Current Volunteer Opportunities


Interested in becoming a Cleveland APL Volunteer? We have lots of exciting and rewarding volunteer opportunities available both at our shelter in Tremont, as well as offsite locations and other special events!

Entry-Level Volunteer Assignments:

Dog Walking Volunteer
Grooming Volunteer
Cat Adoption Specialist
Offsite Adoptions Specialist
Foster Care Associate
Veterinary Support Associate
Animal Welfare Clinic (AWC) Support Technician
Animal Photographer
Development Associate
Special Event Associate–Telethon
Special Event Associate–Fur Ball

Advanced Volunteer Assignments: 

Cat Adoption Coach
Dog Walking Coach 
Dog Playgroup Supervisor
Dog Playgroup Runner
Dog Adoption Specialist
Dog Adoption Coach
Foster Care Assistant
Foster Care Coach

Entry-Level Volunteer Assignments:

Dog Walking Volunteer: Want to get some outdoor exercise while spending quality time with a canine companion? A Dog Walking Volunteer may walk, or run if you prefer, with dogs while providing socialization to help the dogs put their best “paw” forward while waiting for their new home.  We also have a play yard for some good quality playtime outdoors. Volunteers in this assignment also help with kennel enrichment and other housekeeping duties. There are three levels available to suit your goals in working with our dogs.  This position may require a regular weekly schedule, even during inclement weather, and Pet Partner teams are welcome.

Grooming Volunteer: Want to help our dogs’ look and feel great? Grooming Volunteers help to provide basic grooming such as bathing and brushing to help improve a dog’s appearance, comfort and well-being. This also helps a dog put his or her best paw forward when meeting a new potential adopter or future family member. This position may require a regular weekly schedule, and Pet Partner teams are welcome.

Cat Adoption Specialist: Want to help adopters meet their “purr-fect feline companion” at our shelter and help provide some TLC and a clean, healthy home for our cats? Cat Adoption Specialists work on the cat adoption floor to help adopters make informed decisions.  Volunteers socialize, enrich, groom, feed, water and maintain clean feline kennels at our shelter to help our cats “put their best paw forward” while waiting for their “purr-fect match”.  Other duties include becoming familiar with the adoptable animals, helping to maintain a presentable workplace, informing guests of the standard medical treatments we provide our animals, and assisting adopters with meeting animals.  This position may require a regular weekly schedule, Pet Partners welcome.

Offsite Adoptions Specialist: Want to help adopters meet their “perfect match” at different partner adoption locations and/or at community events?  Offsite Adoptions Specialists help find homes for animals at these locations and events while furthering community education and promotion of the APL.  This position requires about two events per month, primarily on the weekends, and Pet Partner teams are welcome.  This is a great position for those who need a more flexible schedule, as you can select events that fit your availability.

Foster Care Associate: Want to help provide life-saving care to animals in your home?  Foster Care Associates provide a temporary, nurturing and comfortable environment in their home for animals to mature, heal, socialize and become or remain adoptable.  Foster care arrangements may range from two days to two months depending on the animal’s needs.  Commitments are arranged with Foster Care Coordinator, and Pet Partners are welcome.  Please refer to the Foster Care page of the website for more information.

Veterinary Support Associate: Want to gain some experience or use the skills you already have in our veterinary clinic?  Vet Support Associates assist the veterinary staff to aid the animals in our care by preparing necessary equipment, supplies, and animals for surgery or treatment and perform other administrative duties.  This position may require a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 18 or older.

Animal Welfare Clinic (AWC) Support Technician: Want to gain some experience or use your skills to help support high-quality, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for other shelters/rescues and feral cats?  AWC Support Technicians assist the veterinary staff with patient check-in and/or discharge, preparing animals for spay/neuter surgery, data entry of animal medical records, patient recovery, and other clinic duties. This position may require  regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 18 or older.

Animal Photographer: Like to capture photographs of animals that express their personality?  Animal Photographers beautifully photograph shelter animals in teams for marketing and promotional purposes and for our website’s Adoptions page. Using your own digital photography equipment and software, you would take the photos and download, edit, and upload them for distribution.  This position may require a regular weekly commitment in addition to animal handling training upon acceptance by supervisor.

Development Associate: Have office skills or development experience that you would like to gain or share to help support our animals?  Development Associates provide support for the Development Department and for APL fund-raising events and activities through various administrative tasks, including opening mail, copying, preparing deposits and mailings and filing documents. This position may require a regular weekly schedule during weekday office hours, and you must be age 16 or older.

Special Event Associate – Telethon: Want to help support a FUN fund-raising event that generates much community awareness about the APL and money to help care for our animals?

The Fur-Get-Me-Not Telethon held usually in the spring is a 14.5-hour broadcast on WKYC that will showcase the diverse and meaningful work the APL does to rescue, heal, nurture, adopt and advocate for animals in need.  Dick Goddard’s APL Telethon held typically in the fall highlights stories about the many wonderful animals that are waiting for loving homes at the Cleveland APL in order to raise money to help the nearly 14,000 animals that the Cleveland APL cares for every year. The goal of the telethons is to unite the community and inspire viewers to put their compassion in action and give help, hope and a second chance to homeless animals.

Event volunteer assignments include Phone Bank, Registration/Sales, Gift Processing, Hospitality Room, Food Donation Retrieval, Shuttle Driver, Phone Bank Runner, Photographer, and Event Cleanup.  These positions require pre-event training and adherence to commitment for the event.  This is a great opportunity for those who want to be involved but cannot commit to helping on a regular weekly basis.

Special Event Associate – Fur Ball:

Want to help support a gala fund-raising event that supports our Second Chance Program and includes dinner, silent and live auctions and an appearance by a special animal guest? Our annual Fur Ball might be the right opportunity for you. There are three teams that support the Fur Ball – the Auction Procurement Team, the Auction Presentation Team and the Decorations Team.

The Auction Procurement Team works to obtain significant and unique auction items to exceed the fund-raising goal for the event’s live and silent auctions.  The main activity of this team is to procure auction items.  This includes identification of auction items and solicitation and follow up for the items.  This process will include reaching out to members of the community, including individuals, stores and shops, service organizations, corporations and other nonprofit agencies for items or services.

The Auction Presentation Team works to design and execute the overall presentation of the auction items to be displayed the night of the event.  This includes identifying the supplies needed to package items, create package tags, etc., that tie into the theme of the Fur Ball and overall decorations.  Physical packaging of the auction items takes place two weeks before the event.

The Decoration Team works to help design and make creative, unique and meaningful event decorations to support the theme of event.  Decorations include centerpieces for the grand ballroom tables, registration and throughout the venue.

Event volunteer assignments are Auction Package Transporter, Event Setup, Photographer, Animal Caretaker, Greeter, Registration, Raffle Sales, Silent Auction Table Monitor, Bid Spotter, Closing Assistant, Runner, File Clerk, Auction Package Distributor, and Event Cleanup. You may join any committee or volunteer for the event itself – it is your choice. Committee team members may attend and participate in regularly scheduled team meetings. Event volunteers must complete pre-event training and adhere to their commitment for the day or evening of the event.

Other special event opportunities may become available throughout the year as well.

Advanced Volunteer Assignments: 

Cat Adoption Coach: Do you want to help others become successful Cat Adoption Specialists?  Do you like to work with people and share your expertise to best help our friendly felines?  A Cat Adoption Coach will mentor and guide new volunteers on how best to provide excellent customer service to potential adopters on the cat adoption floor and how to care for the adoptable cats. Volunteers must have completed 12 consecutive shifts as a Cat Adoption Specialist to be considered for this advanced opportunity.  This position requires some flexibility in your availability, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Dog Walking Coach: Want to help our new volunteers become successful Dog Walking Volunteers? A Dog Walking Coach will become a trusted mentor to guide new volunteers to become confident and impactful team members through individual coaching sessions at the shelter. Previous experience of 36 hours or 12 consecutive shifts at the highest volunteer level required to be considered for this opportunity.  This position requires some flexibility in your availability, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Dog Playgroup Supervisor: Want to experience dog behavior at its best by leading dog playgroups with several dogs in the play yards?  Dog Playgroup Supervisors help dogs play from a pre-determined list of dogs with similar play styles. Dog Playgroup Supervisors are responsible for overseeing the introduction and correction of dogs in the playgroup.  Volunteers in this assignment must be highest level Dog Walking Volunteer.  This position requires availability when playgroups are held, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Dog Playgroup Runner: Want to assist the Dog Playgroup Supervisor with introducing new dogs into a playgroup?  Dog Playgroup Runners assist the Dog Playgroup Supervisor by locating each dog in the shelter to bring him or her to the play yards for introduction into the playgroup while helping as directed by the Supervisor. Volunteers in this assignment must be highest level Dog Walking Volunteer.  This position requires availability when playgroups are held, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Dog Adoption Specialist: Want to help adopters meet their “perfect canine companion” at our shelter?  Dog Adoption Specialists work on the dog adoption floor with animals and clients to help potential adopters make informed decisions while assisting them with meeting animals and helping to maintain a presentable shelter environment.  This position requires previous experience as a Dog Walking Volunteer.  This position may require a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Dog Adoption Coach: Do you want to help others become successful Dog Adoption Specialists?  Do you like to work with people and share your expertise to best help our dogs find their new families and homes? A Dog Adoption Coach will mentor and guide new volunteers on how best to provide excellent customer service to potential adopters on the dog adoption floor. Volunteers must have completed 12 consecutive shifts as a Dog Adoption Specialist to be considered for this advanced opportunity.  This position requires some flexibility with your availability, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Foster Care Assistant: Do you want to help place our animals in foster care? Do you like to work with animals and people in addition to computers and a variety of communication tools? Do you believe that you would like to work at the shelter helping to conduct health checks and administer vaccines for animals? A Foster Care Assistant assists the Foster Care Coordinator with a variety of duties to ensure that the department runs well especially in times of necessary or additional coverage. This position may require a regular weekly schedule along with some flexibility to help in times of need. You must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.

Foster Care Coach: Do you have knowledge and experience to offer to our new Foster Care Volunteers? Would like to share your best practices at home with animals and answer general questions? A Foster Care Coach will help our new Foster Care Volunteers be successful. They help take the worry away from fostering an animal. They are a valuable resource for our volunteers and a helpful addition to our staff team. This position requires previous Foster Care Volunteer experience and a strong desire to help other volunteers. This position may require some flexibility in your schedule, and you must be age 18 or older to be considered for this position.