PAWS services during COVID-19: Clinic visits for sick pets, vaccinations, and spay/neuter available by appointment (curbside service). Walk-in clinics remain suspended. We continue to rescue animals! Adoptions and foster by appointment only. Donations to the Emergency Fund for PAWS help ensure we can keep doing our lifesaving work despite the current crisis.
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Save lives in your spare time

Become a PAWS volunteer and help us save Philadelphia’s homeless pets! Whether you help at adoption events, care for animals, help keep the shelter clean, or provide office support, your time and compassion will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the animals who depend on us. It’s rewarding and fun; we hope you’ll join our dedicated and committed family of animal lovers!

Ways to Help:

Cat Care

PAWS volunteers care for shelter cats by providing socialization, feeding, cleaning litter, and more. Providing them with simple comforts like keeping their living spaces clean helps them stay content while they wait for adoption.

Dog Care

Walk dogs, help them practice their manners and good behavior, provide enrichment activities like group walks and yard play. You’ll keep them happy and healthy in the shelter, and also set them up for success in new homes!

Adoption Events

Represent PAWS at off-site public adoption events, introduce animals to potential adopters, raise funds for our lifesaving efforts, and spread the word about what we do! We hold hundreds of adoption and fundraising events throughout the year in various locations in the city and beyond. These incredibly important opportunities depend on positive, outgoing volunteers to make them happen.

Behind the Scenes

Assist with facility upkeep, application processing, and more. By supporting PAWS’ staff, you’ll enable us to accomplish more and save lives faster.

Have a special skill or talent to share? There are endless ways to help the animals: please contact us to see how you can get involved!

There are opportunities at every PAWS location:

Old City Adoption Center

100 N. 2nd Street (at Arch)
Our Adoption Center typically houses 2 dogs and 30+ cats for adoption and is open 7 days a week. Our greatest needs are for our opening (9-11 a.m.) and closing (5-7 p.m.) shifts for both dog and cat care.

*Currently closed due to COVID-19*

Grays Ferry Clinic

2900 Grays Ferry Avenue
More than just a Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic, it also serves as our shelter and houses about 15 rescued dogs and 80 cats. Volunteers are needed 7 days a week to help with cat and dog care, cleaning, and administrative tasks.

Northeast Adoption Center

1810 Grant Avenue
Our Northeast Adoption Center typically houses 2-4 dogs and 30+ cats for adoption and is open 7 days a week. Our greatest needs are for our opening (9-11 a.m.) and closing (5-7 p.m.) shifts for both dog and cat care.

*Currently closed due to COVID-19*

Petsmart Cat Habitat

Broad Street and Washington Avenue, Philadelphia
We feature adoptable cats in-store, where volunteers provide daily care and assist adopters. Volunteers are needed Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Volunteer Spotlights

“After adopting, I became more acutely aware of animal welfare issues and wanted to get more involved. I decided I wanted to eventually make a career change and started volunteering as a way to gain some experience.”

– Jenn M., cat care volunteer

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“I loved how welcoming everyone was and how well cared for the animals were. The staff is absolutely amazing in supporting me and I have made so many new friends.”

-Katrin F., foster and cat care volunteer

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“Volunteering brought light back to my life, brought me joy and happiness… I feel so good volunteering and being at PAWS that sometimes I don’t even want to go home. I always find something to do or some kitties and dogs to cuddle just to stay a little bit more.”

-Vanessa S., animal care volunteer

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“A few months before I retired, I decided that I wanted to volunteer with animals and found PAWS. I know that my shift won’t be just petting animals for a few hours. Sometimes you have to get down on your knees and scrub cages, but it is a labor of love. I don’t even consider it to be work – I really enjoy it.”

– Jerry R., animal care volunteer

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“[During the COVID-19 pandemic], I miss PAWS gatherings, seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. Also, the events, even the ones raising $1.”

– Sergio F., PAWS volunteer


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“To play a part in a PAWS pup finding their person fills me with joy. I love having a Monday morning shift because it sets a tone of gratitude for the rest of my week.”

– Heather S., dog care volunteer

More Volunteer Spotlights

Become a PAWS Volunteer

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