Animal Care & Control Voulunteer Home page
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Volunteers are a vital source of support for both the animals and staff at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control and the key to the shelter's success, donating almost 20,000 hours of time each year. Volunteers at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control demonstrate:

  • A pleasant, helpful, enthusiastic, and friendly manner;
  • Caring and empathy toward customers, guests, staff and animals;
  • Knowledge of Indianapolis Animal Care & Control's purpose, policies and procedures;
  • A general knowledge of pet management and pet behavior;
  • Efficiency and organizational skills; and
  • Oral and written communication skills.

The first step to become a volunteer is simply completing the online Volunteer Application.

Once your application has been received, you may schedule a time to attend an Open House. At the Open House, you will learn more about how the shelter operates and the different ways that you can help. The Open Houses are held the first and third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. and they usually last approximately an hour and a half. After the Open House, if you are still interested in volunteering, you will be scheduled for an individual training session based on your specific volunteer interests.   

All volunteers must be at least 12 years of age -- volunteers between the ages of 12 and 15 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times! Volunteers ages 16 and up may be allowed to volunteer without a parent or guardian present if they demonstrate the appropriate maturity and responsibility.

Our biggest volunteer need currently is people who can commit to coming once a week (or more) to help walk dogs. It is vital that each dog on our adoption floor get outside at least once a day, and we'd prefer they get out twice or more. With regularly-scheduled volunteers coming in each day, we can ensure that our adoptable dogs get adequate outdoor time. Shifts are typically 3-4 hours, either morning or afternoon, each day a week -- specifically on the weekdays.

Volunteer opportunities include:

HANDS ON ANIMAL CARE

  • Dog Walking – It is very important to each dog’s health that they are able to exercise and stretch regularly each day; most dogs at the shelter spend close to 23 hours a day in their kennels.  Help these dogs by walking them in special runs built to maximize physical and mental exercise opportunities for each.

  • Advanced Dog Walking - we are working to add more opportunities for dog handling. We now have levels that include basic dog walking, leash-walking on the grounds, leash-walking in small groups, and walking strays. Each level has its own training requirements and requires a certain amount of experience prior to advancement.

  • Enrichment & Stimulation – Studies show that toys, walks, even reading books to animals reduces their stress level by the third day of their shelter stay.  Reducing stress leads to increased disease resistance which means greater adoption potential!  Stress in shelter animals is the number one factor in disease transmission.  IACC is always in need of and appreciates folks who come to walk, read to, cuddle or hold those animals sheltered here. For more information on the enrichment program, please e-mail enrichment@cdtrescue.org

  • Grooming and Bathing – Everyone with bathing experience is allowed to give baths to dogs but only those with prior experience in grooming will be allowed to trim/clip coats, trim nails, etc.  Organization/maintenance of the grooming/bathing area is a must!

  • Dog Evaluation Assistant – Every dog offered for adoption has to be evaluated before it can be moved to the adoption kennels.  Work with IACC’s dog behaviorist to evaluate each dog and test the friendliness of one dog with another.  Special training necessary.

  • Foster Care – Indianapolis Animal Care & Control receives close to 15,000 animals each year.  Some arrive with medical or behavioral problems while some are simply too young to be made available for adoption.  Open up your home to a temporary furry guest (or guests) via foster care.  For more information, fill out the Foster Home Application:

    http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/ACCD/Pages/FosterHomeApplication.aspx
  • Animal Drop-Off Assistant – Aid the kennel staff in receiving stray and surrendered animals in the animal drop-off room.  Volunteers collect information from the individual dropping-off the animal and help place animals in cages.  Special training necessary.

  • Medical Support – At any given time, IACC oversees the care of approximately 500 animals.  These animals need to be vaccinated and treated for any medical ailments afflicting them.  Veterinarians, vet technicians and students in these fields are welcome to help the animals in the shelter environment.  Proof of experience/special training necessary.

CUSTOMER INTERACTION (within shelter)

  • Guest Escorts/Adoption Counseling – Greet guests in the lobby/reception area and escort them back into the kennels for adoption purposes.  Adoption counselors utilize knowledge of dog and/or cat breeds and behaviors to help adopters choose the right animal for their lifestyles.  Special training necessary.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

  • Special Events/Offsite Adoptions – Assist at offsite adoption events, such as those at local pet stores, Adopt-a-Pet Night with the Indiana Fever and even the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show!  Adoptable animals are brought to these locations and sent home the same day!  Other events, such as community events, school outings and city festivals allow IACC the opportunity to educate the community about the problems facing animals in the community.  Special training necessary.

  • Mascot Handler – Work with Maxwell, the shelter mascot, to guide him around at events and to help him communicate to his fans.  Special training necessary.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

  • Follow-up & Special Project Calls – Assist IACC departments (Customer Service, Field Operations, Kennel Operations, Volunteer Department, Community Programs) as needed in making needed follow-up calls.  Calls may include adoption and vaccination follow-ups, breed rescue screenings, visitor surveys, etc.  Special training necessary dependent on the project.

  • Data Entry – Help the above-listed departments in day-to-day operations by entering and organizing data.  Areas in particular need of this assistance include the Community Programs (foster care) and Volunteer Departments.  Special training necessary dependent on the project.

  • Digital Photography – Help create more adoption opportunities for animals at the shelter by photographing them for the Petfinder Web site.  In addition to photographs, strong biographies of the animals are a must!  Utilize shelter computers or your home PC to add animals to the Web site.  Special training necessary.

  • Maintenance of Web site Adoption Listing – Assist in maintaining web-based adoption listings by updating pictures and information of available adoption animals and removing adopted animals from adoption-based Web sites as needed.

FACILITY SUPPORT

  • Kennel Cleaning – Assist the kennel staff in daily cleaning of animal holding facilities.  Areas in most need of cleaning on a daily basis are the various cat rooms and the dog isolation room.  Special training necessary – offered anytime!

  •  Housekeeping – Assist with general duties such as mopping floors, cleaning windows, dusting sills, scrubbing empty kennels, laundering duties, etc.

  • Seasonal Landscaping – Help beautify the IACC facility by planting and tending flowers at building entrances and other shelter grounds.  Prior experience and an understanding of appropriate planting materials and procedures required.  Materials may be acquired through fundraisers, grant writing, and/or donations.  Prior approval necessary before any planting may be done.