Volunteer Opportunities

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.

Animal Care

Cat Enrichment
Love cats and kitties? Well, we can’t think of a better task for you! Help socialize and play with the cute, little critters!

Dog Enrichment
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? 

Volunteer transporters assist taking animals from the shelter to vet appointments, rescues, foster parents, events, etc. Transporters also assist in picking up donations for the shelter.

Dog/Cat Caretaker
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!

Dog Trainer
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., seven 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!

Play Group
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
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 with a smile and keep them informed of where they are in the adoption process.

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 Counselor
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.

Office Assistant
Assist with general office duties such as greeting guests, answering phones, taking messages, filing, basic computer work, answering general email 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 Locator
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

Recovery Attendant

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; 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
  • Offer guidance and solutions to any concerns the public may have

TNR Clinic Assistant

Monday afternoons from 10 a.m.-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.

If you are interested in either of these volunteer opportunities, please email Volunteer.Barcs@gmail.com with questions or to get started.

Community Programs Volunteer

Volunteers assist with various community and shelter events to represent BARCS. These events consist of fundraising events, educational events, outreach events, etc.

Low Cost Vaccination Clinics
Vaccination clinics are held the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Volunteers assist with customer service, filling out paperwork, education, etc.

Volunteer educators 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 nonprofit 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!


Adoptable Animals

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.

Special Projects

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. as well as doing laundry and dishes.

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.


Group Projects

There are many ways that your group can make an impact and help us save lives. From Community Clean Up Days to supply drives, there are projects for groups of all types and sizes.

Want to make the biggest impact? Because our shelter is restricted on space for our lifesaving animal care operations, groups can make the biggest impact though fundraising and wish list donation drives.

Form a Team for BARCStoberfest

BARCStoberfest 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!

Hold a Wish List Donation Drive

Our wish list provides much needed supplies to our shelter. 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

Events like “jeans days,” raffles and bake sales can generate much needed funds to help us care for the over 12,000 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!

BARCS Fundraising Events

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
  • Distribute flyers for our upcoming events at local restaurants and other businesses
  • Help at the event with setup and breakdown

Community Clean Up Days

Join us for one of our upcoming Community Clean Up Days! Volunteers help us with both indoor and outdoor cleaning and maintenance of our shelter. Tasks include shoreline clean up, weeding, lawn maintenance and indoor deep cleaning of our floors and walls. It’s not a glamorous day of volunteering, but it’s important to the health and safety of the animals we serve. Community Clean Up Days are pre-scheduled with weekday and weekend dates on rotating months.

Schedule Your Group

To arrange for your group to volunteer at BARCS, please complete our Group Volunteer Project Application and email it to volunteer.barcs@gmail.com. Please make arrangements at least two weeks in advance of the date you are requesting. Keep in mind that not all dates will be available. Thank you very much for your support and willingness to help. We couldn't do our work without you!


12,000 animals per year... that’s a lot of laundry and dishes! We need your 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.

Graphic Design
Calling all technologically-inclined volunteers! Assist with our website, create signs, etc.