animal shelter volunteer in houston
Houston Shelter Pets,  Rescue

Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities in Houston TX

Want to volunteer at an animal shelter in Houston Texas? There are lots of animal shelter volunteer opportunities in Houston and Katy. Here’s a reference guide to how to volunteer at a Houston area animal shelter.

How to Volunteer at an Animal Shelter in Houston Texas

To become an animal shelter volunteer in Houston or Katy Texas, you just need to be willing to step up and raise your hand! Most area shelters and rescue groups are happy to have the help.

You’ll typically go through a volunteer orientation that may include a background check. You’ll shadow an experienced volunteer until you feel confident in your abilities. Then you’ll be able to sign up for volunteer shifts at the Houston area animal shelter of your choice.

Volunteer opportunities at Houston animal shelters include:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Cleaning animal kennels
  • Adoption counselor
  • Mobile adoption event volunteer
  • Foster
  • Dog walking and play

Below are just some of the Houston area animal shelters where you can volunteer. (Please note that some shelters are not accepting new volunteers due to social distancing and sanitation protocols.)

Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities for Kids in Houston

Due to liability, some shelters do not allow minors to volunteer. Others allow children to volunteer with their parents. But if you’re looking for the best animal shelter volunteer opportunities for 12 year olds or 13 year olds, here’s where to look:

  • Special Pals Shelter (kids can volunteer at this rescue animal shelter at age 12+)
  • Citizens for Animal Protection (kids can volunteer at this shelter at age 14+)
  • BARC (kids can volunteer at this animal shelter at age 13+).
  • Harris County Pets (kids can volunteer age 16+)

Parent or Guardian must usually accompany volunteers under the age of 18. Harris County Pets Resource Center requires that a parent attend the first orientation session. After that, kids 16+ can volunteer on their own.

List of Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities in Houston Texas

BARC Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

3200 Carr Street (adoption center) and 2700 Evella Street Houston (Volunteer location)

BARC is the city of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption facility. BARC is a city shelter and required by law to accept every animal regardless of breed, temperament, circumstance and health condition.

Volunteer opportunities include: canine or feline pet profiles, obedience training, dog walker, puppy nursery assistant, Petco and Petsmart cattery management, videographer, grant writer, foster parent.

Age: 13+. Volunteers age 13-15 must volunteer with a parent or guardian at all times. 16-17 year olds can volunteer on their own after attending orientation with a parent or guardian. Minors can not volunteer with or handle adult dogs.

To register as a BARC volunteer, register online, then sign-up for an orientation.

Harris County Pets Resource Center Volunteer Opportunities

612 Canino Road, Houston

The new Harris County Pets Resource Center opened in September 2020. The new facility replaces one built in the late 70’s, and will feature animal adoptions, a wellness clinic and spay/neuter clinic offering services to the public.

Harris County Pets, formerly the Harris County Animal Shelter, is the municipal shelter supporting all of Harris County outside the City of Houston. They must by law accept every pet turned in at the shelter, regardless of reason or condition.

The shelter has multiple animal volunteer opportunities including dog walking every Tuesday and Sunday, mobile adoption events, adoption counselor, pet photography, kennel assistant and dog walker. Kitty Committee members also manage the shelter’s offsite cat adoptions at local Petco and Petsmart locations.

Volunteers will attend an orientation and be matched with a more experienced volunteer for their initial shifts. Once you have completed 10 logged volunteer hours, you will receive a free t-shirt.

Age: Age is 16+. If under 18, a legal parent or guardian must accompany them to our volunteer orientation/first volunteer shift.

To register as a Harris County Pets volunteer, complete the online application or email [email protected]

Harris County Animal Shelter Harris County Pets Resource Center

Houston Humane Society Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

14700 Almeda Road 77053

The Houston Humane Society is a non-profit animal shelter serving the greater Houston area. They work closely with the Animal Cruelty Task Force, and often house animals that need rehabilitation.

The Houston Humane Society Volunteers must volunteer twice a month for a minimum of 6 months. Volunteer opportunities include mobile adoptions, pet pantry petfood giveaways, assisting with fundraising, and working with animals including walking, bathing, playtime and cat socialization.

Age: 18+

Houston SPCA Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

7007 Old Katy Road Houston 77024.

The Houston SPCA is one of the largest animal rescue and protection agencies in the Houston area. Remember the show Animal Cops Houston? That’s the SPCA.

The SPCA runs a variety of programs and has an extensive volunteer program at their animal shelter.

HSPCA does charge an application fee ($40 for adults, $25 for age 16-17) applies to cover background screening and t-shirt. Volunteers must commit to 8 hours per month for the first 4 months.

Volunteers must pick one animal care area to serve in for their first 20 hours: small dog, large dog, cattery, small animals, Wildlife Center of Texas.

Age: 18+

To apply as a volunteer for the SPCA, complete the online application.

Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) Animal Shelter Volunteer in Katy Texas

17555 Katy Freeway Houston (Katy)

CAP is a non-profit animal shelter in Katy Texas that shelters, rescues and places animals and provides low cost wellness clinics.

Volunteer opportunities include animal shelter caretaker (kennels, cleaning, laundry), adoption volunteer, dog walker, wellness clinic, and pet supply store.

Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 4 hours per month for 6 months.

Age: 14+. Youth volunteers age 14-15 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a legal release signed by parent or guardian.

To apply as a shelter volunteer, complete the online application.

Happy Faces Pet Ranch

727 Settegast Ranch Rd, Richmond TX

Happy Faces Pet Ranch is a local animal rescue that hosts dogs of all sizes in their kennels.

To achieve their minimum standards of care that they have set, they need each dog to have supervised free play 3x a week, and a walk once daily. That’s a pretty high standard! They need volunteers to help accomplish this task. And what’s more fun than playing with dogs!

Submit a volunteer application online. Age 16+ welcome with parents.

Special Pals Rescue Resource Center Animal Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

3830 Greenhouse Road Houston (Katy)

Special Pals is one of the longest running Houston area no-kill animal shelters. While they still have adoptable animals, they have recently converted their shelter into a boarding facility for rescues. Special Pals fills an urgent need in the Houston area. By providing rescue boarding, they help save lives when fosters can not be found.

Volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation and commit to training and mentoring. Once you are ready, you’ll need to commit to 4 volunteer hours per month for 6 months.

There is a $25 donation required, which covers the cost of your t-shirt, apron, name badge and training.

Age: 12+. Volunteers age 12-17 may volunteer with a parent or guardian.

To volunteer with Special Pals, apply online.

Houston Pets Alive! Animal Shelter Volunteer Program

2800 Antoine Drive Houston 77092

Houston Pets Alive! works with BARC and Harris County Pets, as well as other small municipal shelters, to save pets that are in danger of being euthanized. They are essentially a safety net last alternative for animals that are in danger of being euthanized due to space limitations.

HPA! operates multiple locations, including a dog boarding and cat boarding facility. Volunteers can work with animal care, animal exercise, fundraising, photography, networking and fundraising.

HPA! also operates a thrift store at 2532 Nottingham Street Houston 77005. Volunteers sort and tag donations and work with customers.

Age: 18+; applicants do have the opportunity to include a minor on their application, but must accompany minor children to all volunteer activities.

To volunteer with HPA!, apply online.

Are you a Houston area animal shelter or rescue in need of volunteers? Email [email protected] to be added to this resource page!

Looking for more volunteer opportunities in Houston? Check out all volunteer opportunities in the great Houston area at Volunteer Houston.

HoustonDogMom Rebecca G. is a Houston-based dog lover and shelter volunteer.