Thank you so much for your interest in joining AWS’ team of dedicated and caring volunteers. Volunteers provide invaluable service to our animals, programs, services and the community members we help. 

Home | Volunteer Opportunities

Ways to Get Involved

We offer flexible schedules and have many difference opportunities for you to help! From cleaning kennels in the Adoption Center to caring for a pet (fostering) in your own home, from attending an event to helping out in the veterinary clinic, every volunteer makes a difference. Thank you for positively impacting the lives of the pets we care for and the people we serve in our community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator if you have other questions or concerns.

Yes! We welcome people of all ages to help out. Youth 15 years old or younger are welcome to volunteer at AWS with a parent or guardian volunteering alongside them. Furthermore, those aged 16-17 are welcome to volunteer individually with a parent or guardian’s consent. Through our Youth Programs, we offer a number of other special opportunities for students in our community our help out with our operations and programming.

For the most part, opportunities to help out take place during the day, 8 am – 4 pm, seven days a week. We encourage those who work a traditional M-F schedule, consider a weekend daytime shift. For those interested specifically in dog training, our Canine Training Team may have some evening hours, when classes are in session.

AWS is a big facility and there is truly something for everyone! Tasks could include:

  • Cleaning dog kennels
  • Cleaning cat housing
  • Tidying up animal spaces
  • Walking dogs
  • Visiting with cats or small animals
  • Making enrichments and toys
  • Assisting veterinary staff
  • Helping with training classes
  • Supporting animal transports
  • Participating in events
  • Doing laundry (so much laundry!!)
  • Running errands
  • Sorting donations
  • Washing windows
  • Folding envelopes
  • Answering telephone inquiries
  • Greeting guests in the Adoption Center lobby
  • And much, much more!

Thank you for your interest! To get started, fill out our volunteer application (adult or youth). The application asks questions about your availability, your interest and your skills. Once we receive your application, our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch to invite you to an upcoming orientation.

It helps us tremendously to have our volunteers commit to a set schedule (say every Wednesday from 9 am – 11 am). However, we are flexible. If volunteering at AWS doesn’t work with your schedule, there are ways you can help outside of AWS, either animal-based (fostering AWS pets in your own home or taking dogs on dates) or project-based (making supplies, treats and more for AWS pets via our At-Home Project Guide.)

We have limited opportunities for groups. When we can host a group, tasks can include grooming our walking trails, painting or helping at events. In fact, our biggest event of the year, Woofstock, is a GREAT way to volunteer as a group and make a big difference at AWS! For youth or school groups, please contact our Youth Programs Coordinator for details on scheduling a volunteer visit.

Volunteer & Foster Spotlight

Let us shine the spotlight on some of our amazing volunteers, foster families, and community volunteer programs! We couldn’t do it without the lasting love and support from you!

  • Five Reasons to Foster

    Five Reasons to Foster

    Have you ever wanted to foster a pet before? You might be surprised to learn that there are many forms of fostering! Luckily, each one is a meaningful way to […]

    Read More

  • Elmer and Rico

    Elmer and Rico

    On Fridays, we like to highlight our amazing foster families who do so much for our pets. We call them (appropriately) Foster Fridays! This week, we want to thank Rico, […]

    Read More

  • What is Foster-to-Adopt?

    What is Foster-to-Adopt?

    Have you ever heard the term foster-to-adopt? We sometimes use this term in our adoptable pet profiles to describe the status of certain animals. For example, “Sophie is a foster-to-adopt […]

    Read More

  • Cleaning Volunteers Needed!

    Cleaning Volunteers Needed!

    *Thanks to the generosity of our community members, all volunteer cleaning spots have been filled. Thank you!* You’d like to volunteer with animals? Great! You’ve come to the right place. […]

    Read More


For more information, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator via email or telephone at (207) 985-3244 ext. 121.

Follow Us!


ICYMI: Along with their foster mom, guinea pigs Phoebe, Peppa and Miss Piggy were guests on Fetch Me a Home this morning. Head over to @newscentermaine to learn more about this fun and groovy trio!

To adopt ➡ Call AWS at (207) 985-3244 to schedule an appointment.