Changes to PAWS services in light of COVID-19: We continue rescuing animals! Adoptions and foster by appointment only; clinic appointments available for sick pets; walk-in vaccine clinics and spay/neuter suspended. Also, the Emergency Fund for PAWS has been launched to 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 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)
– 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 love seeing the animals go home with their new families, especially the ones who have been in the shelter for a while, and I’ve also gotten to meet a lot of great people.”

– Laura K., adoption volunteer and mentor

More Spotlights

“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

More Spotlights

“I’ve met some really incredible people – I feel like I’m part of a community with many other fantastic volunteers!”

– Ryan W., 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., animal care volunteer

More Spotlights

Become a PAWS Volunteer

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

Learn More