Interested in becoming a Cleveland APL Volunteer? We have lots of exciting and rewarding volunteer opportunities available both at our shelter in Tremont and at our PetSmart Charities® Everyday Adoption Center located at the PetSmart® store in Parma!
Work WITH the animals
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 a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 16 or older.
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 requires a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 16 or older.
Everyday Adoption Center Dog Adoption Specialist: Be a matchmaker for our dogs! Help our adopters meet their perfect canine companion on the dog adoption floor at the EAC by helping them to make informed decisions in addition to helping to maintain a presentable center by spot cleaning and other duties as assigned. This position requires a regular weekly schedule and you must be age 18 or older. Available: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Everyday Adoption Center Cat Adoption Specialist: Be a matchmaker for our cats while providing some tender-loving care and a clean, healthy home for them! Help our adopters meet their ‘purr-fect feline companion’ in the cat adoption room at the EAC by helping them make informed decisions in addition to socializing, enriching, grooming, feeding, watering and maintaining clean kennels at our center to help our cats ‘put their best paw forward’ while waiting for their ‘purr-fect match.’ This position requires a regular weekly schedule and and Pet Partner teams are welcome (age 14 to 17 with an adult). Available: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Everyday Adoption Center Animal Care Specialist: Come work with animals and help provide clean and comfortable spaces for our dogs and cats while they wait for the forever homes! Duties include sanitizing kennels and meet and greet rooms, providing food and water to animals at designated times, washing dishes, toys and soiled bedding, and help keep the EAC in tip-top shape. This position requires a regular weekly schedule and you must be age 18 or older. Available: Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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.
Offsite Transport Assistant: Provide assistance and support to the APL’s Adoption Program by transporting adoptable animals to Offsite Partner Locations, as well other duties associated with the offsite adoption program.
Offsite Cat Care Liaison: Want to help care for our cats but cannot travel down to our shelter? Offsite Cat Care Liaisons help to care for adoptable cats at our offsite partner locations. Volunteers help to socialize the cats, clean and maintain kennels, monitor health and behavior, educate, and build and maintain relationships with offsite store locations. This position requires a regular weekly schedule, and Pet Partners are welcome.
Dog Enrichment Volunteer: Want to get some outdoor exercise while spending quality time with a canine companion? DEVs walk, or run if you prefer, with dogs while providing socialization and basic training to help the dogs put their best “paw” forward while waiting for their new home. There are three DEV levels available to suit your goals in working with our dogs. Advancement opportunities are available. This position requires a regular weekly schedule, even during inclement weather, and Pet Partner teams are welcome.
Everyday Adoption Center Dog Enrichment Volunteer: Help to keep our dogs healthy and happy at the EAC while they wait for their forever home! Spend time with a dog in the play room of the EAC providing love, socialization, enrichment or play time, and basic training to showcase his/her best qualities in addition to helping to maintain a presentable kennel by spot cleaning or other duties as assigned. DEV’s also assist with walking dogs to the Relief Room for potty breaks. This position requires a regular weekly schedule and Pet Partner teams are welcome (age 14 to 17 with an adult). Available: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Canine Enrichment Specialist (Advanced DEV Opportunity): Want to do more for our dogs by focusing on enrichment? CES volunteers provide both behavioral and environmental enrichment to our dogs through consistent training methods, play groups, relaxation sessions, and toy rotation. These efforts help to maintain and improve the dogs’ behavior and health during their stay at the Cleveland APL, potentially making them more attractive to adopters. This advanced position requires DEV experience and a regular weekly schedule upon acceptance by supervisor, and you must be age 18 or older.
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 requires a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 18 or older.
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.
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 requires a regular weekly commitment in addition to animal handling training upon acceptance by supervisor.
Cat Captain: Want to make a significant difference in cat overpopulation? Cat Captains provide support to the Cleveland APL’s spay/neuter initiatives by working in the field as agents of the Cleveland APL’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program. In this position, you would assist clients with humanely trapping feral cats and transporting them to/from the APL for services provided through the Animal Welfare Clinic. In addition to driving requirements, this position requires a flexible schedule with the ability to handle one case per month, and you must be age 18 or older.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Support Technician: Want to support our spay/neuter initiatives? TNR Support Technicians focus on the TNR program by assisting Animal Welfare Clinic (AWC) staff with feral cat check-in and/or discharge, processing payments for services, cleaning of TNR program equipment and patient check-in areas, and other administrative duties. This position requires 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 requires a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 18 or older.
Everyday Adoption Center Transport Volunteer: Help our EAC have many animals available for adoption! Help transport animals to the EAC in Parma from our main shelter in Cleveland. This position does not require a regular schedule but flexibility to be contacted on an as needed basis. An insurable driving record and a reliable car are required in addition to being age 18 or older.
Work FOR the animals
Adoptions Specialist – Greeter: Excited to begin volunteering in animal welfare, but want to start in an entry-level position working with people? Our Adoption Specialists in the Greeter role help to form a bond with shelter visitors and give them a positive experience at the APL! Greeters perform a variety of duties, including welcoming guests to the shelter, directing potential adopters to the Adoption Floors, and providing guests with information and education about our shelter and other animal services in the city of Cleveland. This position requires a regular weekly schedule, and Pet Partner teams are welcome.
Adoptions Specialist – Front Desk: Want to help provide excellent customer service to our clients? Adoption Specialists at the Front Desk perform a variety of duties, including assisting potential adopters in finalizing their decision to adopt an animal, reviewing adoption information with clients, processing sales, answering phones, and making follow-up calls to continue our relationship with our adopters. This position requires a regular weekly schedule, and you must be age 16 or older.
Everyday Adoption Center Front Desk Adoption Specialist: Help provide excellent customer service at the EAC! Front Desk Adoption Specialists perform a variety of duties, including assisting potential adopters in finalizing their decision to adopt by providing valuable information about the animal, processing the adoption by the completion of the adoption agreement and acceptance of payment, answering phones and making follow up calls to continue our relationship with our adopters. This position requires a regular weekly schedule and you must be age 18 or older. Available: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Everyday Adoption Center APL Adoption Ambassador: Help to form a bond with EAC visitors and give them a positive experience! Greeters perform a variety of duties, including welcoming guests to the center, directing guests to the adoption areas as appropriate, providing guests with information and education about the Cleveland APL, and escorting adopters to the front counter of the store to present their PetSmart adoption contract to gain valuable PetSmart coupons and more. This position requires a regular weekly schedule and Pet Partner teams are welcome (age 14 to 17 with an adult). Available: Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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 requires a regular weekly schedule during weekday office hours, and you must be age 16 or older.
Special Event Associate – Radiothon: 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 Radiothon is an 18-hour live radio broadcast held at our shelter over two-days to raise monies for our animals. Our annual Pledge for Pets Radiothon with Q104 has a variety of volunteer assignments during the two-day event at the shelter.
Event volunteer assignments include Event Setup, Phone Bank, Greeter, Registration/Sales, Change Counting, Gift Processing, Food Room, Food Solicitation, Food 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 committees that support the Fur Ball – the Auction Procurement Committee, the Auction Presentation Committee and the Decorations Committee.
The Auction Procurement Committee 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 committee 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 Committee 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 Committee 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 Transporter, Event Setup, Photographer, Animal Caretaker, Greeter, Registration, “Key to Your Heart” Sales, Table Monitor-Silent Auction, Bid Spotter-Live Auction and Fund-A-Need, Auction Package Transporter-Silent Auction, Closing Assistant, Runner, Credit Card Processor, Calendar Sales, Auction Package Distributor, and Event Cleanup. You may join any committee or volunteer for the event itself – it’s your choice. Committee members must attend and participate in regularly scheduled 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. *Complete volunteer assignment descriptions are available at our orientation for volunteers.