The Seattle Animal Shelter offers a broad range of volunteer opportunities.

Volunteers help save the lives of thousands of animals each year by assisting in the direct care of animals, fundraising, reaching out to the community and fostering animals in their home.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at FAS_Volunteer@seattle.gov with any questions about the program.

Volunteer opportunities exist in the following areas:

The Seattle Animal Shelter strives to have an enjoyable, innovative, and organized volunteer program that benefits the animals and animal-lovers of Seattle. Volunteers work 365 days a year and we are grateful for their dedication. To volunteer at the shelter, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Commit to a weekly, scheduled two-hour shift for six consecutive months of service.
  • Be able to squat, bend, twist, lift and stand for long periods.
  • Attend required training classes. 
  • Be able to work independently without direct supervision.
  • Have previous experience handling large dogs if applying for a dog handling program (like Dog Walking, Get Fit with Fido).

We receive a high volume of applications and have limited openings. You are more likely to get a volunteer shift if you have experience with those animals and have weekday availabillity.

Volunteer application

Complete our online volunteer profile.

Below is our onboarding and training process for all onsite dog, cat, critter, and support programs:

  1. Complete the online volunteer application. Please only apply if you are able to complete a six-month commitment of weekly 2-hour shifts.
  2. You will receive a link for the SAS Volunteer Orientation. Read it and complete the quiz that is linked at the end.
  3. After receiving your completed orientation quiz, we will review it and your application. If your application and availability match the shelter's needs, you will be invited by email to train for a volunteer position. We receive a high volume of applications, so please allow a few weeks to receive this email.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us!

Thank you for considering opening your heart and home to one of our Seattle Animal Shelter pets. Your generosity will provide an animal the chance to grow or heal before finding their forever home. Through our foster program, thousands of animals have had a second chance at an amazing life, and the foster program is a critical part of our ability to adopt out as many as 3,000 animals annually. Fostering is an immensely rewarding experience you'll never forget, and it changes animals' lives in a very direct way.

Foster volunteers should have some experience with the type of animal being fostered. Our greatest need is for volunteers who have experience with behavioral training and/or medical support of animals. 

Foster care volunteer application

Complete our online volunteer profile. Make sure to select the foster care program you are interested in as your program preference (cats, dogs or critters).