Volunteer

​Volunteer Services​

The animals and staff at AC&C 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!

There are three ways you can volunteer:

Become a full Volunteer- Requires a minimum 4 hours a month, application, background check, and drug test.

Become a Kitten Nursery volunteer- Requires a minimum of 4 hours a month, application, and background check.

Become a Foster Parent- Requires an application.

Currently unavailable due to Covid-19: For short-term volunteering- If you are 18+ years, want to volunteer, and cannot commit to the required 4 hours a month, you are still welcome to volunteer! You'll need to email Cody Trespalacios at cody.trespalacios@cmpd.org to get the current volunteer visiting hours and you must sign a waiver at the start of each visit.

Currently unavailable due to Covid-19: For minors- If you are 15-17 years old, you are welcome to volunteer at the animal shelter. You will need to email Cody to set up an appointment date(s) for you to be paired with one of our veteran volunteers. Your parents will be required to sign a waiver every time you are scheduled to come out.

By scrolling down the page, you'll find each section in a drop down menu along with the applications to get you started on joining the volunteer team.

Before you join, remember that the hours are a minimum of 4 hours a month.

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.

  • 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/Microchip Clinics – Volunteer support to the vet staff within clinics is needed on the second Saturday of each month. Animal patient check-in, surgery recovery monitoring, instrument pack assembly and crowd control are some of the jobs assisted by the volunteers.

  • Pictures, videos, bios – Animals are made adoptable every day. New pictures, videos, and bios need to be created for marketing them in order to help them find new homes.

When you successfully complete volunteer orientation you will be partnered with a volunteer mentor for training, and receive your On-Site Activity shirt for $20. After that, as you complete the other designations for Off-Site Events, you will receive specially designed shirts at no charge.

The volunteer process can take some time since we are part of the police department. We ask that you be patient while your application and background checks are processed. Once complete, you'll be contacted for a drug test, and then contacted to attend a volunteer orientation.

Ready to join the volunteer team? Great! Fill out the volunteer application.

If you are already a volunteer, be sure to enter your hours at myimpact.com.

Fostering a pet is not a lifetime commitment; it’s a commitment to save a life.

We are always looking for foster parents who are willing to open their home and hearts to take animals home to help with various health, behavior, or medical needs. One special need among fosters are neonate kittens; both newly weaned kittens who just need time to grow/be socialized and neonates who need to be bottle fed. It’s fun, rewarding, and a wonderful experience.​​

You do not need to be a full CMPD Volunteer to be a foster parent. Being a foster parent can include actively looking for a new home which means that the animal could be listed as available and your contact information will be listed on the website. Potential adopters will be able to contact you directly.

As you decide whether to become a foster parent please consider the following:

  • Can you separate your foster animals from your own?

Many of the animals coming to the shelter have never received vaccinations or even been to a veterinarian.  While we make every effort to assure that only healthy animals are placed into foster care, some do become ill.  We do not want any diseases to be transmitted to your personal pets so isolation of foster animals for the first few weeks is important.  This also will allow time for your pets to acclimate to the presence of your foster animals.
 

  • Are you prepared for the time investment of fostering?

No matter what type of animal you are interested in fostering there will be a time commitment of at least several hours each day.  This will entail feeding the animals, cleaning up after them and socializing them.  In addition you will need to make multiple trips to the shelter so that the veterinary staff can monitor their health.
 

  • Are you able to monitor the health of the foster animals?

When we entrust you with the care of our animals we will be relying on you to watch them for signs of illness or injury.  You will have to learn what is normal for your foster animals to be able to recognize what is abnormal and report that to us as early as possible so that we can treat the animal accordingly.
 

  • Can you get to us quickly in the event of an emergency?

If an animal in your care needs medical attention you must be able to transport the animal to the shelter or a designated veterinarian.
 

  • Can you place your trust in staff to decide what is best for an animal?

Sometimes adoption is not an option even after an animal has been in foster care.  This can be hard to manage emotionally.
 

  • Can you tell your friends that they must go through normal adoption procedures?

While we hope that you will network with your friends and family to find your foster animals a home they will need to come to the shelter to complete the adoption transaction- these animals cannot be adopted out from your house.
 

  • Are you emotionally prepared to return the animal after the foster period is over?

Many people who foster animals become attached to them and have difficulty letting go once it is time to return the animals for adoption.  You will have lavished love and attention on the animals in your care and then, one day, they are no longer around.  However, you can take comfort in knowing that they have the chance to find a loving home because of the work you did.
 

If you have answered yes to all these questions then we are excited to have you take the next step to become a foster parent!

You must be at least 18 years of age before applying but you do not have to be a Mecklenburg County resident.

NOTE that our greatest foster needs are for:

  • Small and large dogs who need socialization
  • Large dogs who need a break from the kennels
  • bottle baby kittens
  • weaned kittens that need socialization and weight gain
  • momma cats nursing babies

There are several different types of fostering that are needed:

  • Kitten Fosters:  kittens too young to safely be placed for adoption.  Foster parents provide love and care while the kittens grow.  Once a kitten reaches the age and weight required for the adoption program, the kitten MUST be returned to the shelter.  The littles are easier to place! 

  • Cat Fosters: cats that have been in the shelter for a longer period of time need breaks from the kennel!  Also, cats that show behavior concerns in the kennel or in this hustle and bustle environment.  Length of time for fostering would be determined by foster coordinator.

  • Puppy Fosters: puppies too young to safely be placed for adoption.  This is a rare foster as we don't see much of this anymore (yay spay/neuter!).  But in the off chance that one might come in, the foster parent would provide love and care while the puppy grows.  Once the puppy reaches the age and weight required for the adoption program, the puppy MUST be returned to the shelter.

  • Dog Fosters: Adult dogs may need to be fostered for a variety of reasons: kennel stress, long length of stay in the shelter, heartworms, medical problems, and minor behavioral concerns.  You will work with the foster coordinator to determine length of time needed for foster.

Find the guidelines and application online.

Once approved you'll be contacted by our foster coordinator, Amy Yeager, to get you started.

*Please note that this foster program is only for our shelter animals in need of foster care. If you own a pet that you need to find a foster home for, you need to contact rescues groups to see if they can assist.*

​If you are looking to volunteer due to a court order, please contact Supervisor Trespalacios at cody.Trespalacios@cmpd.org

This is a completely separate program from the full volunteer program.

​​ATTENTION ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: If you have chosen animal fields or animal cruelty/abuse for your projects, please read carefully.

If your project includes a qu​estionnaire, please email our Officer Shrewsbury at dshrewsbury@cmpd.org and he will be happy to answer them.​​ One on one interviews are possible but by appointment only.

We know that your projects require volunteer hours. If you are 15-18 years old, you are welcome to volunteer at the animal shelter. You will need to email dshrewsbury@cmpd.org to set up an appointment date(s) for you to be paired with one of our veteran volunteers. Your parents will be required to sign a waiver every time you are scheduled to come out.

As an alternative, we always need money and supplies to help our shelter animals. If your project allows, you can 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.

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