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 May 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!

Foster Volunteers are Lifesavers
Have you longed to raise puppies or kittens? Would you like to help animals and raise a litter at the same time?

Each year, kittens and puppies are born with no one to take care of them. Most humane organizations cannot take care of underage puppies and kittens because they do not have the personnel to provide the special attention for these little ones. They need people who are willing to raise the puppies and kittens until they are 8 to 10 weeks old when they can be returned to the shelter to be spayed or neutered and placed in permanent homes.

At LA Animal Services, our ability to take in these abandoned animals is directly dependent on the number of reliable foster volunteers we have waiting to take these babies home to raise. We believe foster homes are the future of lifesaving. The more foster volunteers we have, the more lives we can save.

Our foster volunteers are a rugged group of very caring people who do everything from bottle feeding orphaned babies around the clock, to socializing little ones to ensure that they look forward to human and animal interaction. The foster volunteers provide care, safety and love.

If you have the time and can allocate some space in your home for puppies or kittens, fill out your application and bring it to your closest shelter. It will be a labor of love that will leave you with great memories to cherish long after your foster animals have been placed into permanent loving homes.

LA Animal Services will offer you as much training as you need. Help from our staff is just a phone call away. Each of our fosters parents are given training which may be quite short if you’re wanting to foster an adult dog who desperately needs to get out of the busy, noisy and many times frightening shelter environment, or longer if you need to be trained in Baby Bottle Feeding of kittens or puppies.

Not only does our foster program maximize the number of animals rescued and saved, it allows LA Animal Services to care for animals who would be difficult to care for in our shelter environment-orphaned or shy kittens or dogs needing one-on-one behavior rehabilitation. For animals who may need a break from the sometimes crazy shelter environment, foster care provides a comfortable home setting that keeps these foster companions happy and healthy. And now YOU have the opportunity to involve yourself in this lifesaving mission.

Foster care volunteers provide temporary care for kittens, puppies, dogs and cats. Some animals may only need a home for several days or weeks, while others may need several months of care. By offering your home to an animal in need, you prepare an animal for adoption into a permanent home as well as DIRECTLY SAVING LIVES by fostering animals from our overcrowded shelters. LA Animal Services is always looking for foster families to help save more animal lives.

Foster parenting can be more flexible than other volunteer jobs that require people to show up for a specific shift during limited times of the day and for a committed length of time. LA Animal Services Foster program is flexible, fun and rewarding once you’re learned how to take care of your temporary companion animals!

For example, you might be a family that is available to foster a litter of kittens for two weeks; GREAT! LA Animal Services will give you some six-week-old kittens so in two weeks they can be put up for adoption at one of our shelters! Or, we can give you a litter of four-week-old kittens who you can place in another foster home after two weeks.

Reserve Animal Control Officer
RACO Information Flyer

Are 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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