Volunteer Opportunities: Animals

Below, I have listed links to different organizations that allow children to volunteer. Most places that take adults will also take teens, but many times they won't take younger volunteers. I have tried to find as many places as I can that let children help out in some way or another. I hope you find my links helpful. And if you know of a place not listed here yet, please let me know by going to my Submit A New Site page.


Oregon Humane Society

The Humane SocietyFor 143 years OHS has been sheltering abandoned animals, fighting cruelty and neglect, and working to build a caring, compassionate community here in Oregon.

Mission Statement: To foster an environment of respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals through education, legislation, and leadership. To care for the homeless, to defend the abused, and to fight with unrelenting diligence for recognition of the integrity of all animals.

Youth volunteers can:

• Do dog walking (including dogs that are big, bouncy and pull on a leash)
• Feed animals
• Socialize animals (petting them and spending time with them)
• Bathe and groom animals
• Do basic training (sit, down, off, etc.)
• Clean animal areas (including scooping poop and cleaning litter boxes)
• Help with other shelter cleaning (washing windows, walls, dishes, etc.)

Age Requirements to volunteer at the shelter: You must be at least 12 years old - no exceptions.

Oregon Humane Society | Youth Volunteer Page | Join the Doggie Dash Fundraising Event
Create your own online Fundraising "Tribute" Page |
My Online Fundraising Page
National Humane Society | Service Learning

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Oregon Zoo Ambassador

Oregon ZooIf you are looking for a place to volunteer for the summer, you can help the zoo by becoming a ZooAmbassador. ZooAmbassadors are volunteers who commit to one 3.5-hour shift per week during the summer at seasonal exhibits. This summer, ZooAmbassadors will work at our Dinosaurs exhibit. These larger-than-life animatronic creatures will teach zoo guests about the habitats and life of creatures of the past and relate them to animals today-to inspire our community to create a better future for wildlife.

The Zooteen Program teaches students entering 9th-12th grade to present education programs to zoo visitors. The program focuses on public interaction and conservation education. If you are interested in learning about animals and sharing that knowledge with others, this program is for you!

Age Requirements: Zoo Ambassadors are ages 10-110. Those who are 10-14 years of age must be accompanied during their shift by an adult ZooAmbassador. ZooAmbassadors who are 15 or older do not need an adult present. Zoo Teens Summer program requires that you be entering 9th-12th grade and applications must be submitted by March 1st.

Zoo Ambassador | Zoo Teen

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Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption TeamThe Cat Adoption Team (CAT) was founded in May 1998 as a safe haven for unwanted and abandoned cats and kittens. In 2004, CAT incorporated as a public charity and was approved as a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt organization. Today, CAT is the Pacific Northwest’s largest nonprofit, adoption guarantee cat shelter.

Since the shelter opened, more than 30,000 cats and kittens have found a new lease on life through our carefully supervised adoption program. Those currently awaiting adoption receive daily care from a dedicated group of staff and volunteers.

CAT works closely with animal welfare organizations, animal control agencies, veterinary offices and other shelters to care for and rehome cats or kittens who may otherwise face euthanasia. We are a founding partner of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland.

CAT volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and contribute their time, skills, and talents in areas as varied as socializing cats one-on-one to raising awareness at outreach events. They are adolescents, senior citizens, and all ages in between. They make new friends, learn new skills, and are an essential component to CAT’s ability to save lives.

Age Requirements:

  • Must be at least 12 years old to volunteer at Sherwood shelter; volunteers under 16 must volunteer alongside a parent during every shift
  • Must be at least 14 years old to volunteer at offsite adoption locations; volunteers under 18 must volunteer alongside a parent during every shift

Volunteer Requirements | Volunteer Opportunities

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Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals
And Other Animal Shelters

The Humane SocietyThe Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization, backed by 11 million Americans. They work to reduce suffering and improve the lives of all animals by advocating for better laws; investigating animal cruelty; conducting campaigns to reform industries; providing animal rescue and emergency response; and caring for animals through our sanctuaries, emergency shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and clinics.

I volunteered for the Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals (OFASA) by helping out at cat adoption events. I answered questions about the cats, kept the kitties entertained, and let the shelter staff know if the cages needed cleaning. I found out one of the things shelters need is simple pet beds or blankets to use for the foster animals. This is a very simple project that anyone of any age can do.

Age Requirement varies, but usally around 10.

OFASA | Pet Shelter Finder

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