How to Volunteer

Our volunteer program is the heart and soul of the Animal Defense League of Texas. You will assist our staff in providing the highest-quality care for our pets. Your crucial gift of time allows us to magnify our impact and save more lives. By joining our team of dedicated volunteers, you’ll build strong relationships with other volunteers, our community, and the animals themselves. With your dedication, we will continue to save more lives and find amazing animals new homes.

Steps to Become an ADL Volunteer


  • Step 1: Review opportunities to think about what you’d like to do.

Our volunteers can assist with a diverse range of tasks. View our Volunteer Opportunities to learn about a few of our departments along with specific activities you can help with!

  • Step 2: Sign up for a new volunteer orientation.

To fill out the form, pay the orientation fee, and schedule your orientation, choose your campus below:

Paul Jolly Campus Orientation Calendar
Please note: The Paul Jolly Campus Orientations will be held outdoors

Nacogdoches Campus Orientation Calendar

  • Step 3: Attend orientation on your scheduled date.

You will learn more about ADL, volunteer guidelines and opportunities, and ask questions! You must submit a signed Volunteer Waiver and decide which area you would like to begin volunteering in before coming in for your first day.

  • Step 4: Create your account with Better Impact.

After you submit your signed waiver, you will receive an email with a link to create a profile on our volunteer portal called Better Impact. You will use this to clock in/out on campus, track your hours, and view updates and opportunities!

  • Step 5: Start Volunteering by coming in for your first scheduled day!

A staff member will personally reach out to schedule your first day! You don’t always need to volunteer on a schedule, but we want to set aside extra time to make sure you are confident and comfortable on your first day. We will introduce you to staff and other volunteers, provide a more comprehensive overview and tour of your initial area of interest, answer questions, begin training for activities, and start your volunteer journey!

Age Requirements


Age 0-11: Pet Champion Program

Visit the Pet Champion page for more information! This is a separate volunteer program with an orientation and activities geared for the kids!

Age 12-15: Junior Volunteer

Must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while on campus. parent/guardian must also sign up for and attend orientation to become a registered volunteer.

Age 16-18: General Volunteer (with signed waiver)

May volunteer independently with a signed waiver from a parent/guardian. If attending orientation without a parent/guardian, download the waiver to get it signed in advance.

Volunteers age 16 or older may participate in additional volunteer activities like dog walking (After completing 12 hours and additional training) and may assist in the animal hospital.

Age 18 & up: General Volunteer

Volunteers age 18 or older may also volunteer in the hospital isolation and surgical areas (After completing additional training).

Information for volunteers with physical and intellectual disabilities: ADL is happy to provide volunteer opportunities to any individual who is capable of performing tasks independently or with the assistance of a caretaker, parent, or guardian. Please note a caretaker, parent, or guardian must also be a registered volunteer who has attended an orientation class. Our top priority is to ensure the safety of all staff and  volunteers working with the pets at our facility.

Service Groups

Attention clubs, students, youth groups, and businesses: Are you interested in volunteering at Animal Defense League?

Foster Volunteers

Help provide critical care for a shelter pet or just a needed break from shelter life. Often, fosters are needed for pets who are too young for adoption, or need time to recover from a health issue. Fostering will provide 5 volunteer hours per day.

Other Ways to Help

Immediately impact the lives of the thousands of abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats by providing needed medical care, food, shelter, safety, and materials.