One of the most valuable gifts a nonprofit organization can receive is the gift of time. Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter relies on 150 active volunteers to help keep the shelter running smoothly. We would not be able to accomplish all that we do without the enormous contributions made by our volunteers.

Volunteers work in the kennel, walk dogs, care for cats and kittens and help in the office.

Like most nonprofits, we need volunteers during the week more than we do on weekends.

If you prefer not to work at the shelter, we also need volunteers who can help at off-site events or foster animals in their own homes.

Our mission is to find a new home for every adoptable animal we receive while educating the public to prevent neglect and cruelty. By joining the FAAS team as a volunteer, you are helping us meet these important goals.


Volunteering Requirements


Commit to at least 8 hours a month for a period of six months. (Note: We cannot accommodate court-appointed community service hours.)

You must be at least 18. If you are younger than 18 but at least 14, you may train to become a junior volunteer. Junior volunteers are accompanied by a parent or guardian at orientations, trainings, and while volunteering. If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and successfully complete all training, you may ask the Volunteer Program Manager for permission to volunteer as an adult. We consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Take classes. All prospective volunteers who want to work with animals in the shelter must complete the following: an orientation class, Shelter Essentials Training (SET), pertinent species-specific classes, and one or more mentoring shifts. Upon completion of these steps, you may work with the Volunteer Program Manager to set up hours and begin volunteering at the shelter on your own schedule.


You can also train to be an enrichment volunteer and you can learn more about those requirements here

Step 1: Volunteer Application

Please fill out our volunteer application, available in Word, PDF or online format. (Note: If you are a junior volunteer, you and your parent or guardian must fill out separate applications.) Once the Volunteer Program Manager receives and reviews your application, there will be a short one-on-one interview call. At the end of the call, you may sign up for an orientation class.

Step 2: Orientation Class

Orientation is a 60-minute general-information class held three times a month at the shelter at 1590 Fortmann Way, Alameda, CA 94501. Space is limited to six people per orientation. (Due to COVID-19, class sizes are smaller than usual.) Mask and proof of vaccination required.

Step 3: Shelter Essentials Training

All volunteers who want to work with animals in the shelter must complete Shelter Essentials Training to become familiar with the non-animal-contact duties that are a part of the job. These tasks include washing toys and dishes; washing and folding laundry; sanitizing litter boxes and crates; restocking food, litter and other supplies; and sweeping and mopping hallways and the kitchen.

Training starts with a 60-minute introductory workshop, followed by two hours of scheduled practice. You may schedule a practice shift for any day of the week.

Final Step: Animal-Specific Classes

After you have completed Shelter Essentials Training, you may sign up for one or more animal-specific classes. It might take a few weeks for you to be scheduled for an animal class. In the meantime, you are welcome to continue helping in the shelter doing non-animal-contact volunteering.


Volunteering Opportunities



Ensure the comfort and care of dogs and puppies while they await adoption.


  • Orientation Class
  • Shelter Essentials Training (SET) Class


Required training:

  • One (1) canine care class
  • Skills level approved by the Canine Trainer or Animal Behavior Coordinator
  • Four mentoring shifts of two hours each



Ensure the comfort and care of cats and kittens while they await adoption.


  • Orientation Class
  • Shelter Essentials Training (SET) Class


Required training:

  • One cat care class
  • Skills level approved by the Feline Trainer or Animal Behavior Coordinator
  • Two mentoring shifts of two hours each



Ensure the comfort and care of rabbits and other small pets while they await adoption.


  • Orientation Class
  • Shelter Essentials Training (SET) Class


Required training:

  • One rabbit or small-pet class
  • Skills level approval by the Animal Behavior Coordinator
  • One mentoring shift of two hours


Provide temporary care for shelter animals in your own home while they await permanent new homes.


  • Must be at least 21 years of age (children may foster with their parents).
  • Must be able to verify that you can keep pets in your home

Required training:

  • Introduction to Fostering class


We need volunteers who can help transport shelter animals to local adoption events on weekends. At the event you will interact with the public and provide information about the animals and FAAS.

Required training:

  • Must complete canine, feline and rabbit care classes.


Non-Animal-Contact Volunteering Opportunities


If you would prefer not to work with animals there are plenty of other types of volunteering jobs from which to choose.


Greet and welcome the public who stop by our booth or table. Answer questions about FAAS and provide information.

Requirements: Must be willing to learn about FAAS and represent the shelter to the public.


Assist with planning and implementing FAAS's signature fundraiser, After the Ball.

Requirements: Event experience is helpful.


Assist with mailings, data entry, letter preparation, filing, and other general office work.

Requirements: Experience using mainstream Windows applications such as Word and Excel is helpful.


Provide general repair or skilled work depending on your background and training.

Copyright © 2024 Friends of The Alameda Animal Shelter.