Ways to Help

Become a shelter volunteer:

There are many ways to volunteer and they all start here: vphVOLUNTEER@hcphes.org

Volunteers are one of our most important resources at the Harris County Animal Shelter. With 25,000 animals being brought in yearly, the work volunteers do increases the amount of pets we adopt every day.  You can make a difference in a shelter pet’s life by showing them some T.L.C., teaching them how to “sit”, or making sure they find their fur-ever home!

Volunteer Opportunities 

Dog Walker:  Dog Walkers take dogs to the CountyPets Playground to make sure they are socialized and exercised. This opportunity requires a high level of physical activity. Volunteers will be encouraged to leash train each dog as they walk them to the playground and give them some play time out of the kennel at least twice a week. 

Kennel Assistant:  Do you want to help our animal shelter in a flexible schedule? Then, this is for you! You will assist the Kennel staff every day with cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance of adoptable animals’ areas: Assembling cleaning supplies, moving animals, cleaning/sanitizing animals pens in accordance with established procedures, keeping animal paired with appropriate paperwork, cleaning floors, resetting cages with food, paper, toys and/or bedding, feeding and watering of animals in the shelter, other duties as requested. You will also be trained to assist in reviewing and reporting health status of animals. 

Mobile Adoption Team:  Mobile adoption team members work at our off-site adoption events. You will assist in transporting equipment, setting up the mobile adoption area, handling and caring for our adoptable animals and counseling potential adopters. Dates, locations and times vary but adoption events generally occur on the weekends. This opportunity requires a high level of physical activity. 

Shelter Team:  As part of the Shelter Team, volunteers may become Adoption Counselors to help pets find loving and forever homes, Animal Photographer Assistants, be part of the Dog Ambassador Program or help as Shelter Assistants. Minimum age requirement is 16 years old. Volunteers also help citizens find their lost pets. 

Events Team: Special events offer a fun way to help. Volunteers may help with pet vaccination clinics, health fairs, spay/neuter events, mobile adoptions or holiday events. Minimum age requirement is 16 years old.   

Kitty Committee: Volunteers provide the daily cleaning, feeding and socializing of the 3-5 cats or kittens housed at River Oaks PETCO. All supplies are provided by us and are located at the store. It is easy, fun and it helps us to adopt more cats and kittens into loving, forever homes.  Minimum age requirements is 18 years old. 

Foster Team: Bring a homeless animal into your home that needs special attention in preparation for our adoption program. On average, each foster opportunity requires about 2-6 weeks of the foster animal living with you in your home. Foster homes are responsible for the foster animals' transportation, food and care while the foster animal stays with them. HCPH VPH provides the spay/neuter surgery and medical care. Minimum age requirement is 16 years old.   Spread the Word!  An animal in a foster home is FIVE TIMES more likely to be adopted than an animal straight out of the shelter. As a foster home, you can provide a safe environment for an animal to learn to become a pet! We are ALWAYS in search of great foster homes willing to take in animals in need of a warm bed and a good meal.  Join the Foster Team! Email: foster@hcphes.org   

Fundraising: Anyone in the community can fundraise to support the lost and abandoned pets of Harris County. Contact us to find out how you can implement your own fundraiser on behalf of our CountyPets.  Go to:  Friends of CountyPets Facebook Page.  


Note:  16 & 17 yr olds must have signed permission from parent or guardian.

Volunteer orientation dates:

Before one begins volunteering at the shelter, a quick and easy volunteer orientation is required.  Find upcoming dates here: http://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Newsroom/Events