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With more than 200 animal welfare organizations in the Greater Houston area, there are endless opportunities for volunteers. Whether you want to share certain talents, meet new people or simply help some cute pets, many organizations will welcome your support. 

Visit the Volunteer section of our Local Guide to find links to shelters and rescues ready to welcome you. 

Before choosing one (or more) organizations to work with, think about the reasons why you want to volunteer: to help a specific type or breed of animal, use or build certain skills, connect with other people, help one specific organization, etc. With a clearer understanding of what you hope to gain from the experience, you can begin looking for a group that meets your needs. Review websites and social media pages for the groups that interest you. Many explain volunteer activities and any training that may be required and give instructions on how to begin volunteering.

There are many ways to use your skills to help pets. You can work directly with animals by fostering, walking dogs, photographing pets, creating dog or cat enrichment activities, cleaning kennels, working at adoption events and more.

For those who want to support animals but are not looking for hands-on activities with pets, many groups also offer opportunities to help with office support, writing pet biographies, maintenance projects, fundraising and event planning. Some of these activities can be done from home or with a group. Many organizations also allow help from youth, although some do not allow work directly with animals.

Volunteering for even a short amount of time can make a big difference to an animal or an organization. Once you select an organization, look at their website and/or reach out to let them know how much time you have and what type of volunteer activities interest you.