunteers are also needed to assist with other important roles such as: adoptions, kennels, greeting customers, photography, videography, playgroups, grooming, humane education, public relations and some office tasks.

Volunteer opportunities are available during our business hours; Tuesday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Shelters are closed on Mondays and on holidays.

Volunteer Time Commitment
LA Animal Services requires a commitment of a minimum of six hours per month for six months. Once you have been approved as a volunteer and you complete the additional training sessions at the shelter, you will set a schedule with your staff supervisor. You may volunteer during the hours the shelter is open to the public. It takes about 1-3 weeks to be approved as a volunteer.

Age Restrictions
Due to insurance requirements, volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. If age 16-17, a parent or legal guardian must attend the orientation with the minor in order to complete the necessary forms requiring parent/guardian signature. (Due to limited seating, only one parent/guardian will be allowed. No siblings please).

Student Service Hours
For students completing service hours, because of the amount of training involved with becoming a volunteer, LA Animal Services cannot place volunteers who need to meet short-term (i.e., 5-29 hours) service requirements. If students complete required hours of service (30+) prior to six months, sign off on those hours will not take place until the sixth month of participation has been completed.

Volunteer Orientation
Attending a Volunteer Orientation is mandatory. At orientation you will learn about our LA Animal Services programs, about our policies and procedures, you will learn about basic animal behavior, and gain an understanding of the many ways you can make a difference and ultimately help find homes for the animals in our shelters.

For orientation dates, times and locations please see our February schedule or visit our volunteer Facebook page.

Orientation can last up to 2 ½ hours.  All attendees MUST bring: completed Volunteer Application and valid CA Drivers License or other valid picture ID. Applicants age 16-17 MUST bring completed Volunteer Application, photo ID, and attend with one (1) parent/guardian. (Parent/guardian MUST also bring valid picture ID). If you forget your ID, you will not be able to attend the orientation. Download application here: Volunteer Application. If you do not have access to a printer you can pick up an application at any of our six animal shelters or ask for one at the time of orientation.

Please note: Seating and parking are limited. First come/first served. We recommend arriving early. Orientation starts promptly at posted time. Doors will close at posted time or as soon as meeting room is at capacity. We are not able to allow anyone in after doors have closed.

You can attend orientation at any location even if you will be volunteering at a different shelter. Just make sure to mark on the front of your application which shelter you will be volunteering at.

Steps to become a volunteer:

  • Attend Volunteer Orientation
  • Submit completed Volunteer Application at the orientation
  • Pass a background screening after attending the orientation
  • Receive approval by email* (1-3 weeks after the orientation you will receive an email)
  • Complete additional training sessions at the shelter after receiving approval

*If you do not receive an approval email by three weeks after orientation, it means either your application was missing information or we could not approve you based on results of background screening.

After the third week you may call the Volunteer Office at (323) 224-2350 to inquire.

Once you receive your approval email, follow the instructions in it to schedule your one-on-one at your shelter and attend your first training session.

Volunteers may start working with animals after all of the above steps have been completed.

Join us and start making a difference! LA Animal Services recognizes the contributions made by volunteers and is committed to providing a volunteer program that offers challenging opportunities where volunteers can make a difference in the lives of the animals LA Animal Services cares for.

If you have any questions, please contact the LA Animal Services Volunteer Office at ani.volunteers@lacity.org or by calling (323) 224-2350.

Not enough time?
We appreciate that many people would like to make a difference in the lives of orphaned and abandoned animals, but may not have the time to commit to volunteering.

Other ways to help!

Reserve Animal Control Officer
RACO information flyerAre you interested in trying something different? The RACO Program welcomes volunteers to become Reserve Animal Control Officers serving in the same capacity as our Animal Control Officers.

  • The program requires a commitment of 16 hours of volunteer service each month at any one of our six Animal Shelters for 3 months prior to the first class.
  • Applicants must be a minimum of 21 years of age, a high school graduate or equivalent, and must have a current driver’s license.
  • A background check, drug and alcohol screening will be performed as a part of the process.
  • Prospective candidates should also be prepared for a physical requirement check.
  • RACOs must be able to lift at least 70 pounds and sometimes in excess of 70 pounds.

Please complete a regular City Application located at: http://per.lacity.org/application.pdf and mail it to: RACO Program, LA Animal Services, 221 N. Figueroa St., Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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