We love our volunteers! Check out our list of opportunities that we have at BARCS, then join us at one of our upcoming volunteer open houses. If you have any questions about any of these positions, please contact us here. For Paid Employment Opportunites, click here.
Love cats and kitties? Well, we can’t think of a better task for you! Help socialize and play with the cute, little critters!
Love dogs and puppies? Here at BARCS, we have over 100 dogs that need to be walked daily. What could be more rewarding than taking a doggie out for some fresh air? Hmmm… nothing I can think of!
Got a car? Volunteer transporters will assist taking animals from the shelter to vet appointments, rescues, foster parents, events, etc. Transporters also assist in picking up donations for the shelter.
Volunteers can help keep the dog kennels and cat cages clean and safe for the little fuzzies. You can deliver toys and blankets to them too… they love that!
After volunteering with the dogs for a while, you can become involved with helping to train them on basic behaviors! This really helps keep them mentally stimulated and happy, and increases their chances of being adopted.
Offsite Cat Caretaker, at Petco and Pet Valu Stores
Shifts are available in A.M. and P.M., 7 days a week at several offsite locations where BARCS cats are available for adoption. You will clean the kitties’ cages, and play/socialize with them too!
Talk about fun! After volunteering with the dogs for a while, you can get involved with our off-leash playgroup. The dogs are allowed to play together in an environment that focuses on behavior, training, and fun!
Foster Parent (Note: There is a separate application to become a foster parent).
Foster parents will open their home to an animal until the animal is adopted. Foster parents will be in charge of feeding, exercising, training, socializing and taking care of the animal as if it were their own. They will also be responsible for talking with potential adopters by giving them information about the animal and taking the animal to adoption events. Foster parents should know that adopting an animal out to a good home can take just a few days or up to several months. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
Customer Service Volunteer
Welcome customers and keep them informed of where they are in the adoption process. Smile!!
Matchmakers escort customers into the shelter and assist them in selecting an animal. Matchmakers will also give out information on animal care, answer questions, and give suggestions. You must be trained in animal handling in order to become a matchmaker.
Adoption counselors are quite lucky, as they get to witness a BARCS animal leaving to go to their new home! Duties include educating about animal care (preventative care, food, exercise, training, socialization, crating, grooming, vet visits, etc) and reviewing adoption paperwork, such as the animal’s medical history.
Assist with general office duties such as greeting guests, answering phones, taking messages, filing, basic computer work, answering general e-mail, and entering data (volunteer hours, newsletter list, etc).
Home data entry and office work is also needed!
After volunteering at BARCS for a while, you may want to assist with the animal drop off procedures. Volunteers will record information about the animal being surrendered, assist in giving options to the person surrendering the animal, and explain the shelter policies and procedures upon surrendering.
Pet locators work at connecting lost and found companion animals with their owners. They will also make phone calls for potential matches or to update files.
Community Cat Program Volunteer
Mondays and Wednesday afternoon after 12 p.m.
- Provide care for cats pre and post surgery.
- Provide food and water to cats in the Community Cat Program
- Clean cages and cat holding areas
- Monitor cats recovering from surgery
Hotline/Data Entry positions
Flexible hours and may be done performed from home once trained.
- Answer and return phone calls made by the public to the BARCS Community Cat Program
- Engage with the public and encourage the benefits of the Community Cat Program
- Explain the services the Community Cat Program provides to callers and offer guidance and solutions to any concerns the public may have
TNR Clinic Assistant
Monday afternoons starting at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (or until needed)
- Assist with cleaning and wrapping surgical instruments, cleaning traps and carrying traps to and from the holding area to the surgery room
- Great experience for anyone who wants to gain experience in sheltering and/or veterinary field
- Credit for school programs and/or graduation requirements
Community Cats Daytime Assistant
- Flexible schedule throughout the work week (before 6 p.m.. needed)
- Help with cleaning cages and traps
- Assist with cat drop offs/pick ups by the public
**Note: The cats in this program are often not domesticated cats, they are community cats and can range from friendly to feral. Here at BARCS we are committed to proper care for all animals in our program.
Community Programs Volunteer
Volunteers will assist with various community and shelter events to represent BARCS. These events consist of fundraising events, educational events, outreach events, etc.
Low-cost Vaccination Clinic
Vaccination Clinics are held the first Saturday of every month from 9a-12p. Volunteers assist with customer service, filling out paperwork, education, etc.
Volunteer educators will assist in creating handouts for the shelter, shelter events, and education outreach programs. The information will include things such as animal care, shelter services and programs, adoptions, training methods, etc.
Any experience in fundraising? We’re a non-profit organization, so helping us raise money to help Baltimore City’s homeless animals is extremely important.
Any experience in marketing and advertising? Help get BARCS’ name into the community!
We are always in need of volunteer photographers to help us get great shots of our adoptable animals. A dynamic photo can make all the difference in highlighting an animal to potential adopters browsing our website. These photos also help us write bios and capture hearts on our social media pages. Photographers are needed every day of the week, as BARCS takes in an average of 30 new animals each day!
Events and Special Projects
Help us photograph our fundraising events and community outreach efforts. Between major events and more intimate affairs, BARCS is frequently out in our community spreading our mission and having a great time.
Assist with gardening, weeding, planting, trash pick-up, snow removal, and other landscaping projects around the shelter.
Assist with painting projects around the shelter.
General Cleaning and Organizing
Assist in sprucing up the hallways, lobbies, etc. Laundry and dishes fall into this category too!
Kids and Schools
There are many ways for families, as well as schools, scouts and other groups, to get involved and help the animals at BARCS. Click here for some fun DIY craft and fundraising ideas to help homeless animals.
Shelter Cleaning and Maintenance
In-shelter group tasks include shoreline clean up, grounds work, laundry, dishes and other cleaning assignments. In-shelter group volunteer days are based on availability, group size (10 or less people preferred) and need to be scheduled at least four weeks in advance. **Subject to availability of both your group and BARCS.
Hold a Wish List Donation Drive
Our wish list provides much-needed supplies to our shelter and our animals and can be found at https://barcs.org/donate/#our-wish-list. Collect donations, set up a drop-off date, load up your donations and bring them over to BARCS! Stay for a tour or schedule another time for us to visit you in appreciation of your generosity!
Host an Office, Church or Group Fundraiser
Things like “jeans days,” raffles and bake sales can generate much needed funds to help us care for the over 11,000 animals who come to our shelter each year. If you plan to host a public fundraising event, like a happy hour or percentage of sales day, our events and fundraising team will help guide you in making the event a success. After your event/fundraiser, schedule a tour or visit from BARCS in appreciation of your generosity! Help with
From BARCStoberfest to bingo, crab feasts, golf tournaments, wine tastings, Pawject Runway and so much more, we host several major fundraisers throughout the year. Here are a few ways you can help with these events: Secure auction and raffle items such as gift cards, baskets of cheer, pet-themed baskets and other gift baskets. Help distribute flyers for our upcoming events at local restaurants and other businesses. Help at the event with setup and breakdown.
Form a Team for BARCStoberfest
BARCStoberfest, which is held in October of each year, is our largest annual fundraiser and features a 5K run and walk and an all-day pet-friendly festival. Groups like yours can form a team and fundraise together to help our animals. BARCStoberfest takes place annually in late October, but team registration and fundraising begins in the spring!
11,000 animals per year...that’s a lot of laundry and dishes! We need help washing, folding, and organizing.
Do you have a creative streak? If so, you can assist with decorating the lobby and hallways for specials and holidays! This needs to be done on a monthly basis.
How’s your writing? Assist with drafting/writing grants, newsletters, articles, animal bios, etc.
Calling all technologically-inclined volunteers! Assist with our website, create signs, etc.