Thank you for your interest in volunteering
with the Animal Protection Society of Durham!

Sign up here!

Interested in Reading With Cats?
Learn more here!

Volunteers We Need The Most

  • Weekday morning dog walkers (8am-10am)
    • Many of our dogs are house-trained, and hold it throughout the night until volunteers are able to let them out in the morning. Sometimes, we have only 1-2 volunteers to walk 40 dogs. This is a crucial shift, as it grants our dogs relief that is important for both their physical and mental health.
    • While we need dog care volunteers throughout the day, the morning shifts typically mean shorter, quicker walks to potty. By the afternoon, we hope dogs will have been out at least once already, and can be taken on more leisurely walks!
  • Cat volunteers
  • Education/event volunteers (bilingual a plus!)

APS Volunteer General Requirements:

  • Volunteers must be 16+ to walk dogs without adult supervision
  • Volunteers must be 15+ to volunteer with our cats without adult supervision
  • Volunteers 10+ may volunteer with parent or guardian
  • Volunteers work at least 8 hours per month and commit to volunteer for at least six months (for exceptions to this or questions, please still apply and note this in your application; we still want your help!)
  • Volunteers must be able and willing to follow procedures for the safety of the animals, the public, volunteers and staff.
  • All Volunteers must 1) attend an orientation and 2) complete necessary training before volunteering.
  • We do not accept volunteers who are required to volunteer for court ordered or attorney recommended community service and we are not able to validate volunteer hours for such purposes.

Volunteering at an animal shelter will be physically and emotionally challenging. Should you decide to volunteer, please know you will make a difference in the lives of the animals at the Durham County Animal Shelter and the Durham community, at large.


Available Volunteer Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8AM-4:45PM

Wednesday: 8AM-4:45PM

Saturday, Sunday: 8AM-3:45PM

Holidays: Will be announced


How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Complete your APS Volunteer Profile at the link at the top of the page and sign up to attend a New Volunteer Orientation. Orientation will give you an opportunity to learn more about the APS of Durham’s mission and operations, guidelines and expectations, and volunteer opportunities.
  2. After you’ve completed Orientation, you decide if you want to make the commitment to volunteer with us. We will set up a time for you to be trained in your area of interest.  Most volunteers will go through two to five hours of training before they begin volunteering independently.

How Teens & Children Can Help

Many young people ask how they can help the homeless animals at the Durham County Animal Shelter. Due to liability concerns, volunteers working with the dogs (feeding, socializing, etc.) must be at least 16 to volunteer without a guardian present (at least 15 to work with the cats).

Children and Teens 10 years or older, Learn more here…

Children 9 years and younger, Learn more here…

(We do not have on-site shelter volunteer opportunities for kids 9 years and under)

Already a volunteer?

Current APS Volunteers log in here.

Group + one-time volunteering

Thank you for considering the APS for your volunteer project!

Our Group Volunteer Program is designed for groups of adults (18+ years old) looking to help one time, for a few hours.  This program is perfect for company volunteer days, college service projects, or church groups looking to give time to the shelter. We are able to accommodate groups Monday-Friday.

Due to liability concerns, one-time volunteers will not be hands on with our animals during the group day. However, if you would like to work with our animals, we would welcome you to one of our general volunteer orientations (1 hour), and subsequent training (2 hours), to become a dog care or cat care (or both!) volunteer! Scroll up on this page for the general volunteer application. Regular volunteers can come in 7 days a week!

In order to create the most fulfilling experience for your group, we schedule one group service project per month. Groups of volunteers contribute their time and efforts to deep cleaning projects our staff can’t always get to. You may be deep cleaning our dog kennels (spraying and scrubbing), our cat rooms, or, you may be otherwise contributing to ground beautification. Some groups have come in and helped wash our glass windows–it depends on our greatest need for that month’s project!

All members of your group must be 18+ to volunteer onsite, with a maximum group size of 10. We ask that you fill out a Group Service Application at least 30 days prior to your preferred service date. Group service opportunities are scheduled in the order applications are received.

Have a group of young adults who wish to contribute? Consider an off-site volunteer activity, such as making cat beds or fundraising for our animals!