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- 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.
- Orange Dot Crew (Dog Walking)- walk, socialize and train selected pets in our care that are most in need!
- Paw-parazzi - 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 Group 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 (note: a parent or legal guardian is still required to be present for the initial orientation and shelter tour).
Looking for group activities?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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!
Primarily assists customer service staff with customer service duties in either the lobby, dog kennels, or outside play yards/runs. This position is a support counseling role. All final adoption decisions are made by staff.
• Answers visitor questions and matches visitors to needed resources and services
• Informs visitors of behavioral and/or medical information, previous owner surrender notes on particular animals by accessing shelter database software. (Using shelter tablet. Kiosk or computers)
• Provides guidance on animals that are a good fit for the visitor’s household – pet matching
• Assists visitors with finding a staff member or Dog Walking volunteer to safely remove animal from the kennel for a meet and greet, if necessary
• Encourages foster or field trip/slumber party for potential adopters not yet ready to adopt
Required training: Volunteer orientation, Dog Handling class, Cat Handling class
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.
Requirements: Volunteer Orientation, Dog Handling class
Dogs with orange stickers on their kennel cards are dogs that would prefer to be the only pets in their new home. Because of this, they do not get as much yard time daily and require more one on one socialization and enrichment!
This program matches selected orange sticker dogs with volunteers to provide them daily time out of their kennel. It’s been proven that daily outdoor time combined with consistency, routine, and structure help keep these dogs mentally sane and more adoptable.
Requirements: Ability to dedicate 1-2 hours per week to the program
Must attend volunteer orientation, dog handling class
This volunteer position assists with photographing and writing quick bios for animals available for adoption. Having a good, clear picture of the animal as well as a biography about their personality drastically increases their chance at getting adopted quicker. Volunteers in this position would:
• Work alongside Dog Program volunteers to walk, interact with and photograph adoptable dogs in the shelter
• Submit 2-3 pictures (a clear, front facing photo and an interactive photo) to shelter staff
• Submit a dog bio to the shelter staff, describing the animals observed likes, dislikes or personality traits
Requirements: Volunteer Orientation, Dog and/or Cat Handling class
Assists with all aspects of the enrichment program at our shelter! The enrichment program is vital for helping animals in our care remain mentally and physically enriched while they wait for their new families. Enrichment volunteers are responsible for:
• Passing out approved toys and enrichment items to shelter animals
• Helping prep enrichment items for the next day
• Helping keep inventory of enrichment supplies
• Assist staff or behavior coordinator with dog training and/or play groups
Requirements: Ability to dedicate 1 hour every 1-2 weeks
Must attend volunteer orientation
• Assist staff members with running dogs to and from play group areas
• Assist staff members with supervising/monitoring play groups (not unattended)
• Supervising/monitoring play groups for small dogs, puppies and PG1 dogs
• Assist staff with gathering valuable information pertaining to dogs behavior in a group setting
Volunteers must be open and willing to learn, ability to work well without supervision. Must have the ability to document behaviors observed in yards on a log, and communicate openly with staff regarding animal behaviors observed.
Requirements: Volunteer Orientation, Dog Handling class
Wanting to volunteer but not able to come into the shelter? That's okay, we have plenty of remote volunteer opportunities! Our remote volunteers assist us with:
- Answering online adoption applications
- Helping onboard foster parents
- Entering biographies and surrender form information to our software system
- and much more!
Animal Fostering Program
Become a foster hero!
As the city of Fort Worth's only open admission shelter, we never turn away a pet in need. 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:
- Short term foster placement, such as an Out and About day trip or overnight sleepover. 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! Find out more about this type of fostering below.
- Medium-large adult dogs who have been in the shelter for longer than 30 days! Some animals (through no fault of their own!) can be passed by in the shelter. These "hidden gems" often times just need to get out of the shelter and have someone advocating for them to find an adopter.
- 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).
- You will recieve a welcome email within 72 hours of submitting your application. Read through the email to find your foster manual for more information on setting up an appointment.
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.