Volunteer / Foster

VolunteerWithPupHundreds of dedicated individuals help the Washington Animal Rescue League’s homeless animals by training dogs, socializing cats, counseling adopters, and performing numerous other tasks at our center. WARL offers regular orientation and training sessions for both new and seasoned volunteers.

Please understand that it can take a while to become a Washington Animal Rescue League volunteer.  We have dozens of volunteers who have been with us for a decade or more.  We hope that the application process is the beginning of a long and inspiring volunteer career for you.

VolunteerWithKittenThank you so much for your patience and for your desire to become a volunteer with us!

Please complete this application form so you can be registered with Volgistics and the Washington Animal Rescue League online volunteer database:

WARL Volunteer Application Form

Existing volunteers must schedule shifts and log their hours by using Volgistics.

All currently scheduled orientation sessions are full and we will not be accepting volunteer applications again until mid-September.  We will be scheduling additional orientation sessions at that time so please check back then!

Volunteer Orientation Sessions
Date Time
April 17th FULL
May 1st FULL

Sessions are held two times per month on average* and we have a maximum number of people that can attend. There is a non-refundable $30 registration fee that covers a t-shirt, name tag, classes and seminars that must be submitted with the application to hold your place in the next available orientation.

*May 1 is the last orientation that we will be holding until mid-September; please check back around that time for upcoming orientation dates.

VolunteerReading1Volunteers must be 18 years or older. We also have a junior volunteer program for young people between the ages of 12 and 17. These junior volunteers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (one parent or guardian per junior volunteer), who also registers as a volunteer and is responsible for all animal handling.

We require that all our volunteers commit to 8 hours a month for a minimum of 6 months. This helps us provide the animals in our shelter with a secure environment featuring continuity and consistency in terms of the people they interact with and the care they receive. It also allows volunteers to get to know not only each other but also our staff, creating an organization-wide “team” of people committed to a cause.

*We are no longer able to accept court appointed community service hours but offer Student Learning (SSL) hours.

You can contact Brittany, our volunteer manager, at Brittany.miller@warl.org with any questions.



There is no more personal way to help animals than by becoming a foster volunteer. Opening your home to a cat or dog from the Washington Animal Rescue League means you have the opportunity to increase the quality of life for a homeless animal and open much-needed den space so that the League can rescue another pet. Simply put, foster volunteers help save lives.

Many of the animals needing foster homes are Special Needs animals; those dogs and cats who are not doing well in the shelter environment and need a home in order to thrive. Foster volunteers provide behavior and medical rehabilitation in a nurturing home environment so that animals in your care may mature, heal, socialize, and become available for adoption. Most supplies and information are provided by WARL.

If you are interested in fostering one of our pets or want more information on our foster program, please email foster@warl.org.

Foster Volunteer Application

Fill out an online foster volunteer application to get started.