Volunteer and save the lives of pets in Northwest Arkansas

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.

There are so many ways to help here in our pet resource center and in the Northwest Arkansas community at large, including caring for cats in our adoption center, fostering pets in your home, transporting local pets to and from vet appointments, or transporting animals to receiving shelters in other regions that can provide them a greater chance of adoption. 

Volunteers in Northwest Arkansas also help with community vaccine and microchip events and support trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) efforts to care for local community cats. For animals in Arkansas, your kindness makes all the difference.

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

Volunteer at the pet resource center

We're always looking for volunteers to help in a variety of ways here at the center.

Our volunteers help with the following: cat care (including socialization and enrichment), dog handling, guest greeting, vaccine and microchip clinics, pet photography, data entry, retail space assistance, and event support. 

After submitting your application and completing training, you'll have access to the full list of volunteer opportunities — everything from animal care to transports. 

If you would like to volunteer during your visit, please visit the Rachael Ray Foundation Volunteer Bridge and talk to one of our staff members to get you started. For some volunteer duties you can begin volunteering right away while others involve some training.  

Off-site volunteer opportunities

There are plenty of ways to help if you’d like to get involved with community events and outreach or transport pets to regions of the country where they’ll have a better chance of finding a home.

Our off-site volunteer opportunities include helping with transports (we need drivers and assistants), vaccine and microchip clinic assistance, outreach and events support, and social media assistance. 

We're also looking for participants for our Dog Day Out program, where volunteers take an adoptable dog on an outing here in the community.

Visit our volunteer maker space 

The Rachael Ray Foundation Volunteer Bridge features drop-in opportunities for guests to volunteer making enrichment toys, blankets, sweaters, cat cozies, community cat houses, and more.

All materials are provided, as well as tutorials for each project. Drop by and visit with one of our volunteer guides to learn how you can put your creative skills to work for the animals!

Volunteers under 18

Volunteers can be as young as 12 years old but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they’re under 18.

The minimum age may vary, depending on the volunteer opportunity. The first step in signing up for these opportunities is to fill out and submit the application for volunteers under 18. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact volunteernwa@bestfriends.org.

Person working at a computer with a cat on their lap

Remote volunteer opportunities

Looking to make a difference from the comfort of your own home?