Volunteer Programs

Ways to Volunteer

Volunteers at the Animal Defense League are critical in helping us meet our mission of caring for animals taken in, caring and sheltering those animals while they reside at ADL, then getting them adopted into loving homes.

There are many ways you can participate. Please let us how you would like to help the resident animals of ADL. Email any questions to Joely Cifre, ADL Volunteer Manager, at jcifre@adltexas.org.

TLC Program: Dog Walking and Cat Socialization

Volunteers keep our dogs and cats happy by giving them lots of attention! Walking dogs, training, bathing, grooming, socializing cats and just visiting the animals makes all the difference!  The Get Fit with Fido program is also available for adult volunteer 18 years of age and older.  Volunteers who join the Get Fit with Fido program will be allowed to take certain dogs to approved parks and trails for a run or walk.

TLC volunteers must be able to commit to at least one shift per week (mornings or afternoons available) for their first 3 months.  We especially need volunteers who can be here on weekdays.


Fetching Finds Thrift Shop

The Animal Defense League is always looking for volunteers who want to help us in our Fetching Finds Thrift Shop (located at the ADL in the Iota Drive parking lot). Volunteers help clean and prepare items for sale and engage the public. Every penny made in the Thrift Shop is used for the care of the ADL animals.

“Fetching Finds” volunteers are also able to interact with the animals.

EAC (Everyday Adoption Center)
Our EAC at the PetSmart located at 8520 Fourwinds Drive is our latest crown jewel.  We are looking for dedicated volunteers who will join our staff to help clean, exercise, train and find homes for the dogs and cats there.

We particularly need volunteers who can work the morning shift Monday through Thursday. (adult volunteers 18+ may volunteer solo.  14-17 may volunteer with a parent-partner)

Mobile Adoption Events

The Animal Defense League also holds mobile adoption events almost every weekend at various locations in the San Antonio area.  Along with our staff members, our volunteers help us care for the animals at the event and talk to potential adopters.  Mobile Adoption volunteers will be able to volunteer at the main shelter as well.

Pet Photographers

Helping families find the perfect pet often begins with a point and a click!  Our website team is looking for volunteers to assist in taking debraphotos and videos of the dogs and cats.  This includes the profile head shot, action photos and taking notes on the animals’ personalities.  This is a great opportunity for a team of two volunteers!  You may use your own equipment if you have a high-quality digital camera or we can loan you one of ours for your shift.

Kennel Care Support

Helping our dogs and cats find their forever homes always starts with keeping them clean and healthy.  Volunteers are essential to helping us clean and do laundry and dishes.  Kennel Cleaning shifts are 9:00am to 12:00pm every day of the week.  Kennel Care Support volunteers are able to work with the animals as well.

Recovery Room Assistant

The ADL Hospital is the first stop for every animal here.  We need volunteers to monitor and care for animals as they recover from anesthesia, help clean and prep surgery instruments and other duties as needed.  Recovery Room Assistants must be 16 and older (sorry, no junior volunteers) and must attend an extra hospital orientation after the general volunteer class.  They are able to work in the main shelter as well.


Animals who are not yet ready to be adopted, older animals recovering from an injury, kittens and puppies, or adult dogs who have been at the shelter a little longer are cared for by a network of volunteers who take them into their homes on a temporary basis. ADL provides food, medicine, and unlimited guidance – you provide the time, care, and love as a foster parent volunteer. For more info on becoming a foster parent, contact our Foster Office at (210) 655-1481, ext. 123 or e-mail us at foster@adltexas.org.

JV+ (Junior Volunteer Rank Up)

The Animal Defense League has a program for Junior Volunteers between the ages of 13 and 15 who are ready for the next stage in the volunteer experience. With some extra training and the right attitude, JV+ members are allowed to hold the leash and volunteer without an adult right by their side (parents/guardians are still required to be on property).  JV+ is available only after going through the regular volunteer orientation with the parent/guardian and then taking the rank-up class when it’s offered.