In Shelter

The Seattle Animal Shelter strives to have an enjoyable, innovative and organized volunteer program that benefits the animals and animal-lovers of Seattle. Volunteers work 365 days a year and are extremely dedicated. To volunteer at the shelter, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Be able to commit to a weekly two-hour shift.
  • Be able to commit to six consecutive months of service.
  • Be able to commit to scheduled volunteer times.
  • Be able to squat, bend, twist, lift and stand for long periods while working directly with the animals.
  • Attend required training classes. 
  • Be able to work independently without direct supervision.
  • Have previous large dog handling experience if applying for a dog handling program (e.g., Dog Walking, Get Fit with Fido, Adoption Assistants-Dog)

For more information on volunteer opportunities, check out our Volunteer Opportunities Directory.

Volunteer application

The Volunteer Application is available two times per year. The application opens by 5 p.m. on Jan. 15 and July 15. each year. Applications are available for seven days or up to the first 100 applications after the opening. Click to apply to become a volunteer.  We are unable to accept new volunteers outside of this application process.

Please note that the shelter receives many more applications than it can accept. Programs in the most need of help are Special Projects (Event Planning and Fundraising), Pet Therapy and our foster teams.