​Volunteer Services​

The animals and staff at CMPD Animal Care & Control need you!  We are a very busy shelter with many animals and people entering through our doors. We strive to provide the best possible service and always need additional volunteers! Our shelter volunteers are able to request training within the areas of their interest and are asked to stay practiced, for safety, through consistently volunteering at least 4 monthly hours. In order to volunteer with the CMPD Animal Care & Control, you must be at least 18 years of age and complete a drug test. Background checks also will be conducted on all applicants.

You can see the volunteer positions that always need to be filled at AC&C. Note that the Dog on the Run program requires the full volunteer sign up and processing, and volunteers must be approved to retrieve​​ the dogs and attend the DOTR orientation.

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Linda Hag​emann at lhagemann@cmpd.org.

Want to get started? Great! Contact Linda and she'll send you the application. Once you fill that out, send it in the mail or bring it to the shelter.


8315 Byrum Dr​
Charlotte, NC 28217

Are you looking to volunteer in the Kitten Nursery? Great! Get started on our foster or nursery page.

​​ATTENTION ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: It is senior exit project time and a lot of you have chosen animal fields or animal cruelty/abuse for your projects. We know that your projects require volunteer hours but you MUST be 18 to volunteer and it could take up to 2-3 months to enter the program so you will not be able to volunteer at the shelter.
As an alternative, we always need money and supplies to help our shelter animals. If your project allows you can always hold a fundraiser and/or donation drive for us. Head to the donation page to find out what supplies we need, and which funds you'd like to finance.
If your project includes a qu​estionnaire, please email our Humane Education Officer, J Conner, at jconner@cmpd.​org and she will be happy to answer them.​​

If you are looking to volunteer due to a court order, please contact Lori at ltodd@cmpd.org

Volunteer Jobs:​​

  • Lobby Attendant & Animal Interaction – Volunteers assist front counter staff by retrieving animals from the adoption kennels for citizen introduction and adoption consideration. Pet owner education also is relayed through conversations with the adopters. Plus, pet owners often search for lost animals at our shelter and need direction from volunteers.

  • Exercising/Socializing Animals – The shelter's dogs, cats and rodents spend a lot of time in their cages and kennel runs. Volunteer attention given to the animals through walks, petting, side yard runs and toy play provide the physical release and trust building interaction needed.

  • Life Saving Skills – The shelter's dogs are eager to learn and those with basic manners are adopted at a faster rate! We encourage positive training with the dogs for their mental well being and socialization skills.

  • Bathing/Grooming Animals – The staff needs help with bathing and grooming the animals to keep them clean and healthy! Presentation is everything and those animals looking their best will attract the adopters.

  • Cleaning/Disinfecting Kennels & Cages – Daily cleaning and disinfection of the animal kennels and cages is a time consuming job but vital for preventing the spread of animal illnesses. The shelter staff is very appreciative of the volunteer help received.

  • Off-site Adoption Events – Adoption saves animal lives and the opportunity to adopt is given not only within the shelter but also at various off-site locations throughout the county. Volunteers are needed to assist with adoption event preparation including animal social skill assessment, animal bathing and supply gathering. Adoption events are managed through volunteer shifts and the jobs include animal showcases, public education, adoption agent paperwork duties and mascot costume wear!

  • Spay/Neuter & Rabies Vaccination Clinics – Volunteer support to the vet staff within the spay/neuter and rabies vaccination clinics is needed during the work week mornings and on specific weekend Saturdays. Animal patient check-in, surgery recovery monitoring, instrument pack assembly and crowd control are some of the jobs assisted by the volunteers.

  • Microchip Clinic Assistance – Microchips enable lost pets to find their homes and are provided to pet owners at cost by CMPD Animal Care & Control at numerous locations throughout the year. Volunteers are needed at these clinics for crowd control, data entry and public education.​

  • Animal Adoption Follow-ups – Volunteers are needed to make follow-up phone call inquiries to support the adoptive homes found for animals. The new pet owners are asked to verbally answer a questionnaire for information given to shelter management. New home pet acclimation issues are addressed and training solutions are sought to prevent animal returns to the shelter.

  • Foster Program - Open your home and your heart to our animals that are in need of a nurturing environment for a period of rehabilitation or time to mature. Help save our dogs and cats by joining our fostering team. The animals that might be in need of foster care: Puppies and kittens that need to mature, heartworm positive dogs, dogs with kennel cough and cats with URI, and dogs and cats that need to get out of their kennels and cages for socialization and training. For more information, visit our Foster Program page.


When you successfully complete volunteer orientation you will receive your On-Site Activity shirt for $20. After that, as you complete the other designations for Off-Site Events and Dogs-on-the-Run, you will receive specially designed shirts at no charge.

dogs on the run logo

Dogs On The Run will provide shelter dogs with a form of regular, vigorous exercise and bring about a sense of calm  in order to facilitate quicker adoptions and hopefully decrease the number of dogs euthanized each year.  The program will enhance the public’s perception of the shelter and increase awareness about the plight of homeless animals in our community while providing members of our community a fun and satisfying way to give back to those in need.

The primary mission of the  Dogs On The Run program is to connect runners from our community with homeless dogs as running partners and to provide ongoing support for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control Unit.

Every day from 8:00am until 1:00 pm and 3:00pm until 5:00pm, Dogs On the Run volunteers are able to run, jog or walk in designated parks throughout Charlotte with adoptable dogs from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control. The distance varies depending on the physical condition of the runner and dog. Weather also plays a factor. Volunteers do not go out during thunderstorms, heavy winds, extreme heat or icy conditions. The dogs wear Adopt Me vests indicating that they are available for adoption. These are the primary goals of the program.

  • Vigorously exercise dogs that are confined to kennels for long periods of time

  • Find loving homes for shelter dogs

  • Increase public awareness of the shelter, and let people know that adoptable dogs are not routinely “put to sleep.”

  • Recruit new volunteers for various programs at the shelter

  • Encourage runners and joggers to adopt dogs for companionship and safety

Volunteer Qualifications:
Dogs On the Run volunteers must be CMPD Animal Care & Control volunteers and in reasonably good physical condition. Volunteers must already have the dog retrieval clearance from the shelter runs. The volunteers run, jog and walk throughout the year. For safety purposes you may run in groups of two or more if you follow the guidelines for running with shelter dogs. You must be committed to the program; however, you are not required to attend a session every week. A sense of humor helps immensely. We really do have fun, while getting exercise!

Training Requirements: 
CMPD AC&C volunteer dog retrievers must attend a general Dogs On The Run volunteer orientation session, as well as both dog handling theory (Dog I), and a “hands-on” session, Dog II. These sessions are held on the same day. Sessions cover on how to enter a kennel to leash a dog using a harness and the Adopt Me vest, what to take along on the run, what to be aware of along the route, and how to handle emergencies etc.

You will make needy, homeless dogs very happy! We don’t always run the same dogs each week, however, there have been instances when a particular dog is at the shelter for several weeks, and believe me, they really react in an enthusiastic way when you head towards their run with running shoes on and a leash in hand! String cheese helps too! Every so often a dog may slip you five bucks for special treats!

Grab your running shoes and stretch those muscles and let's get these Dogs on the Run! We thank AC&C Volunteer Beth Brown for proposing and implementing this dog running program!

The link below is for our current volunteers only. ​​​
Shift scheduling link for authorized CMPD AC&C Volunteers: 

Volunteer Shift Scheduling Link ​ ​(Volgistics)