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Volunteer

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 at the shelter, help keep the shelter clean and comfortable, transport them to adoption locations, or provide office support, your time and compassion will make a tremendous difference in the lives of the animals who depend on us.

Whether you can volunteer a few times a month, a few times a week, or occasionally as your schedule permits, your help will be greatly appreciated. Volunteering with PAWS is rewarding and fun; we hope you’ll join our dedicated and committed family of animal lovers!

Current volunteers: Log in here.

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, spread the word about what we do, and get new supporters involved! 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. Most events are held on weekends, and April-November are our busiest months.

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.

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.

Petsmart Cat Habitat


Two locations:
– South Philly (2360 Oregon Avenue)
– New! Broad Street and Washington Avenue
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


“I like to think of it as getting the cats ready for showtime. It’s our job to make them and their space look ready and inviting to possible adopters. It’s nice to think you’re helping save kitty-lives so they can go on to enrich some human ones. I came for the cats, I’ve stayed for the staff and other volunteers (and more cats).”

-Jesse B., adoption center volunteer

More Spotlights


“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., adoption center volunteer

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“Helping to make adoption connections is such an incredible feeling. Seeing a long-term resident finally find their forever home always brings me to tears.

One of the greatest gifts that PAWS has given me is the opportunity to meet some of the most incredibly wonderful people. I am so blessed and grateful for the friendships I have made through volunteering.”

– Lori T., adoption event volunteer

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“​My favorite thing is helping people find their cat soulmate. ​​Everyone is looking for something a little different, so when you find that perfect match, it’s magical!​ It’s so great that PAWS takes the time to educate adopters on the importance of cat basics to set them up for success–it also lets me gush about cats to people, which is part of the fun!​

I also love the staff and other volunteers at PAWS. It’s such a supportive group of people all committed to the same thing. I always come home in a good mood after a PAWS shift because it’s such a special place.​”

– Miriam S., volunteer adoptions assistant

More Spotlights

Become a PAWS Volunteer

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Internships


Interested in an internship at PAWS? Help save lives while gaining valuable experience in the animal welfare field.

Learn More