Australian shepherd dog gives woman a paw.

P.A.W.S. Volunteer Program

AWA is grateful to have partnered with community and service-based organizations to provide valuable life and job skills to teens and adults with developmental disabilities.

What is the P.A.W.S. Program?

P.A.W.S. stands for People Achieving With Support, and that is exactly what AWA hopes to achieve with the P.A.W.S. Program. P.A.W.S. volunteers are teens and adults with developmental disabilities who are earning service hours while gaining job and life skills


At this time, AWA is at capacity with our P.A.W.S. groups. Thank you for your interest in the program and please check back to see when openings are available. If you have any questions, click below to reach our Volunteer Coordinator.

The Importance of the P.A.W.S. Program

AWA wanted to create a mutually beneficial relationship with service-based organizations in our community, including Yale School, Bancroft of Burlington County, Kingsway Learning Center, Division of Children and Families School and more. Our goal is to provide opportunities to individuals who are developmentally disabled and continue our mission of not only caring for animals, but also benefiting people in our community.

P.A.W.S. Volunteer Opportunities

These volunteers help with a variety of tasks at both AWA’s Adoption Center and Pet Clinic! These tasks include:

  • Help maintain AWA’s Kindness Garden
  • Work in AWA’s Retail Store
  • Create dog and cat treats
Volunteer for AWA PAWS program holding up snuffle mat made for dog enrichment.

Become a Part of AWA's P.A.W.S. Program

If your school or organization is interested in becoming a part of AWA’s P.A.W.S, please contact AWA’s Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected], or by clicking the button below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does AWA provide aides or one-on-one support for individuals in the P.A.W.S. program?
At this time, AWA is unable to provide aides or one-on-one support for individuals in the P.A.W.S. Program. Individuals that volunteer through this program must be accompanied by an aide/guardian, and groups that participate through a school or organization must be accompanied by instructors and/or job coaches. In the future, AWA hopes to grow this program and have the ability to provide support for individuals that would like to be involved with the P.A.W.S. program.
Can an individual get involved with the P.A.W.S. Program without being part of an organization?

Yes! Individuals who would like to get involved with the P.A.W.S. program are welcome to do so along with a job coach and/or guardian. Both individuals must fill out the Volunteer application, which can be found here.

Will P.A.W.S. volunteers get hands on experience with the animals?
There is a multiple step training process for all volunteers to go through prior to completing hands on tasks with the animals. If an individual and a job coach goes through this training, they will be able to handle some animals at the discretion of the Adoption Center. For more specific questions, please email [email protected].
Please Note: The Adoption Center and Pet Clinic can be high-stress environments when busy and can become very loud. This may make individuals with sensory processing issues uncomfortable and overwhelmed. AWA will do our best to place every individual where they are most comfortable. Please discuss this with the volunteer coordinator prior to your first visit.
If you have questions about the P.A.W.S. Program, please contact AWA’s Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected].

Generously Supported by:

Flyer with multiple dogs and cats promoting AWA's Subaru Loves Pets Month