About Volunteering

About Volunteering

Become a Volunteer for LA Animal Services
Thank you for your interest in our 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, marketing, and some office tasks.

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

Steps to Become a Volunteer
Apply Online Today!
  1. Applications available online.

Online Volunteer Application (Adults)

Online Volunteer Application (Minors)

  1. Once your application has been submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation email from our processing center.
  2. Within 1 week you will receive an email with instructions on where and when you can attend an introductory tour to get started at the animal service center of your choice.
  3. From this point forward your volunteer liaison will handle all of your training needs.

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 213-395-1163.

More Information About Volunteering

Volunteers make a big difference for the animals who stay with us. Staff usually have their hands full attending to the basic care of the many animals in residence, and so volunteers are the ones who get to give the animals extra attention. Volunteers walk the dogs, play with the cats, cuddle the bunnies, and generally help the animals know, in the midst of what can be a confusing and scary experience, that humans can be nice and caring.

  • Like to move?

    • Walk dogs, bathe dogs, clean their kennels, help with multi-dog playgroups. 

  • Like to comfort?

    • Pet and comfort dogs, cats, and rabbits. Put bedding into kennels and cages. 

  • Like to read?

    • Reading to animals, especially shy or scared animals, is very comforting. And as a bonus, you get your homework done for school!

  • Like computers?

    • Every Service Center has a social media presence that is run by volunteers and tech-savvy help is always appreciated to keep pages updated. 

  • Like to create?

    • Photograph animals, write about them, and share online!

  • Like people?

    • One of the most important tasks volunteers help with is introducing adoptable animals to the public. You’ll give the potential adopter a chance to spend time with the animal and learn more about the animal’s personality. You’ll also share tips you’ve learned about how to be a good pet parent. You’ll help people make good decisions about adopting. Another people-person job is greeting visitors in the lobby and directing them where to go.

We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum of six hours a month for six months. Any volunteer who has been inactive for six months will be required to go through the orientation and training process again. We currently accept volunteers aged 12 and older.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for volunteering at our city facilities. 

Time Commitment
We ask a minimum of six hours of service a month for six months. Any volunteer who has been inactive for six months will be required to go through the orientation and training process again.

We currently accept volunteers aged 12 and older. If you are 12, 13, 14, or 15, you need to find an adult sponsor volunteer and the two of you will volunteer at all times together as a team. This adult sponsor does not need to be a parent or guardian, but they need to be approved by your parent or guardian and all three of you are required to attend orientation together. If you are 16-17, a parent or legal guardian must attend the orientation with you and then you can volunteer independently. (Due to limited seating, only one parent/guardian will be allowed. No siblings please).

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. Please note, seating and parking are limited. We recommend arriving early. Orientation starts promptly at the posted time, and no one will be admitted after the orientation has begun.

  • For orientation dates, times and locations please see our Upcoming Volunteer Orientation Schedule when it becomes available or visit our volunteer Facebook page.
  • Photo ID: You will need to present a photo ID at orientation (driver’s license, identification card, passport or student ID card)
  • A completed application. Please apply online (Adult Volunteer ApplicationMinor Volunteer Application).
  • If you are a student seeking community service hours, please note that we require a minimum commitment of 30 hours of volunteer service, aside from training, before we will sign off on your hours.

Is your club or business looking for a chance to give back? We can tailor an experience just for you, to complete a group project and spend a little time with our animals. To make arrangements, please send an email to ani.volunteers@lacity.org or call (213) 712-4096.

Student Service Hours
Need hours for school? Check out the ‘How to Get Started” tab, because you’ll need to go through the regular volunteer orientation process. Your Liaison will sign off on your community service hours once you complete them. We ask for a minimum of thirty hours of service, after training is complete.

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. There are other ways to help!

  • Foster a dog or cat. Don’t have time to come in, but have some space in your home and heart? Consider fostering! A little time in a home is a great break from shelter stress, and some fosters get adopted when friends and family see how great they are. If your friends and neighbors somehow resist adopting your foster, don’t worry – the animal will return to us with lot of information about how they behave in a home, and that makes them more adoptable. Print and bring your completed Foster Application and photo ID to your nearest LA City Animal Services Center.
  • Make a donation. The Department of Animal Services has three funds that accept individual gifts, donations, and bequests: Animal Welfare Trust Fund, Spay/Neuter Trust Fund, and The Star Program.
  • Donate items directly to our Centers. We are always in need of donations and we are so grateful for the support of our LA community.
  • Spread the word! Be a part of our Share Squad and help DOUBLE the number of people in LA who can find out more about our adoptable pets, take action, and become heroes to LA’s animals. You can also follow us, subscribe, and like both our and our volunteer-run social media feeds.
Thank You To Our Volunteers
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Our Volunteers Make A Difference
LA Animal Services Volunteer Spotlight: Rita Earl Blackwell (Part 1)

LA Animal Services would like to recognize the incredible work of one our volunteers: Rita Earl Blackwell.

LA Animal Services Volunteer Spotlight: Rita Earl Blackwell (Part 2)

A continued Thank You to on of LA Animal Services dedicated volunteers.

Thank you to our lifesaving partners who help us care for #LACityPets