Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Pittsburgh

March 21, 2014 9:00 AM

(Photo Credit: Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images)

cat kitty pet Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images

The best volunteer opportunities for animal lovers in Pittsburgh can be found at shelters, hospice centers and even in your car. There are great organizations in Pittsburgh that help save thousands of animals every year and could use volunteers to care for the animals. Learn what Pittsburgh has to offer by way of animal care and volunteer your time to make a difference.

animal friends Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Pittsburgh

Animal Friends (Credit: Diane Straka)

Animal Friends
562 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
(412) 847-7000

Animal Friends is always accepting volunteers. Complete the online application and you will receive follow-up instructions for the orientation process and to schedule your first lesson. Two lessons are required for all volunteers. Animal Friends has an extensive network and interacts as needed with other volunteer agencies. As a volunteer, you can select from opportunities in shelter activities, administration, satellite adoption centers, community adoption volunteers, human education helpers, foster guardians and animal handling.

Related: Best Dog Parks In Pittsburgh

animal rescue league Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Diane Straka

Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center
6620 Hamilton Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 345-7300

The Animal Rescue League (ARL) maintains its mission that was formed in 1910 of “helping all animals in need, regardless of species or breed.” No animal is refused shelter, and interested people can volunteer at the shelter or wildlife center. This organization offers the following volunteer programs: Dog Coach, Cat Care, STAR dog trainer, Bunny/Small Animal Handler, Foster Parent, Adoptions Assistant, Grooming and Offsite Educational, Fundraising or Adoption Events. Each individual interested in volunteering is required to attend an informational session which occurs the first Saturday of every month.

humane society Best Volunteer Opportunities For Animal Lovers In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Diane Straka

Western Pennsylvania Humane Society
1101 Western Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
(412) 321-4625

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society cares for homeless animals. The Society has opportunities for direct and indirect contact with the animals that may be dogs, cats or even bunnies. It has a wide range of opportunities available ranging from caring and training for animals to clerical work and fundraising. Each volunteer is required to attend at least one orientation program and commit to a minimum of two months as scheduling care is essential to provide a caring stable environment for the homeless animals. Training is provided for all positions and can be used as a resume builder.

Caring Hospice Services
Manor Oak One
1910 Cochran Road. Suite 550
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
(800) 390-2998

Caring Hospice Services serves patients with life-limiting medical conditions, and it needs animal volunteers to put a smile on the residents’ faces. As the dogs will be interacting with residents/patients, some criteria needs to be satisfied first, but previous volunteers have stated that seeing the smiling faces that a visit brings is worth the extra effort. The dogs needs to be canine certified, and the individual needs to be volunteer certified. Other volunteers recommend Animal Friends canine certification program which partially covers some of the volunteer training criteria. The volunteer training criteria is completely satisfied after an approximate two-hour Caring Hospice Services training to ensure this includes HIPPA and company policy compliance. A member of Caring Hospice’s volunteer staff will guide you through the process and accompany you on your first resident/patient visit.

Related: Best Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania Great Dane Rescue
515 Rotteck St.
Baden, PA 15005
(724) 869-9185

The Great Dane Rescue supports the fostering, transporting, fundraising and networking of Great Danes and partial mixes which can be challenging as these are more complicated and bigger dogs. The organization is fun and family oriented to encourage asking questions and helping each other out, and the owner brings experience as a vet technician and nurse for proper guidance in caring for these animals. Owner Jean Matvey has established and grown the nonprofit rescue organization for nine years. She ensures a good fit in the fostering program, provides crates for transporting and you may have seen her and some Great Danes in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. She understands the struggles that arise with caring for animals, especially Great Danes, and she is looking to grow her volunteer network.

Diane Straka is a freelance writer whose work can be found on

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