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Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

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(Photo by Dana Edelson)

Photo by Jillian Nelson

Volunteer to Help NYC's Animals

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help NYC's animals. Volunteers play a critical role in saving the lives of homeless pets and improving conditions for NYC's community cats. We want to help you find a way to volunteer that offers you an experience that you can both enjoy and feel is making a difference. There are many ways you can help!

Hands-on Work with Animals or Fostering for a Shelter or Rescue Group

If you'd like to volunteer directly with animals, we encourage you to explore opportunities at Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) or another animal shelter or rescue group.

If you'd like to foster an animal, we suggest you contact Animal Care Centers of NYC, City Critters, KittyKind, or another animal shelter or rescue group. You can also find out about foster opportunities through Foster Dogs and 911fosterpets.

Learn more about fostering an animal.

Volunteer with Feral & Stray Community Cats

If you want to help the community cats in your neighborhood, become a Certified TNR Caretaker! Visit Bideawee's Feral Cat Initiative website to learn how Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) humanely reduces the number of community cats living outdoors, and how you can get involved..

Volunteer to Help Senior or Disabled NYC Pet Owners

If you love working with people and pets, then volunteering with PAWS NY might be just what you're looking for. This well-established organization has a wide range of volunteer opportunities to help pets remain in their homes where they belong. Among the opportunities: providing care for a client's pet in their home, such as dog walking or helping with the litter box; collecting/distributing pet food/supplies; transporting pets to the vet; and more.

Volunteer Your Artistic Talents

HeARTs Speak's Artists Helping Animals program includes a network of nearly 600 professional artists working to improve the image of animal shelters and animals in need. Artist members contribute their services pro bono through beautiful, professional-quality imagery and promotional pieces, including photographs, graphic design, writing, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, drawings, and videos. Apply to become an Artist Member if you currently use your creative medium to aid in the promotion of homeless pets, or would like to start doing so.

Volunteer at Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Pet Vaccination Clinics

Each year the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) holds free pet vaccination clinics in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Most of these clinics provide opportunities for up to twenty or more volunteers to assist DOHMH staff. Vet techs are especially in demand, but volunteers from almost any background who are over 18 years of age are invited to participate. If you'd like to volunteer to help at these clinics, please email (and say that you learned about this volunteer opportunity on the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals website).

Volunteer at Events

If you would like to volunteer to help animals at pet adoption, fundraising, tabling, or community events, you should contact animal shelters and rescue groups to see if they have a need for volunteers to staff their events.

Other Ways You Can Help

Make Cage Comforters

Donate Supplies to APOs

Your efforts are critical to saving the lives of NYC's homeless pets and community cats. Thank you for offering your time, energy, and skills to help. We thank you — and so do the animals!