Planning your Sanctuary volunteer experience

We’re OPEN! Our staff is working hard to keep you safe. For more on what you can expect when you visit, see COVID-19: Keeping you safe »

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. Please read on to learn more about volunteering at the Sanctuary, or click the button below to get started. 

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, dogs and bunnies on sleepovers, which is a fun activity for all and helps prepare pets for forever homes.

Where can I volunteer and what’s the minimum age?

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:

Minimum Age

Area

8

Bunny House, Parrot Garden

9

Cat World

16

Dogtown, Horse Haven, Marshall's Piggy Paradise

18

Wild FriendsAngels Rest, Landscaping, Best Friends Animal Clinic*

* = 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 volunteers@bestfriends.org for more information.

What allergens might I come into contact with?

Common allergens at the Sanctuary may include:

  • Animal dander
  • Hay
  • Indigenous foliage
  • Sawdust

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 volunteers@bestfriends.org or by phone at 435-644-2001, ext. 4119.

Sign up to volunteer »