Volunteer Program

Thank you for your interest in the Volunteer Program of Animal Care Centers of New York City.

Volunteers are a vital part of our organization, and play a huge role in caring for the animals In our care centers.


Our volunteers work in several areas of our operations. Primarily, they interact with our shelter pets to provide them with exercise, attention, comfort and socialization to reduce stress, improve their health, strengthen trust with humans, and increase their adoptability factor. Secondarily, they help maintain kennels, take photographs, write bios, assist in adoption counseling, attend off-site events, provide administrative assistance and join outreach programs, all with the end-objective of helping to get our animals adopted, or of preventing animals from ending up at the shelters.

Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to our program of at least six months, with a minimum of six hours in each month.


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to participate in our Volunteer Program.
  • We are not able to accept short term volunteers (anticipating less than 6 months of volunteer service) at this time.
  • We do not have volunteer programs for our Medical Department or Behavior Department.

Volunteer Opportunities

By Program

ACC currently has three volunteer programs within the organization: Companion volunteers, simply known as volunteers, Support Programs volunteers, and Fosters. If you are interested in becoming a Foster volunteer, please visit our Foster page.

The positions for Companion volunteers and Support Programs volunteers are listed below.

By Companion Animal Assignment

Companion volunteers interact with our animals at the care center or at offsite events. There are three kinds of companion programs you can train for and are assigned to: Dog Volunteers, Cat Volunteers and Rabbit Volunteers. All volunteers must start by choosing one pet as their assignment.

After fifty hours of volunteer service, you can choose to add another pet to your assignment.

By Levels

For Dog and Cat Volunteers, there are several levels according to which areas you can work in. Level 1: Adoption Rooms and Offsite Events Level 2 Holding; Level 2 Isolation; Level 2 Kitten Nursery (Cat Volunteers only). Additional training is required to qualify for each room. All applicants who successfully complete training are Level 1, and work first in the Adoption Wards. Level 2 is by invitation only. We will identify volunteers who have shown good handling skills, ability to follow instructions and consistency in service and reach out to them to train for Level 2.

Additional Assignments

At any point during your service, when you feel that you are comfortable, you can discuss with a Volunteer staff member about adding any of these assignments to your service: Adoption Facilitator, Corporate Volunteer Day Facilitator, Pet Photography, Bio Writing, Mobile Adoption Events, Outreach Programs, Community Dogs Programs, and Administration.

By Location

Volunteer Opportunities are available at the following full-service shelters:

Manhattan Animal Care Center
326 East 110th Street (between 1st and 2nd Aves.)
New York, NY 10029

Brooklyn Animal Care Center
2336 Linden Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11208

Staten Island Animal Care Center
3139 Veterans Road West
Staten Island, NY 10309

Support Programs Volunteers

These types of volunteers assist other departments, and may or may not involve interacting with animals.


We accept Groomer positions for dogs, cats and rabbits. All volunteer groomers must be experienced and licensed, and must go through the same orienting process as companion volunteers. Groomers work with the Medical Department.

Lost & Found

These volunteers help reunite pets with their owners, and work with the Lost & Found Department. This volunteer position is done remotely from home and involves utilizing social media to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

Adoption Follow Ups

These volunteers are an integral part of ensuring that adoptions are followed through accordingly. Volunteers contact adopters 48-72 hours after an adoption to see how the companion animal has acclimated to its new home. These volunteers may answer general questions related to pet care, while referring more complicated questions to the adoption supervisor for review. This volunteer opportunity is done remotely from home, and volunteers work with the Adoptions Department.

Community Dog Clinics

Volunteers in this program assist our efforts to help keep dogs with their owners through training, spay/neuter and food pantries. They also assist in developing a relationship with the community through free vaccinations and micro chipping. This program is currently running in the Bronx, and volunteers who live in the area, or find it accessible, are ideal for this position. They will be working with our Community Programs Department, and must go through the same orienting process as companion volunteers.


All Care Centers are open to volunteers from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day of the week, including holidays.

For offsite volunteers, the hours depend on the specific project.

To know if you are qualified to be a volunteer, click on Volunteer Requirements.