Volunteer Activities

Welcome to the Onsite Volunteer Training Catalog

Upper-tier programming and Special Projects available exclusively to trained, Level 1 Onsite Anti-Cruelty Volunteers. View the different ways Level 1 Volunteers can help at Anti-Cruelty. 

If you are not an approved Anti-Cruelty Volunteer learn how to become one here. Send questions about volunteering to volunteer@anticruelty.org.


Onsite Volunteers Make The Difference!


Guest Services, Animal Upkeep & Behavioral, Veterinary, and Community Support. Anti-Cruelty Volunteers contribute their talents to help Anti-Cruelty attain their ideals in each of these areas.

Browse The Volunteer Training & Activities Catalog by clicking the description boxes below.  

Approved Anti-Cruelty Volunteers can find activities to simply join along with activities that require in-person training for participation.

Notice the training prerequisites at the bottom of each descriptor and direction on how to get involved in these initiatives. 

The Volunteer Resources Manager

Non-Kim Laundry Market

Shelter Laundry


The need for clean Laundry in our shelter never-ever ceases. It`s because every single animal in our care must have clean & dry bedding every single day.  

Anti-Cruelty volunteers can help with this effort, due to their special access inside our animal shelter. 

You can just "flip" a clean load into the dryer, fold a dry load, or if you`re feeling brave, you can start a wash (it`s not that bad, really). 

Any of these actions you help with provides ready bedding for the animals in our care!

Wanna put some hard time into providing bedding for shelter animals? Schedule Laundry Assistance anytime between 9:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. under The Shelter Category in your profile.

Those Laundry Hours you devote are important and are reported directly to leadership. Be sure to log your volunteer laundry hours before the beginning of each month.

DRT DC2 Melissa

Rescue Dog Transports


Line up with staff & volunteers receiving a transport of rescue dogs from out of state shelters. 

Hold, soothe, and distract puppies & dogs as they receive their oral, nasal, and subcutaneous vaccinations. Meet and help the staff with this fast-paced doggy reception.

Clean Aprons from the Laundry Area will protect your clothes from soggy paws & missed oral dewormer attempts.

An excellent feature to add to your evening routine!

Level 1 Dog and Cat volunteers can schedule in this open activity under the Shelter Category > Rescue Dog Transport Assistance. 


PSCAS Market

PetSmart Cat Adoption Support


Use your Cat Matchmaker Qualification to socialize cats & assist adopters at one of our PetSmart partner cat adoption spaces.

Tend to Shelter cats awaiting placement & work directly with PetSmart staff and visitors hoping to find a new companion. 

Serving as a PetSmart Cat Adoption Support volunteer helps cats until they find a new home while supporting an important partnership.

Help us help them find a lifelong companion at one of our nearby partner spaces:

  • Andersonville
  • Evanston
  • Kingsbury
  • Wrigleyville

PetSmart Cat Adoption Support is available to any qualified Cat Adoption Matchmaker Volunteer.

Susan & Allison Caravan Training

The Cat Caravan Volunteer Project

The Cat Caravan Volunteer Project delivers adoption-ready cats to neighboring PetSmarts, expanding the range of our cat adoption program. 

Astute attention on how to behave around & transport cats, keeping transport stress low is important.

Join our Cat Caravan and become a hero for shelter cat adoption. Email: kscolan@anticruelty.org to learn more about Cat Caravans.

Ride Along with a real cat volunteer superstar to learn how to help more shelter cats find homes by scheduling a Ride Along Training under Project Training.

Please note that a Volunteer Cat, or Foster Program qualification is the prerequisite to attend training.

DC2 Jeff JAM Play

JAM High Active Dog Exercise Play

When walks or quiet time just isn`t enough to relieve highly active, adolescent shelter dogs. Leash biting, caused by boredom & frustration is an indicator that some good old fashioned, "Swap & Fetch" play is needed.

Jam Play-trained volunteers must be attentive to managing arousal, ensuring sessions conclude with a gentle, generous cool down period.

Email: etostado@anticruelty.org to schedule training on how to exercise Jumpy And Mouthy shelter dogs, safely.  

A Volunteer dog program qualification & the will to handle highly active dogs are the prerequisites to attend training.

A Level 2 Dog Advancement Volunteer Rock Star is ready to work with you.

Opportunity: Petography

The Volunteer Petography Program 


How are we drawing in the public to meet their new, lifelong companion? We`re using the power of photography to speak directly to the heart! If you`ve got an eye for getting eyes on our pets and a knack for capturing compelling media of adoptable pets, then we need you!

Go further than photos and learn how to utilize animal behavior & placement info to craft accurate & captivating animal description bios in Level 2 Petography.

Contact our Petography Lead Adoption Experience Supervisor Kamari: kperry@anticruelty.org for info.

Clinic Patient Care Dog

The Volunteer Clinic Patient Care Program


Hospitalized animals need special socialization & special quiet time out in our Adoption Garden. Volunteer your effort to help our veterinary assistants in the daily care & upkeep of our patient's enclosures, many of which requiring direct instruction on special handling related to a specific injury or status.

Clinic Patient Care Volunteers learn to feel comfortable in the Clinic becoming familiar with it`s operation. This program directly supports the Post Surgical Recovery volunteers on weekdays, providing animal socialization on the weekends.

Clinic Patient Care is a Level 2 Clinic Program requiring 25 non-incident volunteer hours in either a shelter dog or cat program. Training is available on certain Saturdays 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (trainer provides wide span if needed).

Email: etostado@anticruelty.org to meet our wonderful volunteer CPC Instructor! 

Bev CRehab Trainer

The Cat Rehab Socialization Program

The Cat Rehab Center is an important resource for the treatment and segregation of sick cats. Protecting the overall cat population from illness, mainly Upper Respiratory Infection.

Sick cats in treatment can experience a drop in appetite complicating recovery.

Just some of your time, some soft talk, and your touch can make them feel better provoking a "social feeding response" saving lives.

We work doubly to help cats during treatment & ensuring not to spread U.R.I into other cat areas by following expertly the Cat Rehab PPE & Order of Operation.

Help cats recover by helping them feel loved.

Twenty Five non-incident volunteer hours in a shelter cat program is the pre-requisite to attend training.

Email: etostado@anticruelty.org to meet our wonderful Cat Rehab volunteer trainer.

PSR Descriptor Lisa

The Volunteer Post Surgical Recovery Program


Work directly with medical staff to care for animals throughout the recovery process, preventing post-op complications by monitoring vital signs, and assisting in each pet`s recovery back to a conscious state.

Affordable or no-cost spay & neuter services is a powerful weapon against pet overpopulation in our field of Animal Welfare.

Twenty-Five non-incident volunteer hours in a shelter cat & dog program, along with 25 non-incident hours in Clinic Patient Care, are the pre-requisites to begin training. The path to participate in The Post-Surgical Recovery Program may seem daunting to a new volunteer, however, it is the will of the individual alone that decides the impact they can make in our field of Animal Welfare. To map out your way email: etostado@anticruelty.org

Expert volunteer recovery trainers are ready to meet when you are ready to help in this fast-paced Level 3 Volunteer Program!

Physical Exam Angela/Primiano

The Physical Examination Assistance Program

Work directly with our veterinarians to hold shelter animals during this integral portion of our sheltering process.

Learn to apply our gentle but true hold. Touch & talk to soothe animals as our veterinarian performs an exam & blood draw for analysis.

Weekends 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. are exam time and a well-trained Physical Examination Assistance volunteer can empower our medical staff to help more animals.

Twenty-five non-incident volunteer hours in both a dog & cat volunteer program is the pre-requisite to attend training. Top animal handling skill & body language Identification is a must in this Lv.3 Medical Handling Program.

If you fit the prequalification, we have excellent, highly committed, skilled volunteer instructors who will work with you on certain weekends.

Email: etostado@anticruelty.org to arrange training.

Choice Enrichment

Volunteer From Home

Craft choice in-kennel enrichment toys for the animals to enjoy. It`s important for sheltered animals to receive a novel, food/puzzle toy In their enclosure, every day to keep them busy with new tastes, or textures. Behavior staff may spray them with food-safe scent extracts to maximize variety.

Cats love:

Dogs love:

Small mammals love:

Deliver your choice craft donations to our Welcome Team at 510 N Lasalle to benefit the animals in our care! 

Gumshoe Tiger

Craigslist PetPatrol


A specialized (psst, undercover) group of Anti-Cruelty volunteers scan listings on Craigslist to perform valuable outreach on behalf of Chicago pets in precarious circumstances.

Flag the illegal selling of pets, offer Anti-Cruelty services to animals being given away, speak up for shelter adoption to individuals looking to purchase pets, and spread our message of Animal Welfare to the community. 

It`s easy, and we work under the anonymity of us, together.

Email: akulla@anticruelty.org to learn more.

This is Gumshoe Tiger,