On-Site Program Descriptions

Level 1 Programs

Adoption Support Crew: Volunteers in this program are instrumental in helping us create a warm, inviting atmosphere for guests visiting our main Adoption Center at 510 N. LaSalle Street. Volunteers serve as greeters in the Adoption Center lobby, answer guest questions, and collaborate with the customer service team to follow-up with recent adopters. To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here. Program hours: Weekdays from 12 – 7 p.m. and Weekends from 12 – 5 p.m. Program location: The Anti-Cruelty Society 510 N. LaSalle Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • an outgoing personality;
  • customer service experience;
  • basic computer knowledge; and
  • enthusiasm for working with the public.

Everyday Adoption Center Assistance Volunteers in this program provide adoption assistance and care to animals that are available at our Everyday Adoption Center satellite facility, which is located within the PetSmart® store in the South Loop at 1101 S. Canal Street. Working alongside our EAC staff members, these volunteers help with everything from grooming and spot-cleaning to adopter meetings and animal socialization. It’s like working all of the five other Level 1 volunteer programs at once! To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here.

Program hours: Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Program location: PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center 1101 S. Canal Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • an outgoing personality;
  • customer service experience;
  • basic animal handling skills; and
  • an eagerness to help adopters find an appropriate pet match.

Cat Adopts Volunteers in this program are vital in helping our visitors make a life-long connection with the cats available for adoption. Volunteers provide assistance by handling cats for visitors, answering questions, facilitating successful adoption matches, and helping guests complete the first portion of their adoption application. Volunteers on this team work in our Cat Adopts room, as well as in our two cage-free living areas called Charlotte’s Cat Corner. To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here. Program hours: Weekdays from 12 – 7 p.m. and Weekends from 12 – 5 p.m. Program location: The Anti-Cruelty Society 510 N. LaSalle Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • an outgoing personality;
  • customer service experience;
  • basic animal handling skills;
  • enthusiasm for working with the public; and
  • the ability to lift up to 20 pounds.

Cat Care Volunteers in this program work with our staff to provide additional care, grooming, and socialization for our cats to help alleviate stress and maintain the health and sociability of the felines in the Cat Adopts room. After completing 25 hours in this program, volunteers have the option to cross-train into Cat Care II. To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here. Program hours:Weekdays & Weekends from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Program location: The Anti-Cruelty Society 510 N. LaSalle Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • a caring personality;
  • strong observational skills;
  • basic animal handling experience;
  • an eagerness to learn;
  • comfort with working independently; and
  • the ability to lift up to 20 pounds.

Dog Adopts Volunteers in this program are vital in helping our visitors make a life-long connection with the dogs available for adoption. They provide assistance by handling dogs for visitors, answering questions, facilitating successful adoption matches, and helping guests complete the first portion of their adoption application. Volunteers on this team are also taught our positive reinforcement training methods to help us educate the public in proper dog handling, care, and training. To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here. Program hours: Weekdays from 12 – 7 p.m. and Weekends from 12 – 5 p.m. Program location: The Anti-Cruelty Society 510 N. LaSalle Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • an outgoing personality;
  • customer service experience;
  • basic animal handling skills;
  • enthusiasm for working with the public; and
  • the ability to lift up to 30 pounds.

Dog Care Volunteers in this program work with staff to provide additional care, grooming, and socialization to help alleviate stress and maintain the health and sociability of the canines in the Dog Adopts room. Volunteers on this team are also taught our positive reinforcement training methods that help us teach the dogs manners and basic life skills. After completing 25 hours in this program and demonstrating the development of their dog handling skills, volunteers have the option to cross-train into Dog Care II. To learn more about this volunteer program, review the manual here. Program hours:Weekdays & Weekends from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Program location: The Anti-Cruelty Society 510 N. LaSalle Street In addition to our basic volunteer requirements, successful candidates for this program will have:

  • a caring personality;
  • strong observational skills;
  • an eagerness to learn;
  • basic animal handling experience;
  • comfort with working independently;
  • the ability to lift up to 30 pounds; and
  • the ability to make quick and informed decisions.

Special Projects

In addition to the formal volunteer programs above, The Anti-Cruelty Society offers current volunteers the opportunity to take part in special projects throughout the organization. Opportunities to take part in one of these events are communicated to current volunteers through our weekly volunteer newsletter.

Busy Fingers This is a monthly sewing circle where attendees handcraft bedding and accessories for shelter animals, including dog bandanas, cat blankets, and carrier covers. Volunteers do not need to have prior sewing experience to participate.

Garden Guardians Volunteers lend their green thumbs to plant, water, and maintain the Shapiro Courtyard Garden. Candidates for this program should have a basic knowledge of gardening and be able to lift up to 20 pounds.

Enrichment Construction Crew The Enrichment Construction Crew is a weekly crafting group that assembles toys, treats, and other enrichment items for the cats and dogs living in the shelter. The group meets on Sunday afternoons from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. in our Education & Training Center.

Rescue Dog Intake Team Currently trained dog program volunteers are welcome to take part in these weekly dog transfer events. In this special project, volunteers are assigned a dog to handle, feed, and house after its day-long, cross-country journey from a partner shelter.

Pet Patrol If you’re a volunteer looking to help animals in the community, consider joining the Pet Patrol team, which we recruit for on a seasonal basis. This group of animal advocates helps us review and reach out to people posting about animals for sale on Craigslist. This is a great special projects team to join if you’re interested in making a big impact in the Chicago pet community.

Special Events If you’re interested in representing The Anti-Cruelty Society at off-site events, consider training to be a Special Events volunteer. In this role, volunteers from the community act as ambassadors of the Society by attending mixers, outreach parties, and other social meet-ups on our behalf. To register for an upcoming training session, please contact our special events team at events@anticruelty.org

Thank you to our partners whose support makes our work possible