Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Contra Costa County Animal Services Department. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and are asked to commit to at least four hours of volunteer work each week for a minimum of 6 months. The following are descriptions of the areas where your volunteer efforts are needed the most.
Martinez Lost and Found
Lost and Found volunteers have a variety of duties. They take reports from citizens regarding lost or found pets, help people who wish to adopt a shelter animal, and help reunite owners with their lost pets. Lost and found volunteers are the first to greet the public and help citizens navigate around the shelter. Volunteers provide adoption coaching, show animals to prospective adopters, make follow-up calls to new adopters and update information from citizens looking for their pets.
The work volunteers to with our shelter dogs is important in keeping them adoptable. All positions working with dogs require specific training, physical strength, and an interest in all dog breeds. From Pomeranians to Pit Bulls, Canine Companions work with them all! They also work both outdoors in a variety of weather conditions as well as inside the kennels. Volunteers provide adoption coaching to help citizens make the right choice in adopting a dog.
Volunteers work with cats to help reduce stress levels and maintain sociability and adoptability. Feline Friends interact with cats housed in cages, as well as with cats in our community cat rooms. Time spent includes social interaction using cat toys, grooming coats and trimming nails, and providing a calming, comfortable presence for the cats. Volunteers provide adoption coaching to help citizens understand dietary needs and make the right choice in adopting a cat.
Working with rabbits helps to keep them social and stress-free while in the shelter. Volunteers provide tips on housing, diet, introduction to other pets, training, and general care of house rabbits. As with cats and dogs, all shelter rabbits are spayed or neutered before going home. Bunny Buddies help educate the public on the benefits of spaying and neutering and why choosing a rabbit as a companion is a good idea! Volunteers provide adoption coaching to help citizens make the right choice in adopting a rabbit.
Volunteers are instrumental to the success of our community outreach program! Volunteers visit classrooms to teach pet safety or help with community fairs and special events. Volunteers help organize and handle educational pets in the classroom, newsletter mailings, flyer distribution and setup/break down of educational booths. Volunteers may chaperone groups of children, give shelter tours, or transport animals. Events are usually on the weekends and require a 3-4 hour commitment. Volunteers must be multi-taskers and have fun in all types of weather conditions.
Veterinary Assist / Surgery Recovery
Veterinary school interns only may volunteer to help in our spay/neuter clinic and shelter treatment area. Duties include cleaning kennels, entering reports, and providing basic care as directed by shelter veterinarians. Volunteers must give 4 to 6 hours per week without interruption and commit to a 6-month block of time. Volunteers should have animal handling experience, work well in a fast-paced environment and be a multi-tasker. This is a great opportunity for pre-veterinary students or current veterinary assistants looking for added training and a hands-on shelter experience.
Mobile Adoption Team
Help us get the word out! Volunteers travel to local venues to showcase available dogs, cats, and rabbits for our mobile adoptions. Our Shelter Pet Adoption Days are fun and exciting events that give the public an opportunity to see the kinds of animals Animal Services cares for. Volunteers on mobile adoption teams are responsible for setting up the event, featuring animals, record keeping and cleanup. Teams rotate events every 3 months - good for people with limited time to give!
Volunteers are needed to foster sick, injured and orphaned animals until they are ready for placement or have recovered from surgeries or other medical issues. During warm months, cat, kitten and puppy foster parents are desperately needed. To ensure the health of the animals, volunteers must agree to isolate fosters from their own pets and must not be a foster to another organization. Become a foster volunteer and discover how rewarding it is to care for helpless and homeless pets.
Pinole Lost & Found
Do you live in West Contra Costa County? Our Pinole shelter needs volunteers to help match lost & found reports and help find home for animals at the Pinole shelter. Volunteers will help show cats & dogs for adoption, and therefore must be able to lift 40 lbs and be in good physical shape to handle all sizes of animals. Good organizational and people skills are also essential to this volunteer position.
Pet Store Cat Socializer
Have you seen cats available for adoption at Petsmart and Pet Food Express stores? Those are our animals! This successful remote adoption program has increased our adoption rates! Volunteers are needed to visit the stores, socialize the animals, clean the cages, and report any behavioral or medical issues to Animal Services. Volunteers must be responsible for their own transportation and be willing to commit to 2 to 3 hours each week. Possible animal transport may be necessary.
Many animals that come up for adoption could use a bath or, in some cases, a makeover! To help animals look and feel better, Volunteer groomers bathe, shave mats, and clip nails on dogs, cats, and rabbits. Volunteers should have some grooming and animal handling experience, and be able to dedicate to at least 3 hours each week for walking, grooming, cleanup, and note taking. Volunteers must be willing to work with large and small dog breeds with varying personalities.
Media & Marketing
Do you like to write? Are you a good photographer? Help us gather news and stories for our website and Facebook pages. Help us highlight adoption events and provide insight to the work Animal Services does in the community. Volunteers also create promotional flyers, posters, and advertisements for print, T.V., and online media campaigns. Help us promote Animal Services and our shelter animals!
Manager, Volunteer Program
Contra Costa County Animal Services Department