With hundreds of volunteers giving thousands of hours each year, we can dedicate most of our financial resources to the care of our pets. Additionally, our volunteers provide extensive socialization, handling and training for our animals so they have the best chance for a second chance with new families.
Thank you for your interest in helping Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption (APRA). Our volunteer program is integral to the success of our mission, which is to rescue and rehabilitate dogs and cats so they can be adopted into safe and loving forever homes.
You can help APRA by volunteering in a number of ways, but please note:
- The minimum age to volunteer at APRA is 18.
- We are unable to accept volunteers who need to fulfill community service requirements.
Ways to Volunteer
Our pets need care from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. That means volunteers are needed at the shelter every day of the week during those hours. We break our day into three different periods, with most volunteers coming in for a two-hour period.
- Opening (6 a.m. – 10 a.m.) – You will wake up the dogs and let them outside to go potty, feed them, put out the dog beds, and make sure the dogs have plenty of toys. You also will help with the crucial task of keeping the animals healthy by ensuring everything remains clean. By 7 a.m., the cats are usually curled up for a long nap after a night of romping but their area needs to be swept, the litter boxes scooped, and water bowls filled with fresh water.
- Mid-day (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) – You will help supervise the dogs, take them for walks, feed them their second meal of the day, and provide lots of positive human interaction and socialization. You also will ensure the animals’ health by making sure that the shelter remains clean. Around lunchtime, the cats are usually ready for a good scratch behind their ears and some playtime.
- Closing (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) – You will help clean and disinfect the animal areas in preparation for the animals going to bed for the night. The dogs’ beds, blankets and toys are cleaned for use the next day. The dogs like to be snuggled with and walked before bedtime, so we make sure there is adequate time to take them outside. The cats are usually ready for some love and lots of playtime before lights out. Their food and water bowls are refreshed before bedtime, and their litter boxes scooped.
Please know you can help in the shelter at anytime during 6 am to 9 pm by:
- Helping keep the shelter clean
- Walking the dogs
- Playing with the dogs and cats
- Bathing and/or grooming the dogs and cats
- Providing administrative assistance
APRA’s focuses on making dogs more adoptable by teaching them to walk on a leash and obey such basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.” Most urban residents need to walk their dogs on leashes and want them to refrain from behaviors such as jumping on people or “mouthing” for attention. A dog that sits and waits to be petted is much more attractive to an adopter than a dog that jumps on them for attention. Volunteers who would like to be part of our dog-training program receive instruction from our staff or a professional dog trainer. You can make a big difference in the adoptability of our dogs through your efforts to teach them good “doggie manners.”
APRA’s foster program allows us to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home even more animals. As a foster parent, you will take one or more pets to your home and nurture them (we provide everything you will need) until they are adopted. Some people choose to foster for a week; others for longer periods – it is completely up to you. We welcome your help, even if it is for a short time. Fostering is important because it:
- Offers puppies and kittens a safe place to grow until they are available for adoption
- Gives sick or injured animals a quiet home where they can recover
- Allows our animals to gain more one-on-one attention and socialization than they would receive at our facility
- Provides important additional information about our animals to help us match them with potential adopters who will provide forever homes
For more information about fostering, Click Here.
Fundraising and Special Events
As a non-profit, APRA relies on donations to fund our rescue and rehabilitation efforts. We need volunteers to help with various fundraising activities throughout the year. Examples include helping at estate sales, assisting with our mailings, and posting flyers around town.
We also need volunteers to help at special events we hold annually, including Paws in the Park, a dog walk and pet expo at Centennial Olympic Park, as well as fundraisers throughout the year. You’ll have fun while also helping our dogs and cats find new, forever homes.
Most of our pets come from outlying shelters, so we often need help transporting them from those facilities to our shelter. Our pets also need to be transported to and from various veterinarians for treatment and/or general care. If you love the road, you can help save lives by transporting an animal on “death row” to APRA for a second chance at a wonderful life.
Professional services from veterinarians, trainers and groomers are always needed and greatly appreciated to help our dogs become adoption-ready. If you’re a pet professional and would be willing to give some of your very busy day (or evening) to a worthy cause, you’ve found the right place!
Are you ready to get started? Follow these simple steps!
Step 1. Click Volunteer Opportunities to review the duties and qualification in detail.
Step 2. Click Application Form to complete a short application and indicate your areas of interest. A $10 application fee is required which you can pay (credit card preferred) when attending the orientation session.
Step 3. Our Volunteer Coordinator will email you a personal invite to attend an orientation session which is offered twice a month. You can view the current schedule here.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.