Two volunteers picking up brush outside at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Planning your Sanctuary volunteer experience

Volunteers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary give the animals what they want and need most: personal attention, hands-on care and love. So, thank you for your interest in volunteering! Scheduling your volunteer shifts in advance is highly recommended, and shifts can be scheduled as far as one year in advance.

Check availability

Ready to start your volunteer application? Click the button below to get started! If you already have a volunteer account with Best Friends, you can log-in to your account and start scheduling your Sanctuary trip!

Sign up to volunteer

What are the typical volunteer activities?

At our working sanctuary, activities vary by area and shift, but these are the most common:

  • Cleaning (animal living areas, dishes, mopping, etc.)
  • Providing the animals with enrichment (car rides, petting, playing, etc.)
  • Walking the animals with a leash or stroller
  • Preparing and serving pet food
  • Making toys or treats
  • Doing upkeep on the grounds and buildings (weeding, painting, building, doing maintenance projects, etc.)

Volunteers may also be eligible to take approved cats or dogs on sleepovers, which is a fun activity for all and helps prepare pets for forever homes.

Where can I volunteer?

Click each area below to get more information. Minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times while volunteering. One adult can supervise two minors. For safety considerations, each animal area has its own minimum age requirements. The minimum age to volunteer in each area is:

AreaMinimum Age
Bunny House, Parrot Garden8
Cat World9
Dogtown, Horse Haven, Marshall's Piggy Paradise16
Wild FriendsAngels Rest, Landscaping, Best Friends Animal Clinic*18

* = Licensed veterinary, vet tech and other medically skilled volunteers may be eligible to volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Clinic during a multiple-day visit with prior arrangement. Email for more information.

What allergens might I come into contact with?

Common allergens at the Sanctuary may include:

  • Animal dander
  • Hay
  • Indigenous foliage
  • Sawdust

I have a disability. Can I volunteer?

Volunteers with disabilities are welcome to sign up for shifts and our Lifesaving and Care Specialists are ready to accommodate a variety of abilities. If you have questions about accessibility or modified shift tasks, contact us at or call 435-319-0622.

How else should I plan for my volunteer experience? 

While volunteering at the Sanctuary might be the reason for your trip, there are several other details that are integral to the Best Friends volunteer experience. 

Where can I get more information?

Visit our FAQ page or contact the Sanctuary Volunteer Department at or by phone at 435-319-0622.

Sign up to volunteer

Looking for more ways to help?

Learn about Best Friends paid internship opportunities.