Volunteer and save the lives of pets in New York City

With millions of animals in shelters around the country hoping for families of their very own, one of the most valuable gifts you can give is the gift of your time.

You can help out in so many ways here in New York City, and your contribution is welcome and appreciated! You can provide companionship to dogs and cats, foster pets in your home, help with marketing or social media, and transport animals to locations where their chances for adoption are higher. 

Volunteers in New York City also help with providing rides to pets for veterinary appointments, caregiving on-site at the lifesaving center, offering tours and information to visitors, Spanish translation, and community outreach with the Borough Engagement Team.

What to expect

After you complete your application and profile, you will receive an automated email with details about volunteer opportunities and sign-up instructions.

If you’ve volunteered with Best Friends before, you probably have a volunteer profile already. If you need help reactivating your account (inactive profiles are deactivated after six months), please email volunteerNYC@bestfriends.org for assistance. 

Once you submit your application and complete a training, you'll have access to the full list of volunteer opportunities – everything from animal care to transports. 

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old, and volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Please note that depending on the volunteer opportunity, minimum age may vary. The first step in viewing and signing up for these opportunities is to fill out and submit the application for volunteers under 18.


Volunteer opportunities

There are so many ways you can make a lifesaving difference for dogs and cats through volunteering, and we can help you to discover the opportunity that’s right for you.

Borough Engagement Team

The Borough Engagement Team is a great way to get involved from home! This team is a collaboration of staff and volunteers working to improve our connection with our communities.

With this team, Best Friends New York City aims to expand our audience and offer information and resources to communities we haven't reached before.

Once you sign up to create a volunteer profile, you can find more information about the Borough Engagement Team once logged into our volunteer portal. Please contact volunteernyc@bestfriends.org for questions.