Animal Care and Control
Volunteer with the Fort Worth Animal Shelter!
Want to make a difference? Join us!
There are so many ways to volunteer your time to help Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (FWACC). We could not save more than 90% of the pets who come through our doors annually without our incredible volunteer team. If you're passionate about helping people and pets, we have a "job" for you!
Volunteers are needed for almost everything we do, but our biggest volunteer needs are:
- Adoption Matchmaker (most needed for medium and large dogs) - help families find their perfect match among the 300 or more pets waiting at our shelter.
- Dog Enrichment Program - provide enrichment (in the form of toys, treats, and more) to pets in our care. Enrichment is critically important to help pets stay mentally and physically stimulated while they are in the confinement of a shelter.
- Pawparazzi - help photograph the pets in our care waiting for their homes. By having clear, distinguishing photos showcasing the animals personality, it helps increase their adoptability and connect them with their new family.
- Play Yard Monitors - with over 300 dogs in our shelter on any given day, we rely on our play yard areas to help dogs get much needed exercise and enrichment in play groups. These volunteers help us monitor the yards and ensure the play groups are safe and fun for every dog involved.
- Greeters - help potential adopters find their way around the shelter and meet adoptable cats and dogs
- Off-Site Adoption Centers/Events - assist with adoption matchmaking, cleaning and greeting potential adopters at our two off-site adoption centers and off-site adoption events
- General assistance with cleaning, laundry, dishes, and more!
- Foster Volunteers - volunteering in our foster care program is an extremely rewarding opportunity for individuals and families. Our foster program allows pets that are too young for adoption, who are recovering from an illness or injury, or who are in need of other care to stay in private homes until they are ready to be adopted.
Our general volunteer program is open to individuals as young as 13 years of age however, anyone between the ages of 13 and 15 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian when volunteering at any location. Volunteers age 16 and older may volunteer on their own.
Looking for group activites?
We love having volunteer groups visit us! We are able to accommodate groups of at least 5 but no more than 25 volunteers, all of whom must be at least 18 years old. We call this our “Day of Service Program”. Opportunities are available most Mondays-Sundays, and must be scheduled at least two (2) week in advance. Scheduling is made on a first come, first-served basis. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Lydia McKaye, by email at email@example.com (be sure to include the preferred date, time, and names of volunteers in your email).
By choosing to volunteer, you will have the opportunity to strengthen our great city by connecting with families, neighbors, and communities through service. Your help is very much appreciated by staff and the shelter pets - help us make a difference in your community!
Volunteers will assist with different aspects of the adoption process. Some of these duties include greeting and directing patrons, taking out animals for potential adopters, answering basic questions about the animals, and educating patrons about responsible pet ownership. Adoption Ambassadors may also help it a patron is reclaiming a lost pet and assist them in finding their animal in the shelter
Greeters must have strong interpersonal skills and enjoy interacting with the general public in a non-judgmental and professional manner.
Volunteers will assist the staff in maintaining the general welfare (feeding and cleaning) of the animals. Duties may include feeding the animals, providing fresh water, cleaning and sanitizing the cages, and promoting a healthy environment.
Volunteers will wash dogs (not necessarily groom) prior to surgery and as needed. Bathing dogs in a gentle manner also helps it to remain calm and well socialized.
Promote FWACC’s mission and recruit volunteers, adopters, and donors at special events around town. Work at information tables and booths, hang out with adoptable animals and assist during the adoption process while appropriately representing FWACC. Depending on the event, dog walking, animal handling and pet and crate care may be needed. Locations vary across the city.
Volunteers will help meet the emotional and social needs of the animals in our shelter by providing one-on-one interacting with the dogs and cats either in their kennels our outside in a play yard (dogs only).
Volunteers will photograph our pre-selected animals for media and rescue publication. Photoshoots should either be in the conference room our outside play area at the Animal Shelter. If you can, try to bring a toy or some sort of noise-maker to get the animal’s attention when taking photos. Volunteers are encouraged to have their own “fancy” camera for this activity.
Volunteers will clean instruments and put surgical packs together. Volunteers will also help retrieve and return animals from and to their cages.
Volunteers must be attending a veterinarian technician school or agree to additional training as needed to qualify for this activity.
Animal Fostering Program
Join the FWACC Foster Program!
Foster caregivers help us save lives of pets recovering from illness or injury, orphaned kittens and puppies, and many other animals that may thrive better in a home environment than in the shelter. Most pets at FWACC that are available for adoption are also available for foster, and we welcome fosters who can take pets into their homes for any length of time. Foster parents help increase the adoptability of these shelter animals by providing care and a foster home during this time of transition from the shelter to an adopter’s home. As a foster parent, you are a volunteer and helping us save lives of shelter pets in need. Whether you are able to commit to just an afternoon or a longer opportunity, we have a verity of ways for you to get involved.
Foster parents are most in need for:
- Medium-large adult dogs who have been in the shelter for longer than 60 days! Some animals (through no fault of their own!) can be passed by in the shelter. These animals often times just need to get out of the shelter and have someone advocating for them to find an adopter.
- Overnight sleepovers or day trips for adult dogs. Short term foster decreases stress in our animals, gives them a much needed break from the shelter, and helps us gain valuable information about the pet to help match them with their future adopter. This is a great way to try out fostering because it is a short-term commitment that makes a HUGE difference in the life of a shelter pet!
- Puppies/kittens or moms with newborns that are too young to be adopted
- Pets recovering from an illness or injury needing some extra TLC and medical care
How to foster:
- Fill out our foster form (link on the right) and sign our foster agreement.
- Read through our foster manual for more information.
- Our foster coordinator will send a welcome email within 72 hours of you submitting your application, provide you with our foster manual and needed information, and get you set up to come down to the shelter and pick out a foster pet!
What does the shelter provide?
- WE provide all vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchip and pre-authorized vet care for your foster pet. Food, treats and other basic supplies (beds, crates, leash, etc.) will be supplied to you, depending on availability (these are donation based).
- YOU provide the basics – your home, exercise, space, socialization and love.
You can view our dashboard of pets currently available for foster by clicking here. Please note: this list is updated frequently, but some animals may have already found their forever or foster homes!
Please email FWACCfoster@fortworthtexas.gov if you have any questions.
Nature Center & Refuge
Whether you enjoy being outdoors, learning more about the native plants and wildlife, sharing your love of nature with visitors of all ages, or caring for non-releasable education animals, we would love to find a way for you to make your mark at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.