Volunteers in orange shirts taking picture at AWA Paws & Feet 2023.

Volunteer With Animals at AWA

Volunteering at the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees gives you the opportunity to make a noticeable impact on the lives on homeless animals in South Jersey and beyond. 

It’s people like you dedicating their time, talents and energy that ensures AWA is able to continue our mission.

Learn more about the ways you can volunteer with us below.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Our volunteers help in three main program areas of the organization: on-site in our pet shelter and clinic, within our community through outreach programs and special events, and by becoming a foster parent.

Female volunteer holding yellow dog at Animal Welfare Association.

Adoption Center

Volunteers assist in both animal handling and clerical roles, including

  • Dog walking
  • Cat socialization
  • Small animal socialization
  • making enrichment toys
  • Animal care assistance
  • Welcome desk greeter
  • and more!
Three volunteers and employee outside for Animal Welfare Association outreach event at Deterding's grocery store.

Community Outreach

Volunteers assist both prepping and executing our community events, including:

2 volunteers standing at table at AWA Paws & Feet 2022.

Special Events

These events are often planned on weekends. Volunteers will assist in various aspects of AWA’s large events, including:

  • Paws and Feet
  • Barking Lot
  • Super 50/50 Raffle
  • Putt for Pets
  • Trunk or Treat

How to Become an AWA Volunteer

Signing up to become a volunteer is easy! Simply submit the form below and our Volunteer Coordinator will reach out with instructions and an application.

After submitting a Volunteer Application, AWA will contact you with an orientation date and time. After this orientation you will be able to sign up for any necessary training sessions if you will be handling animals.

Who Can Volunteer?

AWA accepts volunteers ages 16+ with all levels of abilities and experience. With so many opportunities to give back, there’s something for almost every animal lover to join our mission. 

Have a young one who wants to tag along? Our Jr. Volunteer program welcomes ages 12-15 to volunteer.

You can review the essential capabilities required of Animal Welfare Association volunteers for animal handling and non-animal handling tasks. If you do not meet these, but are still interested in volunteering, please contact [email protected].

PLEASE NOTE: All volunteers who have been inactive for more than 1 year must complete a new application and attend a Volunteer Orientation in order to resume volunteering.

** Court Ordered Community Service Volunteers will now be tracked through the volunteer program, with the exception of the foster program.

Never Too Young to Help Animals!

Your little animal lover (5+) can't volunteer just yet, but they can help enrich the animals by reading to them through our Tales with Tails Program!

Apply to Volunteer

Fill out the form below with your information and our Volunteer Coordinator will reach out to you with the next steps. Please note that this is NOT the official application, and you will be guided to complete one before attending orientation.

After completing this form, our Volunteer Coordinator will reach out to discuss how you can help us saves lives at AWA!


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About You

Your Name(Required)
Note: Volunteers ages 12-15 MUST be accompanied by a parent/ guardian at all times. Both must complete applications and orientation.

How Can We Reach You?

We would love to chat with you. How can we get in touch?
Your Email Address(Required)


Simply complete a volunteer application! After you submit your application, our volunteer coordinator will be in contact with you within two weeks to schedule orientation. They will provide you with the necessary information about attending our volunteer orientation.

For children 12 to 15 years of age, an application must be submitted for both the child and parent/legal guardian and they will both need to complete orientation. After orientation, the parent must be with the child at ALL TIMES while volunteering at AWA.

If you are 16 or 17, you may complete and submit an application, and you will be given a release form that must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.  If you are interested in learning information about HIGH SCHOOL SERVICE WEEK, please click here.

After our volunteer coordinator receives your application, you will be invited to attend an orientation. When you are contacted, you will receive more information about specific dates.

Following Orientation, you can begin to volunteer as a Daily Operations Volunteer or you can decide to attend additional training to handle our animals.  Daily Operations Volunteers assist with tasks such as laundry, filing and office work, landscaping and trail maintenance and attending outreach events.  There is no animal handling involved for these volunteers.  If interested in handling our animals, you will learn about the training necessary for that during Volunteer Orientation.

There is truly something for everyone who wants to volunteer at AWA! Volunteers are always needed for our education, outreach and events, as well as administrative help. There are also opportunities caring for our animals and becoming involved in our foster program.

If you are not interested in handling our animals, you can give as much time as you are able. We rely on volunteer support so we appreciate the volunteer service you can provide!

If you do not volunteer within 90 days of orientation or are inactive for 1 year, you will no longer be in our volunteer database. If this happens, you will have to re-submit the application, attend orientation, and begin training.

Depending on what volunteer work you would like to be involved in, you will need to complete different levels of training. AWA asks all volunteers to help in different areas when help is needed.

AWA is proud to allow children as young as 12 to volunteer, but children ages 12 to 15 must volunteer WITH A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN. Ages 16 and 17 may volunteer with written parental consent.

Children ages 5+ can apply for the Tales with Tails reading program where young volunteers can read to dogs and cats outside of their kennel as a way to de-stress and engage the shelter pet.

Yes. For the safety of our volunteers, staff and animals, there are some restrictions. For example, junior volunteers (12 to 15) will not be allowed to walk dogs – a parent or legal guardian will have to hold the leash. More rules will be covered in the volunteer handbook.

All information about High School Service Week can be found here. If you need further information, please contact [email protected]

* If you require a letter stating hours of service for school or other programs, please submit your request at least two weeks prior to the due date to [email protected]

* Please note we are unable to provide letters of service for volunteer hours that were performed 2 or more years prior to request.

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