Volunteers make a difference! We rely on the hard work, love, and commitment of our volunteers.

Please read the information below to see the volunteer guidelines and how to get started! Once you have reviewed the information below, you may fill out the volunteer application.

Volunteer Age Guidelines

  1. Age 16 and older: can volunteer with no special supervision.
  2. Age 13 to 15: must volunteer with an adult that is 18 years or older. This adult must also go through the volunteer training process. 
  3. Age 12 and under – cannot volunteer at the shelter. However, there are other volunteer opportunities outside the shelter. Please see this page for more information.

Volunteer Hours

Volunteer shifts are available Monday – Saturday. Once volunteers have completed 50 hours, Sunday shifts may be available. The minimum requirement for being an active volunteer is to work 2 shifts, twice per month. Each shift is 2 hours long.

Virtual Volunteer Orientation & In-Person Training

After completing the application, you will receive an orientation video. After watching the video, you’ll sign up for our in-person group training session which will include a short quiz about the orientation video. The in-person training* will consist of some classroom time and some hands-on training with a small group and a volunteer mentor. 

You’ll learn about our animal shelter, volunteer program, and volunteer roles available. Once you’ve completed all training, you are required to sign up for two shifts with a volunteer mentor during your first two weeks. Once you complete these two shifts, you can sign up for shifts that work with your schedule and meet the minimum requirements. (*In-person training occurs once per month. If you have filled out your application, please know that it may take some time to be assigned to an in-person training session.)

Volunteer Positions

Volunteer opportunities are categorized by groups. All volunteers are expected to help with basic cleaning including laundry, dishes, and minimum of spot cleaning for animals.  

  • Beginner (entry level position)
    1. Cat Socializer
    2. Clerical Assistant
    3. Dog Walker
    4. Kennel Assistant for cats and dogs
    5. Small Animal Companion
    6. Pet Biography
    7. Photography (must have their own equipment – see more info here)
  • Moderate (requires additional training after 25 hours)
  1. Rabies Clinic Assistants 
  2. Outreach/ Special Events Mentor
  3. Co-location (Emergency) Shelter Assistant
  4. Animal Transporter (must have valid driver’s license)
  5. Animal Enrichment: grooming, prepping interactive toys, long walks, "Doggy Day Out" session
  6. Meet N Greeter/Adoption Counselor
  • Advanced (requires additional training after 50 hours)
  1. Assisting with Foster Program
  2. Assisting with Rescue/Transfer Program
  3. Dog and Cat Training 

Mentor (requires additional training after 100 hours and demonstration of shelter knowledge and leadership, appointed by Program Coordinator)

  1. Training Mentor - assist with the volunteer training of groups and individuals
  2. Volunteer Mentor - “Go To” person for new volunteers and assists with coaching of new volunteers
  3. Other advanced duties as assigned by the OCAS Program Coordinator


Please email mramirezgrimaldi@orangecountync.gov with any questions about volunteering.


Service Hours (court-ordered or student service hours)

For court or attorney-ordered community service or students needing service hours, fill out this application

If you have been ordered to complete community service by the court or your attorney, we have a separate community service hours program. Though we are not a 501(c)3, we are accepted by Orange County courts as an organization to complete community service. Community service hours are available to be completed Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm and Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm. Due to the detailed and in-depth training required to handle animals, this involves no animal handling. Duties will include laundry of soiled animal bedding (primary task), cleaning public areas and hallways (sweeping and mopping), administrative tasks (folding brochures, etc.) and other activities that do not include direct interaction with the animals. 

For students needing service hours, you may be able to earn service hours by performing the same duties as our court-ordered community service program mentioned above (depending on space and availability). 

School Groups/Clubs Interested in Volunteering

Please fill out this application.

An executive member of the club must complete the application. Once the application has been completed, the OCAS Program Coordinator will reach out to schedule trainings, schedule group volunteer days, and discuss any other information that may be needed.