The helping hands of an Animal Welfare League volunteer touches the lives of many individuals and animals. The diversity of jobs volunteers can do coupled with self enrichment and social rewards makes our volunteers some of the most dedicated individuals in Chicagoland.DOG_ON_FENCE

As an Animal Welfare League volunteer, you can contribute to the community and ensure the quality of life for yourself and animals in the community. You can enhance skills you already have or develop new ones; but perhaps the greatest benefit of volunteering at Animal Welfare League is knowing that you are a part of a team providing care to so many animals in need. You will soon come to realize just how valuable you are to the animals and to the Animal Welfare League team.

Rewarding Experiences

At Animal Welfare League, new volunteers receive the same type of orientation and training as new associates do. The orientation and training session will give you a thorough knowledge of Animal Welfare League services.

All volunteers must attend an orientation prior to volunteering. These orientations are generally scheduled two times a week.

Volunteers are able to volunteer their time anytime that we are open for adoption. Extended hours are only available when approved by a supervisor or the director.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are so many ways that volunteers can help our shelter animals.

Onsite – Volunteers work with animals to provide exercise and help continue and improve social skills in the animals.

Offsite – Volunteers (over 18 years) can help out at a multitude of different offsite locations including, but not limited to, Petsmart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus.  AWL staff transports adoptable animals to these locations where we hope to place them in new loving homes. Check out our calendar of events to see where we will be next.

Special Events – Volunteers are always needed for our special fundraising events. Volunteers are needed to work on an as-needed basis before and during events.  Assistance in preparation for events, which includes mailing, research, brochure distribution, raffle prize procurements and day of event, decorating, registration, raffle tickets, merchandise, etc. Of course, many events have adoptable animals that need care that day too.

Photography – Volunteers will take photographs of available animals for website and other marketing materials. Must have own camera and access to email. Photography experience preferred.

Group Volunteer Programs - We welcome adult group volunteers  to come to the shelter on a pre-arranged date. Groups have helped with painting, planting, cleanup and of course, working with the animals.

Volunteer Applications

For those over sixteen years and up looking to make a difference and volunteer, please download, print and complete “Volunteer Application for 16 and up. Once we receive your application, our volunteer services manager will contact you to schedule an orientation.  After you have completed orientation and training, volunteers are able to work during adoption only hours.

Volunteer Application 16+ years »»

Community Service for Service Learning (School, Church, Scout or other)

puppy_with_bowlThe Animal Welfare League welcomes our younger animal lovers to complete their community service hours at our shelter.  For those fifteen and older, needing service learning/community service hours , please download, print and complete “Volunteer Application – Service Learning” Once we receive your application, our humane education  coordinator will contact you to schedule an orientation. Photo ID is required.

For those Fifteen and older, looking to volunteer to earn charitable service hours (such as for school, church, etc), please download:

Volunteer Application - Charitable Service »»





Community Service for Court 

For those needing to complete court-ordered community service, please download, print and complete “Community Service Application – Court Ordered”. Court ordered volunteers do not need to attend an orientation. You will be supervised by a supervisor on duty when you are working. A one time, non-refundable processing fee of $25 is required to start completing hours for court service. Photo ID is required. This is for 15 years and older only.

For those looking to provide court-ordered community service, please download:

Volunteer Application - Court Ordered »»

The AWL has the right to dismiss any volunteer that we deem to be unacceptable in work habits or not following our procedures and policies. You will be given credit for the hours that you have worked. No refund on processing fee. 

Animal Welfare League relies on the kindness and generosity of its volunteer donors and its volunteer workers. For more information on how you can help a critical community service, master new skills, and meet new people, please contact us at 708-636-8586 ext 236.

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