If you’re an animal-lover wondering where to become an animal shelter volunteer in NYC, look no further. If you’re not quite ready to adopt or foster (or still thinking about it) you can still walk a dog, meet a cat or help nonprofits in many other ways today. Check out our pet guide to NYC, and explore volunteer opportunities in all five boroughs below.
RECOMMENDED: Where to volunteer in NYC
Be an animal shelter volunteer
In addition to its Soho headquarters, this 45-year-old charity operates a mobile adoption center that travels throughout the greater New York and New Jersey area. Volunteers assist with a number of daily tasks, including feeding, handling and bathing the animals. Associate director Kendra Mara also cites cleanliness—of the pets themselves and their living quarters—as one of the shelter’s top priorities. “Be ready to roll up your sleeves and get a little messy,” she says. 251 Centre St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-274-8511, animalhavenshelter.org)
Not all of our landlords allow dogs in our pads—and a lot of us don’t have the space or time to give them the kind of home they deserve. Thankfully there’s an easy, stress-free way to spend quality time with a canine—namely, taking one out for a walk at Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition. All you have to do is show up with an ID, and you’re free to take a romp on the town with a very excited pooch—and bring it home if you fall in love. 253 Wythe Ave (718-486-7489, barcshelter.org)
At this Williamsburg shelter, volunteering can be a onetime occurrence or a regular activity; the time commitment is completely up to you. Simply drop by with a photo ID during designated volunteer hours (dog walking 9:30am–12:30pm daily, 5:30–7:30pm Mon, Tue, Thu; cat care noon–5pm Tue–Sat), fill out a form, and you’re ready to work. Dog walking is the most in-demand activity, but the group also needs help with brushing, petting and socializing with kitties in the Cat Loft. 253 Wythe Ave at North 1st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-7489, barcshelter.org)